“The first Croatian woman librarian: the road to gender equality”

The aims and objectives

The video reportage is intended to guide the spectators through the unconventional life, education and career of a woman at the beginning of the 20th century, emphasize her engagement in the fight for women’s equality as well as her significant role in encouraging other women to pursue intellectual careers.

Key milestones

The key dates and milestones for the planned project delivery were met – after the announcement of the received grant for the project from the CENL Hidden Stories Support Fund, the fully produced reportage premiered on November 16th 2023 on the HRT3 Channel of the Croatian Radiotelevision during the exhibition on Dr. Elza Kučera which held place in the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) from November 13th to 24th 2023. The reportage is permanently and publicly available on the NSK’s YouTube channel.


The project initiated and solidified the collaborations between the National and University Library in Zagreb, the Institute of Philosophy (PhD Ivana Skuhala Karasman and PhD Luka Boršić), the Centre for Women’s Studies, and media companies. Its primary objective – to unveil and celebrate the rich and captivating legacy of Elza Kučera, shedding light on her life while enlightening the public about the pivotal role women played in shaping Croatian culture, science, and society – was fully accomplished.

This project has helped to increase attendance at the exhibition, facilitating a high-quality promotion of its theme. Furthermore, it will serve as a continual channel, directing access to other services and materials—both physical and digital—provided by the National and University Library in Zagreb.

The incorporation of diverse materials sourced from the Library’s extensive collections for the video reportage not only added substantial value but also breathed new life into these collections, revitalizing their relevance and significance.

Through this collaborative effort, the project not only showcased Elza Kučera’s contributions but also underscored the indispensable role of women in Croatia’s historical and contemporary development. This initiative has showcased the use of visual media for exploration and acknowledgment of women’s roles in various spheres, encouraging further pursuits and public engagement.

Impact of the activity

The exhibition and video reportage received widespread recognition across digital social media channels, garnering more than 80 posts and reposts by the end of 2023. The video was premiered on HRT3 Channel of the Croatian Radiotelevision and this premiere was announced during the 48th Assembly of the Croatian Library Association in front of nearly 100 participants representing various types of libraries, Croatian ministry officials, and other members of Croatia’s cultural and scientific communities.

Literary biweekly for art, culture and science “Vijenac,” featured an article on November 23 rd 2023, titled “Uz poštovanje gđi. D. : uz 140. godišnjicu rođenja Elze Kučera.” The article’s author, Petra Miočić Mandić, a journalist and literary critic, drew inspiration from the exhibition and reportage.

The principal message underlying the project has been effectively communicated to the public: “Croatian history is marked by women who created and changed it… ” (LinkedIn – comment by Kristina Raguz Manduric, attorney at law)

The reportage serves as valuable material that can be utilized on our website, social media platforms, and as an educational resource. It has provided us with invaluable experience in presenting stories from significant collections that might otherwise have remained concealed from the public eye.

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