Državni arhiv u Rijeci
- The State Archives in Rijeka
Tradition of safe keeping of records in public offices has been practiced in Rijeka continuously since the 15th century. However, the systematic activity of gathering, keeping and processing historical archival material began only when the independent institution of the Royal State Archives (R. Archivio di Stato in Fiume) was founded on the 1st of September 1926. 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) has remained until the year 1945; until the end of the Italian rule in Rijeka. 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 was 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 former name and status of an independent institution had been returned. From 1959 the name was changed to Historijski Arhiv Rijeka, and under that name it operated until 1993, when the name changed into Povijesni Arhiv Rijeka. In the independent Croatian State the Archives has been renamed in 1997 into Državni Arhiv u Rijeci, the name which is used today.
Geographical and Cultural Context
In its seventy years long existence the Archives has been sharing the destiny 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. Congruently with the latter, the sphere of the Archives’ activity has been changing. From its foundation until 1945 the archives was 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 the Archives was founded in Pazin, in 1958, the Archives in Rijeka was left with reduced sphere of activity which covered only the eastern, Liburnian part of Istria. Loss of 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 has encompassed the regional sphere of activity which includes today 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 extinction of a number of administrative, legislative, military, educational and economic organizations, which left behind very extensive archival material. It is, therefore, characteristic for this institution the speed by which the quantity of the archival material has been increased, so that since the foundation of the Archive the length of archival storage has increased tenfold.
The language of the older records was 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. The ever increasing needs of the Archives demanded 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.
Today the building has a reading room sitting twenty researchers, a small lecture room with forty places and a fine exhibition hall.
Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication
Guide for researchers
You can search online (http://www.riarhiv.hr/english/register.asp) by using tables “Clasification”, "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.
Open for public every day from 8AM till 1PM, Wednesdays with a prior announcement from 3PM till 6PM. Closed on Saturdays/ Sundays.