Today’s Erasmus highlight was a visit to the Supreme Court of Croatia guided by my gracious host Marino Jureković (and in the ever helpful and informative company of Dragutin Nemeć Periodicals Librarian for Law. Croatia has a fascinating multilayered, multilingual legal past which has seen kingdoms, empires, dictatorships, and revolutions come and go. The guardian of this mass of information is the remarkable polymath Marino Jureković who acts as librarian researcher and court official – to the Judges and advisors of the supreme court – a real one-man show.
Dragutin and Marino
The beginnings of the library date back to the second half of the nineteenth century when significant changes were taking place in Croatian political life and the Croatian judiciary was beginning to achieve a high level of independence. A high court was founded in Zagreb in 1850 – the so-called Banski stol – and in 1862 a Royal Chamber of Seven was founded as the supreme tribunal of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia…and it had a considerable library to support its research needs. This library has continued to be developed to this day under Marino’s guidance. Marinoćs knowledge of the materials in his library and of the court is said to be such that =he can do google searches in his head to find most answers”
The library is officially listed as a “special library”, meaning that it is of particular importance to the profession it serves. It contains 25,000 individual books and periodicals. As a professional reference library it is primarily designed for justices and court advisors of the Supreme Court, other lawyers may use it upon by asking permission from to the President’s office.
Above, working knowledge of multiple languages is a necessity for many Croatian lawyers and librarians.
Later, it was a distinct shift of mood from the austere character of the court to see this very unusual and highly recommended museum in the government quarter of the old town. The Museum of Broken Relationships’ I wonder how they catalogue items there. Photo below
iss May 22nd, 2019
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How apt in the week of the Eurovision final that I have arrived in this beautiful, historical and vibrant city as part of the Erasmus exchange programme to investigate all things ‘library‘-past present and future. I am being kindly hosted by Dragutin Nemec –Periodicals Librarian at the Law Faculty Library of the University of Zagreb –which celebrates its 350th anniversary this year. These blog entries this week will not seek to be exhaustive but rather highlight something that stands out from the day‘s encounters, visits and meetings! Writing this blog is slower than usual as I have to get used to a whole new kind of keyboard and keep on finding Z in the place of Y and hitting other ‘new‘ characters Ć č Ž Š Đ One initial experience which truly enthralled me was my visit to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts where I had the chance to see a stunning collection which runs from ‘Misal po zakonu rimskoga dvora’ from 1483 to the 21st Century ‘DiZbi.HAZU’ –a unique free digital repository of the Academy’s scientific and historic holdings.
I had always read how William Tyndale’s 1526 bible in English was seen as shocking and subversive, since translation from Latin into the vernacular was not permitted (and Tyndale was burnt at the stake by Henry VIII for his ‘transgression’ but I learnt at the academy that Pope Innocent IV in 1248 allowed The Croats to use their own language and writing –the Glagolitic alphabet in the liturgy. No–one else in Europe had such permission. Here I am alongside Tamara Runjak ‘ rare books librarian beside a poster in Glagolitic which says ”Baš Baš Baština” – “Really Real Heritage”
What a jump therefore it was to then be shown DiZbi.HAZU’ : the collected digitized materials of the 14 Academy’s research units, museum-gallery units and the Academy Library, launched in 2009. The support of the Europeana project has allowed the academy to offer access 24.003 digitized items ranging from books, journals, cast sheets, manuscripts, microfilms, music, photographs, plaster casts, medals and plaques, paintings, architectural plans and models, video .Go explore at http://dizbi.hazu.hr/ – it’s available in English too. I was really fascinated by the interactive WWI section http://dizbi.hazu.hr/1st_world_war/
That’s all for today –more tomorrow !!!!!!
iss May 22nd, 2019
Posted In: Uncategorized
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