Trustees’ Annual Report for 2015

Summary of the objects of the charity set out in its governing document

See also To Donors and Potential Donors: Report 2015

As part of the Belarusian community in the United Kingdom, to preserve the cultural heritage of the Belarusian people; contribute to the life of this community by providing access to cultural artefacts in a variety of forms and media; support and promote academic Belarusian studies; encourage interest in Belarus among the British public. (Mission Statement)

Summary of the main activities undertaken for the public benefit in relation to these objects (include within this section the statutory declaration that trustees have had regard to the guidance issued by the Charity Commission on public benefit)

Throughout the past year activities of the Trust focused on the following aims:

  1. Collection and preservation of significant publications in various formats and languages reflecting Belarusian history and culture
    • Collection Development Principles adopted
  2. Encouraging and assisting with the preservation of the Belarusian Diaspora’s archives, publications and artefacts
    • Archive Development Policy adopted
    • Ongoing contacts with Belarus and diaspora-based specialists maintained
    • Preliminary work was undertaken to investigate the best ways of managing and developing the Library’s extensive collection of archival material
  3. Developing the Museum collection
    • Temporary exhibition of pre-1900 publications was organised for the 500th Anniversary of Belarusian book printing
  4. Enabling access to Belarusian literature, language and other aspects of the cultural heritage to all compatriots living in London and further afield
    • A rota was established for members of the Board to guarantee regular opening hours
    • An online platform for hosting digital content has been launched
  5. Collaboration with other Belarusian organisations and initiatives for enriching their work and projects
    • Contributed to the Anglo-Belarusian Society’s Nobel Laureates evening
    • Took part in the Library Congress in Minsk, Congress of Belarusian Studies in Kaunas and Congress of the International Association of Belarusianists in Minsk
  6. Maintaining a reference collection for supporting and encouraging academic Belarusian studies in the UK and abroad
  7. Providing facilities for accessing Belarus-related materials of interest to researchers and students
    • A rota was established for members of the Board to guarantee regular opening hours
    • An online platform for hosting digital content has been launched
  8. Contributing to the work of Belarusian and other related academic organisations and initiatives in the UK, Belarus and abroad
  9. Contributing to projects and events promoting Belarus in the UK
    • Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Belarusian book printing was launched in London; a planning meeting for further events with the British Library was held
  10. Contributing to the body of knowledge about Belarus in the English-speaking world.
    • Ongoing enquiry support was provided by email and in person

Summary of the main achievements of the charity during the year

  • Links with the National Library of Belarus were established
  • A programme of digitisation (Skarynaŭka Online platform; collaboration with Bielaruskaja Palička) has been initiated
  • New income streams established and fundraising work initiated (flat conversion; bond investment; fundraising appeal)