Facsimile edition of first Croatian printed book and first book in Europe not printed in Latin script presented

Objavljeno 21.2.2023.

On 20 February 2023, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) hosted the presentation of the 2022 facsimile edition, published as result of the cooperation between the Old Church Slavonic Institute, Chakavian Assembly in Roč, the Mozaik knjiga publishing company and the Library, of the first Croatian printed book and the first book in Europe not printed in the Latin alphabet. Prompted by the 540th anniversary of the printing of the historic work, the one-year long joint undertaking included the preparation of the first Latin transliteration of the book’s text, originally written in the Croatian Glagolitic script.

After the welcome address by the Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević, the valuable publication and its preparation was presented in greater detail by the facsimile edition’s editors Director of the Old Church Slavonic Institute Dr Vida Vukoja and Research Associate at the Institute Dr Josip Galić, Head of the Library’s Manuscripts and Old Books Collection Dr Irena Galić Bešker, Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Mateo Žagar and the Glagolitic tradition expert and retired university professor Frane Paro. After their presentation, the Croatian Minister of Culture and Media Dr Nina Obuljen Koržinek briefly addressed the programme attendees emphasising the publication’s immense significance for the preservation and popularisation of Croatia’s cultural heritage.

The historic work, ‘Missal by the Law of the Roman Court’ (Misal po zakonu rimskoga dvora), was published in 1483, only 28 years after the completion of the Gutenberg Bible, and represents a cornerstone of Croatian both national and cultural identity. The presentation of its valuable, 2022 facsimile edition also announced this year’s programme of the celebration of the National and University Library in Zagreb Day, marked on the date of the missal’s printing, 22 February, which has since 2019 also been celebrated as the Croatian Glagolitic Script Day.