On 22 February 2023, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) organised and hosted a special programme marking this year’s National and University Library in Zagreb Day. The programme included addresses by the Rector of the University of Zagreb Professor Stjepan Lakušić, Envoy of the Croatian Minister of Culture and Media and State Secretary Dr Ivica Poljičak, Envoy of the Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Minister of Science and Education Dr Radovan Fuchs, Envoy of the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament and Head of the Parliament’s Education, Science and Culture Committee Dr Vesna Bedeković, President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović and the Library’s Director General Dr Ivanka Stričević.
In her message of congratulation, NSK Director General Dr Stričević addressed the Library’s staff and the present guests and thanked for support the Library’s Governing Board, Ministry of Science and Education, Ministry of Culture and Media and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Library’s founder, also expressing gratitude for successful cooperation to the Library’s many partners, as well as to all individuals and institutions contributing to the Library’s work.
“Today, we are celebrating the Library’s 416th anniversary as a unique national cultural and scientific institution, an institution bringing together Croatian libraries and library professionals and a place of encounters, learning and individual and collective, social development. We celebrate the Library’s Day on 22 February, the day when exactly 540 years ago the first book in the Croatian language and alphabet was printed to remain to this day a gem of the Croatian Glagolitic tradition and at the same time a symbol of the richness of Croatia’s culture and heritage, a symbol of our promptitude in embracing new technologies, but also a symbol of Croatian people entirely – historically and essentially – being part of the European context. The richness epitomised in the historic, 1483 missal is also reflected in the ampleness of the Library’s collections, which currently include some 3,6 million items, ranging from manuscripts, books, newspapers and journals to maps, printed music, prints and postcards, in relation to which 360 000 digital items have so far been included in various digital library systems currently making available millions of pages of varied content”, said NSK Director General Dr Stričević.
Giving an overview of the Library’s activities in 2022 and announcing the Library’s new strategic period, Dr Stričević particularly emphasised four ongoing projects – the Library’s projects e-Resources and Strengthening NSK capacities and the projects in which the Library is taking part – e-Culture and e-Universities.
“We are particularly proud of our CroAtrium Multimedia Lab project, which we are developing in the Library’s new space and which focuses on the interpretation of heritage in the Library’s collections and the related innovative programmes for the wider public and various interest groups. Through its activities we wish to bring together for all generations of Croatia’s citizens the analogue and digital formats in which we preserve and curate the national cultural heritage. In the past year, owing to the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, we prepared a detailed proposal, organised heritage interpretation-oriented educational programmes for our staff, defined CroAtrium’s visual identity and presented CroAtrium’s plans and activities to the public. Ahead of us in 2023 are additional investments in multimedia equipment and further steps in the development of CroAtrium’s programmes”, added Dr Stričević.
The celebration programme included the National and University Library in Zagreb Award ceremony – the Head of the Croatian Institute for Librarianship Dr Marina Krpan Smiljanec received the award for 2022 in the category singling out particularly successful and dedicated Library’s employees, while the Zagreb City Libraries public library network was awarded the 2022 NSK Award for legal entities supporting and promoting the Library’s programmes and thus contributing to the advancement of the library profession in Croatia.
The celebration attendees enjoyed an accompanying musical programme featuring a performance by harpist Doris Karamatić and vocalist Nika Pastuović.
Ushering in the celebration was the presentation on 20 February 2023 of the 2022 facsimile edition of the first Croatian printed book and the first book in Europe printed in non-Latin alphabet, the date of whose printing, since 2019 marked as the Croatian Glagolitic Script Day, is celebrated as the National and University Library in Zagreb Day and whose Glagolitic letter Iže, the transliterated Latin ‘I’, is embodied in the Library’s logotype. Also announcing the celebration was the two-day 2023 NSK Doors Open Days programme, as part of which the wider public could learn more about the historic missal and other treasures in the Library’s collections, the work of the Library’s conservation experts and the Library’s services, programmes and events.
Banner image: Photo of the inside of the “Missal” – by Boris Kovačev