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120 years since the founding of the historical society: “Since then we can talk about scientific Maribor”



The year-long project Let’s go on our own

In 1903, the Historical Society for Slovenian Styria was founded in Maribor, which marked an important turning point for the city. The association represents the first step towards the establishment of a series of institutions that are today the cultural core of the Styrian capital.

Among these cultural institutions is the Maribor Provincial Museum, which launched a project on the occasion of its 120th anniversary Let’s go our own way, which emphasizes their historical ties and collaborations. The start of the project was announced with a round table at which representatives of the now independent cultural institutions – Maribor Provincial Museum, Maribor Provincial Archives, Maribor Art Gallery, Maribor National Liberation Museum, Maribor University Library and Maribor Synagogue Jewish Cultural Heritage Center – as well as Regional Units were gathered. Institute for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Slovenia and Journal of History and Ethnography.

“On May 23, it will be 120 years since the founding of the bilingual Historical Society for Slovenian Styria, which is an important moment in the history of our city, because in the following years and decades, most of the institutions that we have in this city in the field of culture and science,” said the leader of the round table Franci Pivec.

The society was founded by Slovenian educated people in Maribor, and the key figure in this was a historian Franc Kovačič (1867–1939). “He founded a historical society, which was very different from the rest of the societies in the city of that time, in which they mainly cultivated sociability and some culture and charity. It is obvious that Kovačič had in mind an intellectual association that would devote itself to systematic scientific work From then on, we can talk about scientific Maribor, which is a big turning point – the end of provincial Maribor.” he emphasized.

In 1933, the efforts of the Historical Society for Slovenian Styria to formally establish an archive bore fruit. Maribor got the first regional archive, which was also the first independent archive in Slovenia. In February 1954, the Maribor Art Gallery (UGM) opened, giving Maribor the first professional institution dealing with museum-gallery activities in the field of modern art.

The Institute for Monument Protection Maribor was founded in 1959, and in 1999 the Maribor Regional Unit became part of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. The Maribor National Liberation Museum became an independent institution in 1958. The Maribor University Library was created in 1975 from the community library, which today falls under the auspices of the University of Maribor.

In 1954, Maribor got its first professional institution dealing with museum-gallery activity in the field of modern art - Maribor Art Gallery.  Photo: BoBo

Synagogue, the smallest public institution in SloveniaThe Sinagoga Cultural Center opened its doors in April 2001 as a unit of the Maribor Regional Museum, and ten years later it became an independent public institution. According to Marjetka Bedrač, they are the smallest public institution in Slovenia, and also the youngest in the area of ​​the Municipality of Maribor, which is why they cooperate intensively with other institutions in their work. “Given our small size, we can’t even afford not to network.”

The initiative to strengthen contacts between institutes with which they have common beginnings was also welcomed by representatives of other institutions, although various collaborations at both local, national and international levels are also a constant in their work. Today, the methods of financing individual institutes are different, some are completely dependent on the municipality, others are financed by the state, but all have in common the lack of personnel.

Many individuals with significant achievements in their field have graduated from these institutes. Director of the Maribor University Library Dunja Legate she mentioned, among other things Janko Glazer and a pioneer of library process automation Bruno Hartman. Director of UGM Simona Vidmar Čelik among other things, she mentioned their first principal Branka Rudolphwho is the author of the song Fierce antwhose image is now the mascot of the UGM pedagogical program.

Maister's library in the Maribor University Library.  Photo: Radio Maribor/Branimir Ritonja

“It’s hard to imagine what our predecessors had to cope with.”Each generation of professionals had a different job, as times changed drastically, she said Valentina Bevc Varl from the Provincial Museum of Maribor. “It is hard to imagine what our predecessors had to cope with. In one of the records of our first director, Franjo Baša, we can read that after the Second World War, the Maribor castle was without all windows and doors. Thus, their first task was to protect the museum’s material , which had been collected until then,” she said.

Project Let’s go our own way will take place throughout the year. The Provincial Museum of Maribor will prepare an event with each public institution separately, at which both institutions will additionally present themselves and shed light on their common points of operation and cooperation. The project will be accompanied by a virtual exhibition of the same name on the website of the aforementioned museum.

Source: Rtvslo

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