On 20 and 21 February 2023, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) will hold its NSK Doors Open Days programme, as a way of announcing the celebration of this year’s National and University Library in Zagreb Day.
Spotlighting the first Croatian printed book and the first book in Europe not printed in Latin but in the Croatian alphabet and language, the programme will again offer the wider public special opportunity to learn more about this and many other treasures preserved in the Library’s collections.
Guided one-hour tours of the Library offered as part of this year’s NSK Doors Open Days programme will be organised at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00 and will include a visit to the Library’s most valuable collections – its Manuscripts and Old Books Collection, Music Collection, Print Collection and Map Collection. All interested in making the tour have to apply by emailing the Library’s Information Centre or contacting its staff on (0)1 6164 040.
Apart from displaying the oldest Croatian printed book as the Library’s greatest treasure, the 540th anniversary of whose publication the Library is also celebrating this year, the Manuscripts and Old Books Collection will take its visitors on a journey across 17th– and 18th-century Croatia and southern Europe, showcasing valuable material from that period.
The Library’s Music Collection will display the manuscripts of notable Croatian composers, including the score of the first Croatian opera (Ljubav i zloba (Love and Malice), written between 1843-45, premiered in 1846), along with selected items from its 78 rpm shellac discs collection which the visitors will be able to listen to in the Collection’s listening booths.
While the Library’s Map Collection will present its 19th– and 20th-century maps of Zagreb, the Print Collection, along with its other valuable items, will put on display one of the most valuable and comprehensive collections in the world of original drawings by the world-famous Austrian baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, whose 1721 work A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture (Entwurf einer historischen Architektur), the first successful comparative study of architecture, included a drawing with the first detailed reconstruction of the Palace of Diocletian, an architectural gem of the Croatian coast.
The staff of the Library’s Preservation and Storage Department will introduce the visitors to the fascinating world of restoration and conservation and present their work in greater detail as part of a workshop programme entitled Inside the World of Printmaking (U svijetu grafike). Apart from being able to learn more about how the Library’s valuable heritage is preserved, the workshop participants will try their hand at printmaking. The one-hour workshops will start at 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00.
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