NSK exhibition spotlighting Croatian Glagolitic heritage as part of Croatian Book Month 2018
On 6 November 2018, the National and University Library in Zagreb will host the opening of Croatian Glagolitic Heritage, the Library’s exhibition featuring the highlights of the Croatian Glagolitic tradition, which epitomises one of the most significant periods in the history of Croatia’s culture and whose legacy includes some of the greatest national treasures. The exhibition, which will be held under the slogan Proud to letter it in Glagolitic and remain on view until 15 December, is organised as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage programme and will present this remarkable old alphabet from the perspective of its historical development, typography, its cultural impact and contemporary use.
The oldest Croatian epigraphic monuments and thousands of pages of the most valuable books and documents written in Glagolitic bear evidence to a long and uninterrupted development of Croatian culture, which not only embraced the Glagolitic alphabet, but transformed it into a new, completely original writing system known as Angular, or Croatian, Glagolitic.
Throughout centuries, this brand new and markedly Croatian form of the Glagolitic alphabet has become one of the central symbols of the Croatian cultural identity. Such elevated status of Angular Glagolitic rests on the hardworking hands of stonemasons, weary eyes of scribes, zeal of Glagolitic priests, skills of Croatia’s oldest master printers, dedication of researchers, and the creativity and vision of enthusiastic individuals working in the creative industries.
Based on the knowledge of prominent Croatian researchers and specialist in the field of written heritage and its own rich collection of works belonging to the Croatian Glagolitic tradition, the Library will use modern technologies to present Glagolitic through several thematic units, ranging from various theories of the origin of Glagolitic, its geographical distribution, through Glagolitic scribes, chants and monuments, to the most representative Glagolitic manuscripts and printed books, and the modern use of the Glagolitic alphabet in communication, economy, culture and public life.
The exhibition represents the peak of the Library’s 2018 initiative focusing on the promotion of the oldest Croatian alphabet organised as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The initiative started with a campaign for the declaration of 22 February, which is already celebrated as the National and University Library in Zagreb Day, as the Croatian Glagolitic Day. It continued with the presentation of the first phase of the Library’s Croatian Glagolitic Heritage project and the related Glagoljica.hr online portal, and subsequently included a number of other public events, lectures and exhibitions.
The Croatian Glagolitic Heritage exhibition was organised with the aim of bringing greater public attention to the need for keeping alive and using this old alphabet in modern contexts, strengthening institutional cooperation focusing on its preservation and tirelessly promoting this guardian of the Croatian national identity and culture and its very backbone at the same time.
The exhibition, which is funded by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, will be held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Government of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Parliament and the City of Zagreb. Also, it will be held as part of Croatian Book Month, Croatia’s annual national programme aimed at the promotion of books and reading with a tradition of more than twenty years, which opened on 15 October 2018 at the Library of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and will be taking place until 15 November 2018.