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 2021 Trubar award is granted to Dr Janez Šumrada in Dr Miran Košuta.
Dr Janez Šumrada is a renowned scholar of one of the key periods in the historical development of Slovenes from a people to a nation, the period from the 18th to the 19th century. He has been intensively studying this milestone time of the Slovenian language and culture for more than three decades, from drafting of his doctoral thesis, based on a study of archives in foreign and national libraries. He is mostly interested in researching new, unknown and less exploited resources that present findings in a new historical perspective. A significant part of Dr Šumrada's studies focuses on the material held in the collections of the National and University Library, especially on the legacy of Slavicist Janez Nepomuk Primic. In addition to the treatises published in scholarly journals in Slovenian and German several years ago, a critical textual edition of the Primic’s manuscript Listi (Letters) sent in 1809 amongst the Roman and French Imperial Courts has recently been published; the manuscript is kept in the Manuscript Collection of the National Library of Slovenia. If Primic translations of diplomatic texts had been published at that time, they would have made an important contribution to the development of a professional language and to the integration of the Slovenian territory into a with wider European society. Dr Šumrada has complemented the translation with an extensive supporting study, a glossary of unknown and little-known terms, and a critical apparatus. He published his study last year in a comprehensive monograph entitled Rojevanje slovenskega diplomatskega jezika: Janez Nepomuk Primic in njegovi Listi / The birth of the Slovenian diplomatic language: Janez Nepomuk Primic and his Lists (Mohorjeva družba, Celovec, 2021). As Primic had translated from the German edition of 1808, Dr Šumrada donated his personal copy of this text to the National and University Library after completing his research.
Dr Miran Košuta is a literary historian, critic, translator, essayist and full professor at the University of Trieste. As great connoisseur of circumstances, his remarkably comprehensive and varied scientific work focuses with a special affection and sensitivity on Slovenian authors living beyond Slovenia's borders (Vladimir Bartol, Boris Pahor, Alojz Rebula, Stanko Vuk). He is committed to fulfil his mission in the field of intercultural dialogue and cooperation with the Italian culture, too. Recently, his translation of Prešeren's poems has been published, and for many years he has been working as editor on collected Vladimir Bartol’s works, especially his post-war short fiction works published in the Ljubljana and Trieste newspapers. The most important source for this research was Bartol's literary legacy, held in the Manuscript Collection of the National and University Library in Ljubljana. Dr Košuta is also endeavouring to establish contacts between the Svevo/Joyce Literary Museum in Trieste and the National and University Library. As a result of the cooperation, the permanent exhibition of important Slovenian contribution to Trieste's literary past is to be displayed for the first time ever in the new building and renovated exhibition spaces of the Trieste Museum. With his articles, Dr Košuta contributed to the Slovenian Writers' Association project the Slovene Writers’ Path (SWP), which aims to introduce Slovenian literature to a wider public, primarily young people. Dr Miran Košuta merits the Trubar Award for his significant contributions to the national written cultural heritage and its scientific promotion out of the country, in the homeland and in the international environment.
We congratulate and thank the awardees for their contribution to the preservation of the national written cultural heritage!