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ABOUT THE ARCHIVES

 

The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia (»the Archives«) is situated in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Its headquarters are located at Gruber Palace, the construction of which was begun in 1773 by the Jesuit Gabriel Gruber, who also designed a well-known drainage canal to draw off flood waters from the Ljubljana Marshlands. The Palace was originally intended to house the School of Hydraulics and Mechanics. From 1809 to 1813, during the period of the Illyrian Provinces, a new southern wing was built, destroying the baroque symmetry of the facade. In the second half of the 19th century, Virant House on the northern side and the south-eastern wing were added; the latter was completely renovated in the 1970s, creating a triangular courtyard.

 

Gruber Palace is a precious monument of art history. The stairwell and the rooms filled with paintings and stucco decorations, the private chapel with paintings by Kremser-Schmidt, and a fresco by Herrlein adorning the dome above the stairwell, are fine examples of the bourgeois Baroque style of the last quarter of the 18th century. The atmosphere is completed by paintings in the reading room dating back to the first half of the 19th century.

 

Apart from Gruber Palace, the Archives has six other branches: in Ljubljana (at 1 Kongresni trg, 5 Cankarjeva cesta, 48 Dunajska cesta and 12 Leskoškova cesta), and in Gotenica and Borovec in the Kočevje region.

 

Individuals and groups can make an appointment to visit the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, its records, and Gruber Palace with its sights every weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

The beginnings of the Archives as an institution date back to 1859, when the Carniolan Historical Society proposed the establishment of a provincial archive. Before that time, archival material was collected and described by various institutions, associations and individuals. Once the construction of the former Carniolan Provincial Museum (the present-day National Museum) in Ljubljana was completed in 1887, all archival material collected to that date was stored under its roof. Originally, the Archives was part of the Provincial Museum. In 1926, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the State Archives was officially established, although it continued to operate as an organisational unit within the museum.

 

On 31st October, 1945, the National Government of Slovenia established the Central State Archives of Slovenia, which began to operate as an independent institution. In 1953 it was renamed the State Archives of Slovenia. In 1966 its title was changed to the Archives of Slovenia, in 1979 to the Archives of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, and in 1991 to the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. In 1990, after the political changes, the so-called “special archives” were abolished and merged with the national archives. The Historical Archives of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Slovenia merged with the national archives in 1990, the former Archives of the Institute of the History of the Labour Movement (later renamed the Institute of Contemporary History) was included in 1992, and in 1998, so was part of the Archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which kept records of the National Security Agency.

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