Publication of the Service

The printed word has always been useful for the guardians of cultural heritage. This was also understood in the Habsburg Empire, when the first rules and instructions for the work of the Central Commission were published. The Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia and similar papers which are essential elements of the INDOK Centre library collections are distant successors to its official publications.

Until the First World War, conservators and honorary conservators conscientiously published their professional findings on heritage and reports on their work in variously titled Mitteilungen, in the reports of the professional association and museum experts, and in Mittheilungen der k.k. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale from 1865 until the end of the First World War. The first topographies (A. Stegenšek: 1905, 1909) and terminological manuals (J. Flis, 1885) were issued.

In the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, reports on monuments were published in the Zbornik za umetnostno zgodovino (Art History Journal). The first issue was published in 1921, the last in 1994. France Mesesnel ensured that two reports on monument protection in the nineteen-forties were even published as offprints. The self-confidence of the new Yugoslavia and independent handling of heritage encouraged the publication of a new journal in 1948: Varstvo spomenikov (Monument Protection). Theoretical papers, reports on monument renovations and other news were issued annually in a richly illustrated format. Special studies were published in the Vestnik (Gazette) series. An independent journal Varstvo narave (Nature Protection) was first issued in 1962 by nature protectionists. Their experience was used to publish the Inventory of the most important natural heritage in Slovenia in 1976 and comprehensive overviews in 1988 and 1991.

The first comprehensive book to provide an overview of Slovenia’s art heritage, based mainly on field surveys in the locations that were accessible at that time, was Stele’s Oris zgodovine umetnosti pri Slovencih (Description of the Art History of the Slovenians) published in 1923. His starting point was later adopted by further overviews, e.g. the Ars Sloveniae series of volumes. Within stylistic frameworks, these books filled the gaps in understanding of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture and sculpture. A new contribution to the development of general knowledge was the Encyclopaedia of Slovenia, which could not have been published without the prior field work done by all types of conservators.

A new type of heritage promotion enabled the publication of Cultural and Natural Monuments of Slovenia series in 1965. Helena Menaše and Iva Mikl Curk distinguished themselves as the editors. The texts for publications were, and still are, usually written by experts at institutes and museums. Excluding reprints, the list contains 215 books. The first volume, on Triglav National Park, was by Stane Peterlin, and the latest by Ksenija Rozman in 2012 on St. John’s Church in Bohinj. European countries envy us a series of luxurious travel guides which since Slovenian independence have accompanied the European cultural heritage days in the autumn in a series entitled Po poteh kulturne dediščine (Following the path of cultural heritage). They present a particular representative or neglected chapters of cultural heritage.

Gojko Zupan