Documentary Collection II contains materials that illustrate various phenomena, events, ideas, people and the diverse aspects of their public and private lives in Croatia from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. In this vein, it contains documents from political institutions and parties and military, social/humanitarian, cultural/educational and other organizations and institutions. Additionally, the collection safeguards personal testimonies on distinguished individuals or even ordinary “little” people, who participated in public life during this period in various ways.
However, given the time and manner of its establishment, the core of the collection consists of materials pertaining to the Second World War, a smaller part gathered during the war within the framework of the War Museum and the Archives of the Independent State of Croatia, but mostly after the war after the establishment of the Museum of National Liberation, later the Museum of the People's Liberation of Croatia (better known under its Croatian acronym, MRNH). Henceforth, and until 1990, twentieth-century historical and contemporary documents and periodicals were gathered within the framework of three of its collections. Documentary Collection II emerged upon the integration of the majority of these three collections of the former MRNH into the new Croatian History Museum, as follows:
(a) Documents and Seals Collection – whence seals and maps were first taken (in order to be incorporated into the existing collection of the former Historical Museum of Croatia), followed by charters and certificates of conferral of honours, as well as some of the numismatic materials
(b) Collection of Printed Matter – which was integrated into the new collection virtually in its entirety, with the exception of (relatively few) numismatic specimens that were set aside
(c) Socialist Development Collection – with the exception of three-dimensional objects, charters on conferral of honours and numismatics (which were also attached to individual collections of the former Historical Museum of Croatia).
Thanks to the Museum’s broadly-defined conception and its specific features, this integrated collection of documentary materials even today gathers the relevant historical documents and press of the twentieth century and more recent years with relative ease, and, logically, grows much faster in quantitative terms than the other museum collections. The Croatian History Museum’s Documentary Collection II constitutes a complex inventory of documentary materials which may be systemized into three basic substantial/formal categories:
I. thematic units/archival-type collections, such as, for example, World War II concentration camps (Jasenovac, Mauthausen, etc.), the Social Policy Department of the Territorial Antifascist Council of Croatia’s National Liberation (known better by its Croatian acronym ZAVNOH), participants in the Spanish Civil War (police file cards ), El Shatt, the Croatian refugee camp, 1944-46, socialist system institutions (trade unions, Socialist Working People’s Alliance, young pioneer, youth and women’s organizations, the Communist Party of Croatia), democratic elections in the Republic of Croatia from 1990 onward, the Homeland War in Croatia from 1991 to 1995, etc.
II. various (sub-)collections of manuscripts, printed and documentary materials with an illustrative character: postcards (picture postcards, greeting cards, blank correspondence cards), posters, fliers and banners, calendars, paper insignia (badges) and various types of printed matter (news periodicals from the early twentieth century, the interwar period, wartime Partisan and Ustasha press, news periodicals from the socialist period); pocket newspapers (from the Second World War period), wall-mounted newspapers, personal identification documents (passes, certificates, diplomas, membership cards), etc.
III. bequests from various private institutions and institutional donors, such as, for example: Milivoj Jambrišak, Hrvoje Macanović (tied to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp materials), Vesna and Franjo Javoršek, Martin Sudar, etc.
Dubravka Peić Čaldarović, Ph.D., Museum Advisor