Anniversary of the publication of the first piece of newspaper news in the Croatian language

Objavljeno 11.7.2014.

The first issue of the oldest Croatian newspaper Kraljski Dalmatin – Il Regio Dalmata came out on 12 July 1806. This Croatian-Italian administrative and political weekly, the official newspaper of the French administration in Dalmatia, was issued in Zadar, every Saturday, from 1806 to 1810, and it represents one of the breakthroughs in the history of the Croatian language. Italian and Croatian articles were arranged in two parallel columns. It was edited by B. Benincasa, I. Kreljanović, and N. Budrović, while the Franciscan Paško Jukić and Dominican Dominik Budrović wrote Croatian translations.

In the history of Croatian journalism Kraljski Dalmatin stands out as the first newspaper which published the first newspaper notice in the Croatian language, first newspaper book review, and is associated with the work of the first Croatian journalist who wrote in his mother tongue, Nikola Dominik Budrović.

With the period of Napoleon’s rule at the beginning of the 19th century Croatian regions came under the influence of liberal civil and national ideas and the related shifts in the use of the Croatian language. Owing to its Croatian content, Kraljski Dalmatin was widely read among the prevailing Croatian population in the region and its publication may be considered the beginning of the Croatian national revival in Dalmatia.

Kraljski Dalmatin brought articles covering themes from various fields such as demography, economy, politics, law, legislation, history and its related studies, religion, cultural history, education, health and social care, military issues, trades and crafts, agriculture, forestry, traffic, commerce, etc., and thus it may rightly be said that its informative and educative value in Dalmatia of that time was immense.

In 2006, marking the 200th anniversary of Kraljski Dalmatin, the National and University Library in Zagreb, Zagreb-based publishing company Erasmus naklada and the University of Zadar together launched a joint project aimed at the publication of the five-volume reprint of Kraljski Dalmatin. The project ended in 2011 with the publication of the last, fifth, volume on Kraljski Dalmatin.

The reprint of Kraljski Dalmatin has made the first Croatian newspaper available to every interested reader and brought this culturally valuable publication and its content closer to the general public.

The collection of the original issues of this ground-breaking newspaper is preserved at the National and University Library in Zagreb, while all its digitised issues are available on the Portal of digitized Croatian historic newspapers and journals.