Woldemeskel Memorial Center

The Institute of Ethiopian studies (IES) is one of the institutions playing a major role in gathering Ethiopian documents found anywhere in the world.
The Institute of Ethiopian studies was founded during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I, in 1963. As its primary objective, the IES was promoting research works on Ethiopia. However, the Institute has been collecting records scattered here and there by lack of proper attention to them.
The new research center called Woldamaskal Memorial Research Center under the Institute of Ethiopian Studies Library is found in Addis Ababa located at Arat Kilo near by the St. Gabriel Church. This research center is donated to AAU by Blatten Geta Mahtama Sellassie Woldamaskal, who had inherited it from his father Tsahafi Tizaz Woldamaskal Tariku, in 1963 E.C. for use as a center of promoting Ethiopian Studies. The center has been put up on 5,904 square meters of land. Formerly, the research center was used as a residence for AAU staff members who did not have house. The research center was also used as a repository of cultural objects, including pottery products which are currently housed in the IES museum.
However, since the objective of the donation of this research center was for the purpose of supporting research on Ethiopian Studies, the collections have been organized and facilitated for service delivery as desired by the donor. The center was inaugurated to give service as an archival center in December 1989 E.C.

Collections of the Research Center

The collections were gathered from different governmental organizations. Some of them come from the Ministry of Agriculture, Agency for the Administration of Rented Houses, Ethiopian Mapping Agency and the Ministry of Justice. In fact, some individuals have also donated some archival collections to the Center.
Currently, the center has large number 3,540 folders (about 353, 640 files) of archives that have permanently valuable records collected from different government and non-government institutions.

Types of the Archival Collections in the Research Center

As mentioned before, the archival collections of the research center has an enduring value for the user. These collections of the center are categorized into different themes. These are:

  1. ቤተርስት ( Assests of the Emperor and the Emperor’s family ).
    – የ.ቀ.ኃ.ሥ ቤተ ርስት ( The Emperors’ assets )
    – የልዕልት ተናኘወርቅ ኃ/ሥላሴ ቤተርስት ( Princes Tenagnework Hailesellasie’s assets)
    – የልዑል ሣህለሥላሴ ኃ/ሣላሴ ቤተርስት ( Prince Sahleselassie’s assets)
  2. የመንግሥት ንብረት (Government Property) : መንግሥት የሚያስተዳድራቸው የተለያዩ የመንግሥት ንብረት ማለት ሲሆን
    • ስለ (የመሬት ግብር የመሬት ሥጦታ) about land ( gift, taxation etc.)
    • የጠቅላይ ግዛት የገቢና ወጪ ሒሳብ መግለጫ description of Debit and Credit of the regions ( Teklay Gizatoch)
    • የፍርድ ቤት ጉዳዮች፣ የከፍተኛ ፍርድቤት፣ የይግባኝ ሰሚ ክርክር( about cases of the Court , Federal Court).
    • የእርሻ ሚኒስተር ጥያቄ መዛግብቶች (archives about inquiry of Ministry of Agriculture)
    • የርስት ጥያቄ መዛግብቶች( archives about inquiry of land )
    • የሥራ ክርክር፣አቤቱታ በተለያዩ ጉዳዮች ወ.ዘ.ተ ( miscellaneous issues)
  3. የአገር ግዛት መዛግብቶች (በዚህ ክምችት የሐምሌ 16 ኮሚቴ የአርበኞች ፋይል ይገኛል፡፡ (archives of Regional states, Hamle 16 committee of patriots file ).
    • ሐምሌ 16 ኮሚቴ ማለት በ1934 ዓ.ም በትእዛዝ(ቀ.ኃ.ሥ) የተቋቋመ ሲሆን (ከ1928-1933) በኢትዮጵያና በጣሊያን በተደረገው ጦርነት በዱር በገደሉ በአርበኝነት ላገለገሉ በውስጥ አርበኝነት መረጃ ለአርበኛው በማቀበልና ወደ ጎረቤት አገርና ውጪ አገር ለተሰደዱ ሁሉ ሦስት ሦስት ምስክር ለኮሚቴው በማቅረብ ለሚያስመሰክሩ የአርበኝነት የምስክርነት ወረቅትና አንድ ጋሻ መሬት ለአርበኛው እንዲስጥ የሚያረጋግጥ ኮሚቴ ነው፡፡
  4. የጠላት ንብረት
    • ከ1928-1933 ዓ.ም በጣላያንና በኢትዩጵያ መካከል በተደረገ ጦርነት ጣሊያን አምስት አመት በኢትዮጵያ በቆየበት ጊዜ የነበሩ መዛግብቶች ናቸው(በጣሊያንኛ ቋንቋ) ( Enemy’s property) generated by the Italians in Italic language during the time 1928-1933 E.C.
  5. የመሬት አስተዳደር መዛግብት (archives about administration of land)
  6. የግብርና መዛግብት (archives of Agriculture)
  7. የምርጫ ቦርድ (የቀ. ኃ.ሥ) (About the election board of Emperor’s Haileselassie’s time.
  8. የጠቅላይ ዐቃቢ ሕግ ፡-
    • በዚህ ክምችት የቀይ ሽብር ከአበቃ በኃላ ለሠርቶ አደሩ ልዩ የቁጥጥር ኮሚቴ ልዩ የጠቅላይ ዐቃቢ ሕግ ክፍል የሚገኝ ሲሆን በዘመና ደርግ በፀረ ድርጊት ተጠርጥረው የሚከሰሱ (የሚታሰሩ) ሰዎች ክሳችው የሚስማበት ነው፡፡
    • ሌላው የወንጀልና የፍታብሔር ማዛግብት ነው፡፡
  9. የአዲስ አበባ ዮኒቨርሲቲ ማዛግብት፡- (archives of Addis Ababa University)
    • ዮኒቨርሲቲው ከተለያዩ አቻ ዮኒቨረሲቲዎች ጋር የተጻጻፋቸው ደብዳቤዎች (Including letters exchanged with other Universities)
    • የአስተደደርና አካዳሚክ ሠራተኞች ጉዳዮችን የያዙመዛግብቶች ( about academic and administrative issues)
    • የአ.አ.ዮ ተማሪዎች እንቅስቃሴዎችን በተመለከተና ወ.ዘ.ተ (about movements of AAU students in early times etc.
  10. Roger Schneider:- ( collections written by a French Scholar about language, religion, etc. and others collections gathered from different books and magazines.

በቋንቋ ፣ በሐይማኖት ላይ ያተኮሩና የራሳቸው የነበሩ የተለያዩ ጽሑፎች እንዲሁም የተለያዩ የግል መጽሐፍና መጽሔቶችም ይገኙበታል::

Users of the Research Center

Mostly users from different Universities and Colleges visit the research center. Other users from different organizations and individuals are the customers of the research center. These include:

  • Postgraduate Students, from, AAU , Jmima University, Haramaya University, Hawwasa University, Bahir Dar University, DebreBirhan University, Dessie University, Mekele University, Wondogenet Forestry College, etc.
  • AAU lecturers
  • Ethiopian University students based abroad
  • Individual researchers/ including Foreign researchers
  • Users from different governmental organizations
  • Users from Ethiopian Patriots Associations.

Purposes of the archival collections

As mentioned above the archival collections of the research center have an enduring value for the users.

Organization and Services of the Archives in WMMRC

The Archival files/collections are categorized based on their theme/subject and put in folders. Each folder has a description of the files in years, place, name and number. Description about the folders is registered in the registering book. Therefore, the archival collections are organized in this way and service is given to the users accordingly.

Regarding the patriots’ files, names of the patriots are written on the folders and numbers have been assigned to them. These numbers are registered in the registering book. Hence, the service is given to the patriots whose names are entered in this registering book corresponding to their numbers registered on the registering book.