New Acquisitions of Library collections in 2020

As the NUK library collection has the status of a cultural monument, new materials that enrich its collections are very important. They include legacies that are significant witnesses of artistic or scientific process, as well as other printed and manuscript material related to the cultural and scholarly heritage of the Slovenian nation. They offer new and excellent opportunities for the study and research of an individual author, the content of his/hers work or creative period. At the same time, they significantly complement the collection of the National and University Library, the core of the Slovenian written heritage; it holds about 2.8 million items of library material.

We are pleased to present the most important acquisitions of the NUK library collection in 2020


Sveti Senanus

Last year, NUK acquired Prešeren's manuscript of the poem St. Senanus. It is the first original and authentic manuscript of the poem, the poet's hand-written work, kept at the National and University Library. St. Senanus is a satirical ballad telling the story about St. Senanus: to avoid temptation, he leaves for a lonely island, but temptation follows him there, and eventually returns to people. The conclusion of the poem is teasing, especially with regard to monks. Using Thomas Moore’s poem St. Senanus and the Lady, Prešeren took the theme for a Latin legend, but he transformed the motif with the thought of his friend Gašper Crobath p. Benvenut (1805-1880), a poet and Franciscan priest, to whom he dedicated the poem. From the creation of the poem to the present day, traces of reflections on St. Senanus are found in literature and newspapers: either in the correspondence of Josip Stritar, Bleiweis's negative response to Josip Cimperman, who wished to publish an article on the poem in the Novice journal, or in Father Benvenut’s poems, responding to Prešeren.

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On May 24, 1846, Benvenut received St. Senanus from the poet. The manuscript of the poem is written in the Bohorič alphabet with Prešeren's characteristic writing, while his signature at the end is in the gajica alphabet. St. Senanus was first published in the fifth volume of Krajnska čbelica (1848), the first almanac of poetry in the Slovenian language, together with poems Nuna (Nun), Šmarjina gora (Mount Šmarna gora), Nebeška procesija (Heavenly Procession), Zdravljica (The Toast) and V spomin Matija Čopa (In memory of Matija Čop); the publication of his poems was the last to be published during his life. In 1866, St. Senanus was published in the collection Pesmi Franceta Preširna (Poems by France Preširen); its editors Josip Jurčič and Josip Stritar added also the poet's image, his biography and an aesthetically-critical introduction. After a few reprints, the poem was also published in the picture book St. Senanus; A Nun and a Canary in 1998 with Bogdan Grom's illustrations.The manuscript of St. Senanus has been added in digital form to the portal of the Digital Library of Slovenia.

Manuscript of Janez Ludvik Schönleben

With the support of the Ministry of Culture the library obtained in November 2020 one of the most interesting manuscripts of Janez Ludvik Shönleben, a theologian and historian (1618–1681). It is a compilation of texts entitled Varia statum politicum, judicialem, et oeconomicum Carnioliae concernentia ("Various political, judicial and economic affairs of the Land of Carniola"). In addition to legal texts, the compilation also includes a polemical version of the Lord's Prayer against the Swedish King, a report on the Ljubljana Capuchin Passion Procession on Good Friday, dated June 1, 1681, a recipe for aloe vera pills and a waist-high portrait of Emperor Leopold I.

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Although there are no Schönleben’s original works in the manuscript, it was commissioned by him and it includes Schönlebn’s comments and notes. According to Dr Monika Deželak Trojar from The Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Schönleben collected the texts for the second book of Carniolia antiqua et nova, in which he planned to describe the history of Carniola from 1000 to his time or to the year 1660. Therefore, the manuscript will be particularly interesting for researchers of Slovenian legal and cultural history. Most of Schönleben’s works kept in the NUK and the City Library of Ljubljana collections are available to the public on the portal of the Digital Library of Slovenia.

Other Acquisitions of NUK Collections in 2020

In 2020, the library obtained as a gift, the correspondence of Anton Ocvirk, a literary historian, critic, theorist, essayist and the founder of Slovenian comparative literature. The correspondence of Alfonzo Gspan, a librarian, literary historian, poet, lexicographer, editor and translator was also donated to the library, as well as two letters from the Kosovel family and Fran Saleški Finžgar’s remnants (in electronic form).  We also received Gradual (fragment of a manuscript), the legacy of Helga Glušič, a literary historian; the personal archive of comics of Santiago Martin, a translator, proof-reader and illustrator.. Acquisitions also include material by Ciril Zlobec, Angela Piskernik and Simon Gregorčič. The library received as a gift the work of Peter Krizolog Sermones nunc primum in vulgus editi from 1534. We were particularly pleased to receive an extensive archive of painter and illustrator Melita Vovk Štih which comprises portraits of participants in the conferences of the International Writers' Association (PEN) and portraits of Slovenian artists. We are also delighted with obtained musical work of Igor Krivokapič, who, in addition to manuscripts, gave the library his sheet music published abroad.

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Among purchases that last year enriched the library collection is the typescript of the collection Žalostna reka (Sad River) by Anton Vodnik, and Ada Škerl's  letters to Boris Kranjec.The Map Collection obtained the map Schlavonie, Croatie, Carnioe, Istriae Bosnie finitmorumque Regionum Nova Descriptio A. Hirschvogla from the end of the 16th century. The library also purchased the work of Ferrante Pallavicin Vulcani Liebes-Garn from 1669, and the work of Sigmund Friedrich Wartmann Polonia suspirans durch die klagende Königin Polonia auff dem Parnasso Apollini vorgetragen… which was once part of the Auersperg Library. The Pictorial collection acquired 13 posters, 10 portrait photographs by Tihomir Pinter and 11 coloured black-and-white slides from the beginning of the 20th century, which are rarity.

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