Monday, April 5, 2010
Zadar Research Library
[SLIM students about to visit the Zadar Research Library and State Archive]
16 March, 2010
Željka Aleksić has worked at this library for 20 years and was our energetic guide for our visit. She gave us a history of the library, the way it is organized and how it is used by the public, and showed us all over the facility. We saw the reading room, the closed stacks, and several important holdings. We learned of that this library is linked to German catalogs, which facilitates ILLs. There are approximately 1 million items, but only a fraction (1/5 or 1/4) are in the database. This library also holds two exhibits per year. We also got to meet a bust of the wealthy Venetian founder.
Of interested me most here were the mini lectures down in the basement on various rare and important materials.
It was fascinating to see these materials which related to Croatian history. A 16th century map of Zadar and one showing the Turkish border outside the city walls were both intriguing. Especially as these maps were verifying some of the things that Mladen had told us the day before.
My favorite was the incunabulum "Judita", which was written by Marko
Marulić in the early 16th century. I would have loved to look at it more closely! This is one of the first works written in the Croatian dialect and there are only two copies in all of Croatia. It kind of made me uncomfortable that our host was handling these materials without gloves.
Later we see a statue of this "Father of Croatian Literature" in Split.
Željka also told us that this library was hit and damaged during the Homeland War. Approximately 100 books were destroyed, and the brand-new computers and server. It cost so much to replace, that library development stopped for five years.