Žiga Zois Library
VOLUME: 2296 titles in 5000 issues (approximately)
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The Žiga Zois Library was the most up-to-date private library in Slovenia at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century. The owner bought most of his books between his twenties and fifties, but towards the end of his life his purchases gradually diminished due to his money problems. The library was stored in specially designed bookcases on the second floor of his Breg palace in Ljubljana. During various periods, the libray was administered by the Baron's secretaries Blaž Kumerdej, Jožef Schober, Jernej Kopitar and Jakob Zupan. Bibliographic records were made in 1782, 1804 and 1821. The collection of Slovenian, Slavic and Slavistics books and manuscripts (1797, 1810) was separately inventoried. In 1823, the majority of the library was purchased by the state for 7000 goldinars for the Ljubljana Lyceum Library. In the National and University Library, 2296 titles in some 5000 volumes are now identified.
Zois searched for and bought the books himself, with the support of his acquaintances, correspondents and colleagues, such as Kopitar in Vienna. His most frequent suppliers were publishers and booksellers from Ljubljana and Vienna, among them were William Henrik Korn, Christian Friedrich Wappler and Carl Ferdinand Beck. He also ordered books from Italy, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. He acquired Some of them from the bequests of A.T. Linhart and of Jurij Japelj. Zois also bought books on auctions from dissolved Carniolan monasteries and from various private collections. He engaged farmers Anton Gubanc and Anton Korbič to seek older Slovenian books. Many correspondents engaged in natural sciences and Slavistics donated him their books.
The Zois Collection consists mainly of works on natural sciences, mostly on mineralogy, geology, botany, zoology and chemistry, but also on physics and astronomy, and of applied sciences such as mining, metallurgy, agriculture and engineering. History, linguistics and geography are well represented, and also a comprehensive collection of natural history travelogues. The collection also includes some fiction, philosophical, political, theological and art historical works. A special collection consists of Slovenian, Slavic and Slavistics books and manuscripts. Almost half of the books are in German, the others are in Latin, French, English, Slovenian, Italian and in various Slavic languages.books