The Trubar Award

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Among the many tasks performed by the National and University Library, it is principally to care for the material that constitutes the Slovenian written cultural heritage, and makes part of the identity of the Slovenian nation - it guarantees the availability of materials for study and research, which promote the scientific, cultural and artistic production of tomorrow.

We are very pleased that we are not alone in preserving the written cultural heritage of the Slovenian nation. We are grateful to all individuals and organizations who help us collect, preserve and promote the heritage. Therefore, since 2008 Trubar Prize has been awarded for important contributions to the preservation of the national written cultural heritage. It is given to individuals or legal entities who have made a significant contribution, or have important merits for the protection and preservation of the national written cultural heritage. The award is in the form of a diploma, and can only be received once. It is given by a special commission, which collects initiatives on the basis of a public tender.

The 2022 Trubar award is granted to akad. prof. dr Janko Kos and Slovenska matica.


Academician Professor Dr Janko Kos (Trubar Award for 2022)

Literary historian and theoretician Professor Dr Janko Kos, a long-time professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, and a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, is one of the founders of the comparative literature in Slovenia. An important part of his rich and long scholarly oeuvre is based on research of manuscripts of Žiga Zois, Valentin Vodnik, France Prešeren, Matija Čop, Ivan Cankar and of other Slovenian writers, which are kept in the Manuscript Collection of the National and University Library.

Janko Kos began studying France Prešeren as early as in the 1960s. In 1965 and 1966, he published Prešeren's collected works with an extensive critical corpus and wrote a monograph on his poetic development. In 1969, he completed his doctorate under Anton Ocvirk with a thesis on Prešeren and the European Romanticism, in which he outlined the poet's literary vision and described the influences of German, English and Slavic Romanticism on his poetic oeuvre. Later, he dedicated to Prešeren two books Neznani Prešeren (Unknown Prešeren), 1994 and Prešeren in krščanstvo (Prešeren and Christianity), 2002. In addition to Prešeren's poems, he published in scientific-critical editions the letters and works of Matija Čop, the collected works of Valentin Vodnik and eight volumes of Ivan Cankar's collected works, in particular short prose and the novels Na klancu (On the slope) and Hiša Marije Pomočnice (The ward of our Lady of Mercy). On the basis of these studies he wrote monographs on Vodnik, Čop and Cankar. He included his findings in other surveys, including Romantika (Romanticism), Razsvetljenstvo (Enlightenment) and the monumental Primerjalna zgodovina slovenske literature (Comparative History of Slovenian Literature).

The scientific and editorial work of Janko Kos, dedicated to Slovenian poets and writers, whose legacies are largely kept by the National and University Library, is an outstanding and lasting contribution to the preservation and presentation of the national written cultural heritage, thus Janko Kos deserves the Trubar Award.


Slovenska matica (The Slovenian Matica, Trubar Award for 2022)

The cooperation between the National and University Library and The Slovenian Matica has a long and content-rich history. Both institutions are among the oldest cultural institutions in the Slovenian territory. We are pleased that the noble tradition of caring for Slovenian culture continues, and that the missions of the two institutions are intertwined and complementary nowadays as well.

It was the Slovenian Matica, besides the Study (former Lyceum) Library, the predecessor of NUK, that began to collect written cultural heritage and manuscripts of Slovenian writers. Shortly after the founding of the Slovenian Matica in 1864, its first secretary was Fran Levstik, who was later appointed scriptor of the Study Library.

In agreement with Janez Bleiweis, the "father of the nation" and later president of the Slovenian Matica, Levstik set himself an important goal: he began editing and publishing selected works of Slovenian writers, Valentin Vodnik in 1869. In 1870, the Slovenian Matica published the works of Jovan Vesel Koseski, and afterwards Štrekelj's Slovenian Folk Songs in four volumes. In the mid-1920s, a large part of this manuscript material was moved to the NUK Manuscript Collection as a gift of the Slovenian Matica.

At the beginning of 2014, NUK took over the extensive publishing archive from the period 1945-2001 at the Matica initiative whose secretary at the time was Drago Jančar. In 2014, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Slovenian Matica, an exhibition at NUK presented the overall activities of the institution from its very beginnings onwards, highlighting the manuscript and documentary material acquired from Matica. The publishing archive of the Slovenian Matica, comprising a total of ten linear metres of material, is already well organised, fully catalogued and properly stored in special acid-free folders. As a testimony to the varied publishing activities and an important historical resource it has been used for research on Slovenian culture in the 20th century. The above-mentioned material has recently been supplemented by nine boxes of new material from the archives of the Slovenian Matica - the latter is not fully organized yet, but it contains some outstanding treasures of the Slovenian word, including four volumes of manuscripts on the toponymy of Styria written by the bishop and literary scholar Anton Martin Slomšek, and a preserved manuscript of the novel Novo življenje (The New Life) written by Ivan Cankar,  the most important Slovenian writer. In 1908, the novel was published in book form by the Slovenian Matica publishing house. The archive also contains interesting correspondence signed by the presidents and active members of the Slovenian Matica, from Janez Bleiweis to Ivan Grafenauer, as well as a rich literary legacy of the Carinthian poet Fran Eller, and a number of original typescripts in the field of literature and the Slovenian cultural history. These include novels from the modernist period, as well as numerous scholarly treatises and translations of classical philosophical works. Working together makes the world a better place, enriching us both, humanly and intellectually.

With this final thought and by conferring the Trubar Award the Slovenian Matica, the National and University Library would like to thank the Matica for its significant and permanent contribution to the preservation and protection of the Slovenian written cultural heritage.


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