Record keeping and documentation of the heritage fund
To keep records and maintain documentation of the heritage fund – that is, to systematically acquire information on the heritage, sort this information and keep records thereof in the uniform way, and maintain this database so it can be used repeatedly – is one of the essential activities of the National Heritage Institute.
The National Heritage Institute is active in all regions of the country, and every regional center therefore includes the department of record keeping and documentation, and so do the headquarters. The staff of these departments perform the art-historic, historic and archive surveys of movable and immovable assets or other stuff that can be classified as heritage, monitor their conditions, and report possible threats. They also make suggestions to include other valuable buildings and assets in the heritage; the National Heritage Institute then passes their suggestions to the Ministry of Culture. The staff members also use their expert knowledge to develop the methodology of surveys and documentation of the heritage fund.
The National Heritage Institute is also involved in the integrated system of the movable cultural heritage protection (ISO), which is run by several institutions, including the national police. Its purpose is to prevent the thefts of valuable historical assets that could be sold abroad, and also to look for those already stolen. The National Heritage Institute focuses on valuable sacral items; they have been systematically mapped, documented and filed since the 1990s. Based on the information from these records, the staff members provide the police with the background materials for investigation of stolen items (photos, descriptions etc.) If an item is found, their task is to prove that it’s really the asset that’s been sought after.
The employees of the National Heritage Institute issue certificates that are obligatorily attached to cultural assets in case the owner wants to sell them or export them abroad. The National Heritage Institute issues such certificates if the items are of sacral or cult nature, or for architecture and exterior facilities.
The National Heritage Institute also carefully keeps records of the equipment of the managed sites, i.e. the furniture and historical libraries (at chateaus and monasteries).