Državni arhiv u Rijeci
- The State Archives in Rijeka
+385 (0)51 336 447
The tradition of storing records in public offices for safe keeping has been practiced in Rijeka continuously since the 15th century. However, the systematic activity of gathering, preserving and processing historical archival material only began when the independent institution of the Royal State Archives (R. Archivio di Stato in Fiume) was founded on the 1 September 1926. The royal decree issued on the 6th of December 1928 attested the existence of the Archives in Rijeka, but only as a branch of the Royal State Archives in Trieste. That status and the same name (R. Archivio di Stato – Sezione di Fiume) remained until the end of Italian rule in Rijeka in 1945. In the Yugoslav State, Rijeka was united with the People’s Republic of Croatia, which ended the unnatural separation from her Croatian hinterland. From 1945 until 1947, the archives were run as an independent institution, as Državni Arhiv Rijeka. In February 1948, it became an integral part of the Zagreb State Archives under the name Ispostava Državnog Arhiva u Zagrebu. By the end of 1949, the archives reverted to their former name and status as an independent institution. In 1959, the name was changed to Historijski Arhiv Rijeka and it operated under that name until 1993, when the name changed once again into Povijesni Arhiv Rijeka. Absorbed into the independent Croatian State the Archives, it was been renamed in 1997 as Državni Arhiv u Rijeci, the name which is still in use today.
Throughout its seventy years' long existence, the archives have shared the fate of the town of Rijeka. Its achievements were restricted by specific conditions, in particular by the administrative and practical parameters in which the archives worked. Over time, the sphere of the Archives’ activity has gradually changed. From its foundation until 1945, the archives were active in the Kvarner Region which, in addition to Rijeka and the Liburnian part of Istria, encompassed a substantial part of Slovenian Karst. During the Second World War the scope of the Archives extended over parts of the south-western Croatia annexed by Italy. In the period after 1945 the Archives’ area of activity extended over the whole of Croatian Istria and over the islands of Cres, Lošinj and Krk. When an archival institution was founded in Pazin, in 1958, the Archives in Rijeka was left with a reduced sphere of activity which covered only the eastern, Liburnian part of Istria. The loss of its mandate in these parts was compensated by extension of the area of activity in Primorje (Croatian Littoral) and Gorski Kotar. At that time the Archives encompassed the regional sphere of activity which included the entire area of the Primorsko-Goranska county as well as the city of Senj in the Ličko-Senjska county. Frequent changes of governments in the area over which the competence of the Rijeka Archives extended resulted in closure of a number of administrative, legislative, military, educational and economic organisations, all of which left behind extensive archival material. As a consequence, the size of the archives' holdings increased considerably in a short space of time.
The ever increasing needs of the Archives have demanded a gradual increase of staff. From only three employees at the inception of the Archives the number has grown to twenty presently, among them ten professional archivists with the highest qualifications.
They work within the following departments:
Department for Archival Material, headed by Boris Zakošek, dipl.soc.
Department for Current Records, headed by Zoran Stanković, dipl.iur.
Library and Reading-room, headed by Mladen Urem, prof.
Department for Conservation and Restoration, headed by Iva Gobić Vitolović, prof.
Today the building has a reading room sitting twenty researchers, a small lecture room with forty places and a fine exhibition hall.
Today the Archives supervises more than 20,000 linear metres of current records in the County and in the city of Senj. Inside, there are 6,500 linear meters of archival storage as well as 740 archival collections. The oldest document deposited in the State Archives in Rijeka comes from the year 1201.
The language of the older records is predominantly Latin and Italian; only occasionally Croatian. In the second half of the 19th century German, Hungarian and Croatian languages predominated, while the material from the time of Italian rule (1918-1943) was written in Italian. Roman alphabet was the prevalent script, while the earlier documents were written in a variety of Gothic and Roman scripts. Of particular significance are the documents written in ancient Croatian Glagolitic characters.
Guide for researchers
You can search online (http://www.riarhiv.hr/english/register.asp) by using tables “Classification”, "Title of the collection" and “Name of the creator”. Due to the nature of the Croatian language enter only the root of a word and not the complete word, i.e. Rije, not Rijeka, Opatij not Opatija.
The reading room, which is located in the library, is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The library is also open, with prior announcement, on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The reading room has twenty spaces.