NSK virtual exhibition: “Sacred Tongue of My Predecessors: Croatian-Bulgarian Parallels”

Objavljeno 31.1.2017.

The National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) has put on Sacred Tongue of My Predecessors: Croatian-Bulgarian Parallels, a virtual exhibition featured as an online sequel to the Library’s exhibition that was held as part of the 2015 Croatian Book Month programme as a result of the Library’s collaboration with the Embassy of Bulgaria in Croatia and Croatian-Bulgarian Friendship Association in Zagreb.

The purpose of the 2015 exhibition was to show that Bulgaria and Bulgarians have long been present in Croatian literature through issues and circumstances common to both countries and nations and its virtual counterpart similarly gives an overview on these two-way cultural relations since their beginnings to this day. The exhibition’s title features the opening verse from Bălgarskiyat ezik or The Bulgarian Language, a poem by the most famous and translated Bulgarian poet Ivan Vazov (1850-1921), and its content vividly presents the strong bond connecting these two peoples and countries – the bond that can first be detected in old Glagolitic texts and then easily be traced all the way to the contemporary writings of both cultures, with clear evidence of its intensification over the last one hundred years.

The 2015 exhibition was prepared by a team of academics and specialists which included President of Croatian-Bulgarian Friendship Association and Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Josip Bratulić, literary translator for Bulgarian Ksenija Banović and Sonja Martinović, a librarian at the NSK Central Reference Service, while the idea on the its online counterpart met with special support from Ms Tanya Dimitrova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Croatia.

The virtual exhibition has been produced as part of the Library’s regular digitisation programme and a homonymous project funded by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. The project focused on the digitisation of bibliographically independent works such as books, manuscripts, printed music, postcards, maps and panoramas, and included more than 800 individual documents, e.g. title pages, newspaper articles, photographs and letters from the Library’s general holdings as well as its four special collections – Manuscripts and Old Books Collection, Map Collection, Music Collection and Print Collection. All resources digitised as part of this project are also available as part of the NSK Digital Collections portal.

The content of this virtual exhibition mostly relies on texts by Professor at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Rumjana Božilova, Vice-President of the Central Croatian Cultural and Publishing Society (Matica hrvatska) Stjepan Sučić and Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Josip Bratulić. The exhibition also draws on texts of other authors such as (listed in alphabetical order) Ksenija Banović, Krešimir Belošević, Diana Glasnova, Raško Ivanov, Hrvoje Japirko, Vjekoslava Jurdana, Damir Karbić, Tihana Luetić, Sanja Majer Bobetko, Tatjana Mihalić, Hrvojka Mihanović Salopek, Nikolina Penava, Antonija Raguž and Ana Vasung.

The NSK team working on the preparation of this virtual exhibition during 2016 included members of several departments and sections of the Library whose joint efforts were coordinated by the NSK Croatian Digital Library Development Division.

The National and University Library in Zagreb wishes to express its gratitude to all authors who readily gave permission for their works to be used in the preparation of this virtual exhibition and Ms Diana Glasnova in particular for the provided photographs.