On February19, 2009, by decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Archives of Yugoslavia was founded, as a cultural institution. (The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No. 15 of February 27, 2009)
With this decision its old name was returned – the Archives of Yugoslavia, instead of the Archives of Serbia and Montenegro, the name it held since 2003. The activities of the Archives have remained unchanged.
The internal structure of the Archives of Yugoslavia followed, developed and was fine-tuned simultaneously with the development of the needs and opportunities for the protection of archival records at state level. This development was influenced by the changes in the status of the Archives, the expansion of the scope of its functions, increase in the volume of archival materials, as well as the streamlining and improvements in the technology of archival operations.
In the period following its establishment, namely from 1950 - 1959 the structure of the Archives reflected and was dovetailed with the priority tasks which were primarily to locate, register, gather and sort out public records for which the Archives was responsible. This period was marked by serious personnel problems, both in terms of understaffing and lack of qualifications required for the transaction of archival affairs.
In 1959 the Federal Executive Council adopted its first act laying down the structure of the Archives. It was important not only in that it was the first such act passed by a public authority but also in that it set up a separate department within the Archives for the information on archival records. That was an indicator of the fact that in the period until that date the Archives had managed to complete a large number of technical tasks on its records that were now in a condition making it possible to use them and get more detailed information about the holdings and collections.
The next act on the structure of the Archives was passed in 1965 when it determined its definite structure. It was much more complex than before and had well-defined structural segments each responsible for a particular type of technical duties. This structure included a separate segment for the protection of archival records outside the Archives; namely, a Library was set up. The sorting out and processing of archival material took place in two separate structural segments depending on the periodization of the holdings in question.
The new structure was put in place in 1973 following the adoption of the Law on the Archives for the first time providing for the setting up of a department for the special protection of archival records and a somewhat changed structure for the sorting out and processing of public records. The baseline for determining the structure was not the periodization of the holdings but the activity that they pertained to. As part of the Common Services separate units were established for archival objects and equipment and for technical affairs and overall security.
According to the structure in place in 1978 when the Archives was once again incorporated into the government administration structure, the duties were divided up between two departments: the first covered archival duties and the second - legal and technical protection of archival records. Lower-level structural segments - sections were introduced, too. They followed the technical work processes on archival records and other activities within the Archives' remit.
The structure of the Archives in 1979 and 1980 included, for the first time, a research group as a separate structural segment. The sorting out and processing of records took place within the structural segments that were set up depending on the activity of the entities producing holdings and collections.
Further changes in the Archives' structure (until 2000) made it possible for a large number of duties to be streamlined in terms of human and technical resources.
The structure of the Archives in 2000 included two departments: the department for supervision, protection, sorting out, processing and use of archival records and the department for the application of information technologies, publishing of archival records, cultural and educational activity and international cooperation. In addition to the two departments, there was also a Section for Legal and Administrative Affairs. Within this general structure, there were also lower-level structural segments with specific technical duties.
In 2003 the first Act on the Structure of the Archives was passed within the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The duties are performed by three departments as the main structural segments notably: the department for the protection of archival records, information and use; the department for sorting out and processing of archival records; and the department for IT applying and technical protection of archival records. Within each of these departments there are two lower-level structural segments - (5) units and (1) desk. Apart from these three departments, there is also a separate Legal, Material-Financial and Administrative Affairs Section. The salient features of this structure of the Archives are the following: the activities of the Archives are accurately defined; the performance of the duties and tasks presupposes an adequate working methodology and personnel; the technological process for a particular technical assignment or task is complete and structural segments are coherent and mutually interlinked making it possible to achieve maximum efficiency throughout the Archives.
When the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro ceased to exist in May 2006, the Republic of Serbia became an independant state and acquired successor state status. The Republic of Serbia, based on the Decree on Financing Competencies, which were transferred from the former state union to the Republic of Serbia, has continued to finance competencies of the Archives of Serbia and Montenegro. The Archives of Serbia and Montenegro existed under this name from 2003 until 19th February 2009, when by the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia the Archives of Yugoslavia was established, as a cultural institution.