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National and University Library, Ljubljana

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Historical note

By decree of the empress Maria Theresa, issued in 1774, 637 books spared by the fire in the previously dissolved Jesuit college, were transferred to the newly established library of the Ljubljana Lyceum, and intended for public use. Gifts from private, mostly aristocratic libraries were added to the collection, including books from the monasteries dissolved between 1782 and 1790. In 1807, the Library was granted the right to receive legal deposit copies for the Carniola Province. By 1820, the collection had grown to ca. 20,000 volumes covering mainly theology, church history, philosophy, philology, general history, civil and canon law. Less emphasis was put on science, medicine, and arts. After acquiring some major private libraries from learned scholars (e.g. Ziga Zois, Jernej Kopitar, Jurij Japelj), the collection grew substantially in the field of Slavic and South Slavonic philology. Thanks to librarians of that time, especially Matija Èop who systematically collected Slovenian printed materials, the library acted as the national library before this function was finally recognized.

Coverage of the file

The records in the file reflect clearly their origin. The languages represented are mostly German, Latin, and all Slavic languages, including Slovenian. There are some materials in other languages, e.g. in English and in Roman languages (Italian, French) etc.

Mode of cataloguing

The records are derived from the retrospective conversion of the Library's oldest, partly hand-written catalogue which had been compiled following the old German cataloguing rules and Austrian instructions for research libraries. For historical reasons, the language of cataloguing (physical description, notes, subject terms) is German, with exception of a small number of records (695 so far) which were created in a later period, where the language is Slovenian.

Present/absent fields

As a result of retrospective conversion, the records are not fully structured. Title proper and statement of responsibility, edition statement, and sometimes even elements of physical description are all entered in a single field. Imprint elements, on the other hand, are all structured properly, occasionally containing data on printing. Series statements are often part of the notes area and rarely entered in the series field. The notes themselves (in German!) are often detailed, containing information on contents, bibliographic citations and copy-specific notes. The authors' names were made as uniform as possible during the revision process, but without checking the items. The records contain a language code, which is based on the language of the title itself and is not necessarily the language of the text. The country code was added in most records, based on the interpretation of the place-name in the imprint. For some records, very broad subject terms were provided in German, based on the original records. If the record contains a subject term, it also has an equally broad classification number.

Treatment of multivolume publications

Single records are used for multivolume publications.Details on separate volumes are given in the notes.

Recommendations for searching

From the above information, the recommendations for searching can be summarised: search for distinctive words in title will give better results than search for the whole phrase. Words with diacritics may have been transcribed either with a diacritic or with two characters. The place of publication can only be searched in the form as transcribed from the imprint in the publication itself as no uniform place name has been provided; using the country code may be preferred. Search for imprint year should be successful as the precise information has been entered in fixed fields. Use German for searching the subject terms. For authors' names, forms of first name(s) may be abbreviated and it is advisable to truncate the search.

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 resources/hpb/content/national_and_university_library_ljubljana.txt · Last modified: 2013/08/22 16:31 by baldwin



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