I was extremely lucky today to get an invite to tour the University Main Library which is also the National Library for the whole of Croatia. It was fascinating to tour a library with such a dual role to serve students as their central academic library and the country as a deposit library. The library was established by Jesuits in 1607 and went through many changes and locations until it moved into its current building in 1995. There are now over 3 million items in the collection.

Progress is very important to the Croatian people and the library’s onward push into the future can be exemplified by the fact that, while on one hand treasuring scrolls from the 1200s, it also now offers an amazing relatively low-cost 3D printing service to its users.

Perhaps more impressively and a sign of the huge esteem in which libraries are held in Croatian society- from the 1st of January 2020 the library will become the seat of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union EU for 6 months. Refurbishments were well underway to have the building ready to take on such an important role. When you look to the ceiling of the fourth floor of the library cleverly placed mirrors enable you to see  Zagreb city as if looking out a window.

Here are some links on Library`s  virtual exhibitions and digitized collections:



With thanks to Ana-Marija Tkalčić who guided me through the library, Iva Perinić who presented the Manuscripts and Old Books Collection to me and to Ivana Kežić Pucketić for being such a kind host. And finally why the mention of the ‘red baskets’ at the start of this blog entry. Well that is because all users must deposit their bags at lockers before entering the library proper and carry all their belongings with them in cute red baskets: the effect of all these baskets dotted around the reading rooms make the library look very colourful indeed.

May 24th, 2019

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