Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral

Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeka

The Collection of Books and Periodicals

Head: Tamara Mataija, curator

The Collection of Books and Periodicals contains 1,173 items – books, textbooks and periodical editions. In accordance with the museum’s mission, the collection collects rare, valuable and old editions, printed editions by local printers or thematically connected with the region of the museum’s activity (Primorje-Gorski Kotar County), the works of local writers, local periodical editions, local tourist guides and textbooks.
Old editions are currently represented by forty titles, printed in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The rare editions include books such as Rieger’s representation of the coastline from 1893 and A Fiumei kikoto book about Rijeka’s port printed in Budapest, Hungary in 1842. Local publications are represented by books printed in Rijeka’s (Karletzky, Emidio Mohovich family) and the Sušak (Primorska tiskara) printers, and testify to local printing and publishing activities. The collection includes editions thematically connected to the area of the activity of the museum such as the publications of local artisans, merchants, important businesses and other local societies. They are printed as periodicals or as advertising brochures. Local tourist guides gathered in the collection, printed in various languages depending on the target of the tourist market, speak of the significance and the development of tourism in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County region. The local daily press testifies to the daily political turmoil, and it is especially interesting also due to the ethnic structure of the population at the turn of the 19th – 20th century when the newspapers in Rijeka were published in five languages. Local periodical publications which were published weekly, monthly or occasionally, and printed in Rijeka or thematically connected with Primorje-Gorski Kotar County region have been gathered in the collection, as well as periodical publications for school children such as Galeb (The Seagull) which was published in the 60s or its counterpart Il pioniere in Italian. A special section of the collection is made up of textbooks which were used in Rijeka’s and Sušak’s schools.
The visible physical components of the books such as types of paper, method of printing, the form of letters, the binding, the decorative covers and so on convey a series of new information (e.g. the circumstances of printing, the owners of the book, the methods of use) which surpass the contents, and thereby they document certain periods of time in the sense of technological achievements, the existence of printers, the general socio-political situation, economic development, levels of education of the population and so on. In the context of the museum a book is a document of time as well as the other items in the museum, and so also a transmitter of a range of information from the past which contribute to its overall consideration.
The items are preserved in the storeroom of book materials protected by acid-free materials in controlled micro-climate conditions. In terms of protection gradual digitisation is being carried out on the collection in order to enable its access and use to a wider circle of users.