Matica hrvatska Collection
The Matica hrvatska Collection is an excellent historical source for Croatia's cultural and political history. It is an archival collection created by the work of Matica hrvatska, a non-profit and non-governmental cultural organisation which became the central Croatian cultural institution in the Croatian national reform movement – the Croatian Spring. Matica gathered the Croatian intelligentsia that was dissatisfied with the status of Croatia within the Yugoslav federation. That is why the communist government began to treat Matica as an oppositional institution, a driver of oppositional political ideas and a rival to the League of Communists.
Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
Show on map
Name of collection
HR-HDA-1567, Matica hrvatska (archival fund)
Provenance and cultural activities
The Matica hrvatska Collection is an excellent historical source for Croatia's cultural and political history. It is an archival collection created by the work of Matica hrvatska, a non-profit and non-governmental cultural organisation founded as a society for the promotion of Croatian literature and culture. Although most of its activities were related to publishing, Matica hrvatska has left an indelible mark in Croatian history, participating in its many turbulent events. Matica hrvatska became the central Croatian cultural institution in the Croatian national and cultural reform movement – the Croatian Spring. Through its publishing activity in the field of literature, historiography, economics, music and other arts, and through the organisation of academic and cultural events throughout Croatia, Matica hrvatska became the leading cultural force of the Croatian people in the 1960s and the early 1970s. Matica gathered the Croatian intelligentsia that was dissatisfied with the status of Croatia within the Yugoslav federation. That is why the communist government began to treat Matica as an oppositional institution, a driver of oppositional political ideas and a rival to the League of Communists.
The archival materials that Matica kept since its founding in 1842 was deposited with the Croatian State Archives (HDA) in 1994 (Log of Deposits 59/1994). In 2007 Matica donated the deposited archive to the HDA. After that, Matica donated the newly founded materials (ca. 200 archival boxes) to the Archives on several occasions (Acquisition 41/2007, Acquisition 36/2008 and Acquisition 39/2008). The new materials were merged with the materials deposited in 1994, and the archival collection was complete.
By receiving the unorganised records in 1994, the Archives agreed to arrange and process it, make a summary inventory, and an analytical inventory for the most valuable documents – manuscripts. Around 25 l/m of archival materials were received (including 136 registers, and 94 archival boxes), which did not have any accompanying aids or lists. The archival holdings were organised, the summary inventory was published in 1998 (Bućin 1998), and the materials became available to the public. The index of manuscript authors was also made. Matica hrvatska covered the costs of arranging and processing the holdings. The materials acquired in 1994 were microfilmed and the process of digitisation is under way. The curating and processing of the materials received in 2007 and 2008 were completed in 2008 (first by Ladislav Dobrica and then Mario Fabekovac). The materials were arranged following the structure of the previously (in 1998) organised part. The Croatian State Archives covered the costs of arranging and processing the acquisitions from 2007 and 2008.
The collection is publicly available without any particular restrictions. Due to the Copyright Act, only the potential publishing of the manuscripts is limited. For such use, it is necessary for the legal successors to grant permission. Since it is an archival collection, it cannot be said that the collection is used on a regular basis. The most typical users are members of the academic community (from the field of literature and history), but also journalists who write about the Croatian Spring, which was a politically current topic in Croatia after the fall of communism. The collection was the basis on which the Exhibition to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Name and Status of the Croatian Literary Language was held in 2007.
Description of content
The collection contains materials ranging from 1838 to 2006 in a total of 44.7 l/m of archival materials (43 books and 442 boxes). For the history of the cultural opposition, among the most important parts of the materials are the editorial documentation of the periodicals that Matica hrvatska published (Kolo, Hrvatska revija and Hrvatski tjednik). Hrvatski tjednik (Croatian Weekly) was published only in 1971, but it played a significant role in the turbulent period of the Croatian Spring. It was the media through which Matica hrvatska directly communicated with the Croatian public. The paper became a central venue for articulating and promoting the ideas of the Croatian Spring, and shared the same fate as the movement – it was extinguished in December 1971. Besides the editorial materials, the archival materials of Hrvatski tjednik contains all of its published issues, including the censored issue of July 30, 1971, and the one with the text of the Supreme Court's decision whereby the paper was censored. The Supreme Court's decision was pasted onto the cover page instead of the controversial (for the authorities) article "A Dramatic Moment for Croatia." In this article, the editorial board headed by Vlado Gotovac cited the statements of Vladimir Bakarić and Jakov Blažević in which they talked about the “counterrevolutionary activity” (meaning nationalism in Croatia). Their claims were followed by a critical response from an anonymous author, which triggered the authorities to censor this issue.
The collection also contains documentation on various projects such as the publishing of the Croatian orthography (Hrvatski pravopis) in 1971, which was banned by the Yugoslav authorities on political grounds shortly after its printing. The collection contains the original typescript of the Declaration on the Name and Status of the Croatian Literary Language (1967). Particularly noteworthy is the police report on controlling the legality of the work of Matica hrvatska, written in 1972, of which the typescript is also kept in the collection.
The collection also contains various normative acts, the minutes of sessions of working bodies, plans, operating reports, personnel documentation, membership documents, financial documentation, publishing documentation, statistics, photographs, prints, press clippings, various correspondence, the documents on the assets of Matica, on the celebrations of anniversaries, cultural actions, scholarly gatherings, literary evenings and book exhibitions, various cultural campaigns, literary awards, and printed debates, especially those regarding the national question. The photographic material contains photographs of Ivan Meštrović’s sculptures taken by Tošo Dabac. There are also various brochures and leaflets, as well as the papers of the controversial writer Mile Budak, who was a member of the Ustasha regime during the Second World War. There is also a small number of audio tracks, mostly of some scholarly and cultural gatherings.
Most of the materials are written in Croatian and much less in Latin and German (materials from the 19th century), and in Serbian, Slovenian and Macedonian.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
- photos: 500-999
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Show on map
Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Mihaljević, Josip
Aralica, Višeslav. 2009. Matica hrvatska u Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj (Matrix Croatica in the Independent State of Croatia). Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Benčić Rimay, Tea (ed.). 2008. Dossier: Vlado Gotovac. Zagreb: Institut Vlado Gotovac.
Bratulić, Josip (ed.). 1997. Matica hrvatska: 1842. - 1997. (Matica hrvatska: 1842-1997). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Brleković, Josip. 2002. Hrvatski tjednik: Bibliografija - 1971. (Croatian Weekly: Bibliography – 1971). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Bućin, Rajka. 1998. Matica hrvatska: sumarni inventar (Matica hrvatska: summary inventory). Zagreb: Croatian State Archives.
“Deklaracija o nazvu i položaju hrvatskog književnog jezika“ (“Declaration on the Name and Position of the Croatian Literary Language“). Matica hrvatska. Accessed 20 August, 2018.
Gotovac, Vlado. 1989. Moj slučaj (My case). Ljubljana; Zagreb: Cankarjeva založba.
Gotovac, Vlado. 1995. Zvjezdana kuga: zatvorski zapisi 1972-1973. (Star plague: prison notes 1972-1973). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Globus.
Hekman, Jelena (ed.). 1995. Vlado Gotovac: Djela (Vlado Gotovac: works). Zagreb: Nakladni zavod Hrvatske.
Hekman, Jelena. 2002. Izvještaj o kontroli zakonitosti rada Matice hrvatske (Report on controlling the legality of the work of Matica hrvatska). Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska.
Jelčić, Dubravko. 1992. „Sto pedeset godina Matice hrvatske“ (The Hundred and Fifty Years of Matica Hrvatska“). Radovi Leksikografskoga zavoda 'Miroslav Krleža', 2 (1992): 81-96.
Kovačec, August. 2017. „Deklaracija o nazivu i položaju hrvatskoga jezika u povijesnom kontekstu“ (“Declaration on the Name and Position of the Croatian Language in Historcal Context“). Hrvatska revija 1 (2017). Matica hrvatska. Accessed October 4, 2018.
Ravlić, Jakša et al. (eds.). 1963. Matica hrvatska (1842. – 1962.) (Matica hrvatska, 1842-1862). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Samardžija, Marko (ed.). 2017. Deklaracija o nazivu i položaju hrvatskog književnog jezika 1967.-2017.: vijesti, komentari, osude, zaključci (Declaration on the Name and Position of the Croatian Literary Language 1967-2017: news, comments, judgements, conclusions). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Šarić, Tatjana. 2008. Kulturna politika vlasti u NR Hrvatskoj – primjer Matice hrvatske 1945.-1952. (Cultural policy of the National Republic of Croatia authorities - Matrix Croatica Example, 1945-1952). 2008., MA thesis, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb.
Štambuk-Škalić, Marina. 2009. „Arhivsko gradivo o Matici hrvatskoj u fondovima Hrvatskog državnog arhiva“ („Archival records on Matica hrvatska in the funds of the Croatian State Archives“). Kolo 1-2 (2009). Matica hrvatska, Accessed October 4, 2018.
Zidić, Igor (ed.). 2017. Hrvatska i Hrvatsko proljeće 1971. Zbornik radova (Croatia and the Croatian Spring 1971: proceedings ). Zagreb: Matica hrvatska.
Bukvić, Nenad, interview by Shek Brnardić, Teodora , May 10, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection
Fabekovac, Mario, interview by Mihaljević, Josip, October 02, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection