The Documentation Department of the Croatian History Museum started operating in 2004, when the first documentalist was hired, thus beginning the systematic collection and processing of (secondary) museum documentation. However, part of the documentary material, especially those related to exhibitions, has been collected before and testifies to the rich activity of the Museum through more than 170 years of its history.
All professional staff participates in the creation of both primary and secondary documentation. The role of the documentalist is to collect, process, classify and store the documentation for the purpose of safe keeping and reusability. Textual and audio-visual documentary material related to the activities of individuals, groups, institutions in the field of Croatian history and the history of the Museum is collected, processed and presented. This material is then stored in several documentary collections: exhibition activities, publishing, clippings file, audio-visual funds, etc. During its long existence, the Croatian History Museum has organized more than 600 exhibitions, documented with photographs and echoes in media. Publications, invitations and working material created during the preparation of exhibitions or similar events are stored in the documentation collections of the Department. The material collected while preparing exhibitions that deals with individual historical events is the most valuable part of the documentation, and the exhibition activity is the main activity of the museum as an elementary form of presentation of material and communication with users. At the same time, the diversity of the funds provides an insight into the extensive museum activity of the Croatian History Museum. The material is gradually professionally processed, digitized and catalogued in order to meet the needs of all users. The rich museum documentation is used by experts of various profiles in Croatia and abroad, both for the needs of professional and scientific interpretation of certain topics, and for the purposes of presentation or publication.
Jelena Balog Vojak, Museum Advisor
The IT department was formed in 1998, when the first museum IT specialist was employed, and in 2004 it has been merged with the Documentation department. Information technology has been present in museums around the world since the second half of the 1960s. Early use of computers was limited to the processes of automating museum documentation and collection management, and the development of documentation standards. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine working in a museum without a personal computer and accompanying collections management software. The museum is no longer perceived only as a building but also as a process and an experience. In accordance with modern world theory and practice of digital heritage production, we consider the Museum, today and in the future, as an information and media museum, which communicates content in different perceptual modalities, for different groups of users.
Zdenka Šinkić, Senior IT Specialist