Zvonimir Kulundžić Collection
The collection illustrates Zvonimir Kulundžić's intellectual work as a journalist, historian and literary critic who chose to pursue his activity independently outside of the institutions controlled by the socialist government. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts, the author's published articles, his correspondence and polemics, which reflect a critical standpoint toward Croatia’s institutional historiography and literature in the period from the 1950s to the late 1980s.
Osijek Ulica Kamila Firingera 1, Croatia 31000
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Name of collection
Zvonimir Kulundžić Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
Since the beginning of the 1930s, during the monarchist dictatorship in Yugoslavia, Kulundžic began to systematically collect his published and unpublished manuscripts, press clippings and books as his personal archive and library. As he lived in Zagreb from 1947 until his death in 1994, we can say that his collection was created in his home after his resettlement in Zagreb. The materials in the collection include his literary, publicist and historiographic activity from the 1930s until the end of his life.
This Collection came to the State Archives in Osijek (SAO) at the behest of Kulundžić’s widow, Nevenka Budak Kulundžić, who donated the Collection, with the proviso that the Archives ensure a Zvonimir Kulundžic memorial room , as he was a prominent intellectual born in Osijek. In the Protocol on the assumption of the books and manuscripts belonging to the late Zvonimir Kulundžić made on May 31, 2000, it is stated that in the inheritance procedure, as subsequently found property, the library, manuscripts and all furniture in Kulundžić’s study were handed over to the State Archives in Osijek. The recipient of this acquisition was Dr. Stjepan Sršan, then the director of the SAO. 5,000 kg of materials (books, manuscripts, shelves and a desk) were transported by truck from Kulundžić's apartment in Zagreb to Osijek on 27 May 2000. The position of the books in Kulundžić's home office in the Zagreb apartment was photographed to be able to install them in the same way later in his memorial room.
Zvonimir Kulundžić was an uncompromising author and critic, so that institutions often closed their doors to him. In his work, he dealt with controversial themes in Croatian history, especially those related to national history that institutional Croatian historiography avoided or interpreted mostly in Marxist or non-national discourse. The Yugoslav communist government sought to suppress all of the Yugoslav people’s nationalisms , and for this reason any topics or approaches that would emphasise national identities were not promoted. As a man who worked outside of institutions, Kulundžić was much freer in his research, especially in interpreting certain topics in Croatian national history, literature and culture. That is why many of the state-controlled publishers avoided publishing his works, and intellectuals who operated in state and public institutions criticised and disparaged his work as unprofessional.
Dražen Kušen emphasised that Kulundžić was an individual who did not have the support of the system and that it is confirmed by the fact that some of Kulundžić's manuscripts were located everywhere in his apartment and that even the refrigerator on the balcony was full of books. Namely, Kulundžić did not have any institutional office or other institutional infrastructure to store his intellectual heritage.
Kulundžić's legacy contains his library (4,000 books and journals), newspaper clips, manuscripts, and the inventory of his workroom. Approximately 10% of the books from his library were taken out and incorporated into the Archive’s library as the separate Zvonimir Kulundžić Collection.
Kulundžić's bequest is still held in the SAO warehouse, in a dry basement of the building in K. Firinger street no. 1. As this building did not have sufficient and adequate space for its accommodation, it is planned to renovate the building in K. Firinger street no. 3 and to secure new space for the collection. The Archives plan to install the Kulundžić memorial room in this building, which it promised when Kulundžić's widow donated the collection in 2000. However, the Archives did not have the financial resources to do so, so the bequest is still in the warehouse. Therefore, this collection has not been described in detail because according to plans this would be done during the installation of the memorial room. The plan is to exhibit some of Kulundžić's manuscripts in the memorial room, while the remaining part should be archived and stored in archive boxes and accessible to researchers as a personal fund (Zvonimir Kulundžić personal papers).
This collection has no official name, nor is it registered as a hereditary unit or used by anyone. But Dražen Kušen said that if someone is interested, the Archives will consider the possibility of ensuring access to the material.
Description of content
It is estimated that the collection contains about 4,000 books and magazines, four file folders of Kulundžić's literary works, articles and discussions covering the period from 1933 to 1971, and one folder with his criticisms, polemics and newspaper reports. The collection contains 20 boxes of Kulundžić’s manuscripts. The boxes are not described in an archival sense, so the exact number of documents inside and the content of the manuscripts are unknown. It is also presumed that some of the manuscripts are unpublished. The collection also features the outline of the appearance of Kulundžić's collected works, which he began publishing on his own in 1977 (25 volumes planned, of which only the first four volumes were published).
In addition, there are old bookshelves, Kulundžić’s desk, his typewriter, a gramophone, a small set of writing accessories, ornaments, some photographs, gramophone records (20), audio cassettes (12), video cassettes (2), pictures (5), plaster statues (4), wooden statues (3), lamps (3), a wall clock, Kulundžić's portrait, a chandelier (3), candle holders (3), suitcases (2), and briefcases (2).
Kulundžić's bequest has been stored in the SAO warehouse, in a dry basement of the building in K. Firinger street no. 1.
The SAO plans to make Kulundžić’s memorial room. Kulundžić was an intellectual who did not have the support of institutions, i.e., the system, because he was a sort of opponent of the system. The state of Kulundžić's study and apartment illustrated that fact, because books and manuscripts were found everywhere in the apartment, even in the refrigerator on the balcony. So Kulundžić did not have any institutional office or other institutional infrastructure in which to store his intellectual heritage. The planned memorial room should show Kulundžić's non-institutional and cultural-oppositional stance under the socialist system.
- furniture: 0-9
- graphics: 0-9
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): unknown quantity
- music recordings: 10-99
- other: unknown quantity
- paintings: 0-9
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
- sculptures: 0-9
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Kušen, Dražen
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- all closed to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Mihaljević, Josip
Arhinet. “Državni arhiv u Osijeku“ (State Archives in Osijek). Accessed 19 May 2017. http://arhinet.arhiv.hr/details.aspx?ItemId=4_37.
Bićanić, Nikola. „Novi poticaji i otkrića Zvonimira Kulundžića“ (New inspirations and discoveries by Zvonimir Kulundžić). Crkva u svijetu 23 (1988), no.2: 185-190.
Croatian Radio-Television . “TV kalendar, 16.01.2016.” [television programme]. Accessed 15 May 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uawaNwXJGY.
Croatian Radio-Television, Croatian Television - Channel 3. “Srdačno vaši: Zvonimir Kulundžić (1992)” [television programme]. Aired on 6 April 2016.
Franjčić, Josipa. “Kulundžić, Zvonimir”, Hrvatski biografski leksikon. Accessed 13 March 2017. http://hbl.lzmk.hr/clanak.aspx?id=11209.
Jambešić Kirin, Renata. „O zaboravljenim neugodnostima hrvatske historiografije: Zvonimir Kulundžić i neka nova sporenja“ (On the forgotten unpleasantries in Croatian historiography: Zvonimir Kulundžić and some new disputes). In: Biti, Vladimir, and Nenad Ivić. Prošla sadašnjost: znakovi povijesti u hrvatskoj (Past Present: Signs of History in Croatia), pp. 13-51.Zagreb: Naklada MD, 2003.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Knjiga o knjizi (The Book About the Book). Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 1951.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Kosinj: kolijevka štamparstva slavenskoga juga (Kosinj: The Cradle of the South Slavic Typography. Zagreb: [self-published], 1960.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Odgonetavanje zagonetke Rakovica (Unravelling the Rakovica Engima). Zagreb: Multigraf, 1994.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Politika i korupcija u kraljevskoj Jugoslaviji (Politics and Corruption in Royal Yugoslavia). Zagreb: Stvarnost, 1968.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Razgovor neugodni naroda književnoga (Unpleasant Discussion of Literary People). Zagreb: [self-published], 1952.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Ta rič Hrvacka starinska naša draga... ča zvoni kroz stolića: rasprave iz starije hrvatske književnosti od Marulića do Matoša (Our Beloved Old Croatian Word… That Resounds Through the Centuries: Discourses on the Old Croatian Literature from Marulić to Matoš). Zagreb: [self-published], 1977.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Tajne i kompleksi Miroslava Krleže: koje su ključ za razumijevanje pretežnog dijela njegova opusa [Secrets and Complexes of Miroslav Krleža Which are the Key to Understanding the Overwhelming Majority of His Works], 2nd edition. Ljubljana / Zagreb: [self-published], 1988.
Kulundžić, Zvonimir. Tragedija hrvatske historiografije: o falsifikatorima, birokratima, negatorima, itd... itd... hrvatske povijesti (The Tragedy of Croatian Historiography: On the Forgers, Bureaucrats, Deniers, etc. ... etc. ... of Croatian History). Zagreb: [self-published], 1970.
“Kulundžić, Zvonimir”, Hrvatska enciklopedija. Accessed 13 March 2017. http://www.enciklopedija.hr/natuknica.aspx?id=34582.
State Archives in Osijek. “Financijsko izvješće za 2016. godinu” (Financial Statements for 2016). Accessed 13 June 2017. https://www.dao.hr/dokumenti/Fin_izvj_2016.pdf.
State Archives in Osijek, „Izvješće o preuzimanju knjiga i rukopisa pokojnog Zvonimira Kulundžića“ (Protocol on the assumption of the books and manuscripts belonging to the late Zvonimir Kulundžić), 31 May 2000.
State Archives in Osijek. “Povijest arhiva.” Accessed 13 March 2017. http://www.arhiv.hr/en/Home/index.htm.
Šidak, Jaroslav. „Sračunata taktika dezinformacija i prešućivanja“ (The calculated tactics of disinformation). Vjesnik, 31. 3. 1970.
Vaupotić, Miroslav. „Quercus Croaticus: O životu i djelu Zvonimira Kulundžića“ (Croatian Oak: About the Life and Work of Zvonimir Kulundžić). In: Ta rič Hrvacka starinska naša draga... ča zvoni kroz stolića: rasprave iz starije hrvatske književnosti od Marulića do Matoša (Our Beloved Old Croatian Word… That Resounds Through the Centuries: Discourses on the Old Croatian Literature from Marulić to Matoš), pp. 649-726. Zagreb: [self-published], 1977.
„Žestok polemičar i neumorni istraživač“ (Strong polemic and tireless researcher), Vjesnik, 29 January 2012.
Kušen, Dražen , interview by Mihaljević, Josip, March 15, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection