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
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