Valuable legacy of Antun Vučetić donated to Dubrovnik Archives

Lauren Simmonds

The Dubrovnik archives welcome an invaluable, historical addition…

Dubrovnik’s cultural institutions have recently become richer for valuable archival material belonging to famed historian, pedagogue and journalist Antun Vucetic (1845-1931).

As DuList reports on the 22nd of June, 2017, Vucetic’s successors donated the manuscript legacy and library of the Dubrovnik scientist to the Dubrovnik Archives.

As one of the most important intellectuals in Dubrovnik at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with several decades of dedicated work in the fields of science and education, Antun Vucetic expertly dealt with a very wide variety of topics, on a broad spectrum. The most famous are his works from 17th century Dubrovnik history, especially from the period before and after the Great Earthquake that devastated the city and wiped out the majority of its population (5,000 people) back in 1667.

He also published a series of smaller articles on individual events and people from Dubrovnik’s past as well as several valuable discussions on the theme of pedagogy. Vucetic was also engaged in numerous societies in Dubrovnik of his time: the Dubrovnik Workers’ Society, Dubrovnik Promotion Society (DUB), the Dubrovnik Branch of the Civil Servants and Employees Association, and he was also one of the founders and President of the Dubrovnik based Society of Sv. Vlaho (Saint Blaise) (1923), which was founded for the purpose of studying and popularising Dubrovnik’s vast and colourful history.

After completing his education at Dubrovnik’s high school, which was then conducted by the Jesuits (1863), Antun Vucetic graduated in history and geography (1867) at the University of Vienna, Austria, eventually becoming a professor at the Dubrovnik Gymnasium. Despite an eight-year break during the time when he was a provincial school inspector in the Dalmatian capital of Split, he remained a professor in Dubrovnik until his retirement in 1903. He was then editor-in-chief of Srdj (1904-1908), the most important cultural journal in Dubrovnik of the time.

After the First World War, he was appointed the first director of the Independent State Archives in Dubrovnik (1921-1924). He played a key role in organising the work and the arrangement of Dubrovnik’s archives (which was then on the ground floor of the Rector’s Palace), especially after the return of archive documents that had ended up in Austria during the war.

Most of this truly priceless donation was awarded to the State Archives in Dubrovnik and consists of a library of almost 600 books, mostly from Dubrovnik’s history and literature, followed by a large number of Vucetic’s manuscripts, notes, prints, and parts of his correspondence and private photographs.

The Archives of the Diocese of Dubrovnik have been given several manuscripts and printed prayer books, collections and books of religious content, as well as several original archive documents, among which two incredible pieces are on parchment from the 15th and 16th centuries are highlighted.

Immediately after Vucetic’s death, the intention of his successors was to donate his library and manuscript legacy to the Dubrovnik institutions, however, an eye-watering 85 year wait for various processes to go through took place.


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