Museum of Serbian Literature

The Museum collects and presents material pertaining to Serbian writers, writers’ associations, literary and related works, the history and theory of literature and literary criticism etc.

 

The museum collection includes various objects once belonging to important Serbian literary figures. Exhibits include pens and typewriters that were used to write important literary works, distinctive articles of clothing, which were either commonly associated with particular authors or were worn at important events, such as those staged for the presentation of distinguished awards.  read more

 

Among other things, our permanent exhibition includes:

Rare and first editions by Serbian authors, which were influential in the cultural development of the Balkans and have found their way into the world’s anthologies; a collection of autographs by all the major writers and artists to have worked in Serbia and the Balkans (with more than fifteen thousand signatures, the selection constitutes the largest specialised autograph collection ever compiled in the region); manuscripts by important Serbian writers, as well as those created by authors of other nations in Eastern Europe; collections of books and archival material from writers and artists who lived and worked in Serbia, including those who moved there, offering the visitor the opportunity to become acquainted with and study the different historical and cultural periods of the region; personal artefacts, such as typewriters, pens and items of clothing etc., which belonged to important writers. These intimate objects include a pair of glasses worn by the writer, Dobrica Cosic, who became the President of Yugoslavia; a collection of books bearing the autographs of authors and artists who have claimed some of the most prestigious national and international awards, including several Nobel Prize winners; more than 300 books, produced before the year 1800.

Choose an author as you choose a friend. Wentworth Dillon

 

The Museum of Serbian Literature founded ‘The Department of Legacy Libraries’, which includes the legacy libraries of important intellectuals. It is our intention to preserve as many complete libraries as possible for prosperity. The legacy libraries have been bequeathed by individuals as well as families – sometimes the collection spans several generations. Some of the libraries have been donated by institutions that, for whatever reason, have been forced to suspend their operations.

We have not only vowed to preserve the intellectual estate of each donor, but also to promote the memory of their respective personalities and works. 

We have already received more than thirty libraries.   read more

 

The legacy of the writer Milovan Danojlic (1937), founding member of our institution. Danojlic is an academician who has published more than 70 books of poetry and fiction and received various awards for his efforts. The legacy includes thousands of books, many of which have dedication notes. The collection also includes rare editions of Serbian immigrant publications, and the entire Živko and Milica Topalovic Foundation archive from Switzerland.

The legacy of the writer Pero Zubac (1945), founding member of our institution, who wrote one of the most beautiful love poems in Serbian literature - Mostar Rains. Zubac has published more than fifty books of poetry and has won many major literary awards. The legacy includes many books containing his notes and dedications, as well as a significant collection of literary periodicals and manuscripts.

The legacy of Professor Miodrag Zivanov (1928-2002), the most important Serbian bibliographer of the modern period, and former Editor in Chief of the Serbian Retrospective Bibliography 1868-1944. The legacy includes more than 500 bibliographies and books about books.

The legacy of Professor Petar Bingulac (1897-1990), Bingulac was an intellectual who graduated from four faculties (Law, Philosophy, Seminary and Music). He was a prominent Yugoslav diplomat in Mailand, Prague and Sofia, and one of the most successful Serbian music professors. The legacy includes a significant collection of musicology works.

The legacy of Mr Srba Ignjatovic (1946), founding member of our institution, literary critic and writer, long-serving President of the Association of Writers of Serbia, and winner of numerous national and international awards. The legacy includes important Serbian literary material from the second half of the twentieth century, as well as the author's unabridged correspondence and personal archives.

The Bešević Family Legacy consists of libraries and personal possessions that belonged to the Serbian poet, Stevan Bešević. The writer was also the first Serbian aeroplane constructor and edited Serbian newspapers on Corfu during the Serbian army exile in World War I, to Nikola Bešević: the painter, with a collection of his paintings, to Ivo Bešević, the famous children’s surgeon, to Vukica Bešević: diplomat and philosopher, and Ivanka Bešević: the ‘Politika’ journalist.

 

The institution also contains the legacies of our founding members: poet Mirjana Bulatović, writer Branislav Veljković, and writer and translator for the Italian language Dragan Mraović.

 

There are also considerable legacy collections bequeathed by Nikola Medvedev, who was a director at the Zrenjanin Theater and Milos Nemanjic, an important sociologist, as well as the collection accumulated by the prominent Belgrade Leko family, whose members included Belgrade University executives, Crown executives and leading protagonists of the Serbian Government. The largest number of books originates from the Marko T. Leko library. Marko T. was the first Rector of Belgrade University and President of the Red Cross. The collection of books from the personal library of Bozidar Kovačević, writer, archivist and personal tutor to King Peter II offers a treasure trove to those wishing to study French literature. The Legacy of Pavle Vuisic represents the life and work of this great Serbian actor, including materials from his personal archives and library. Pavle Vuisic’s wife, Mirjana Vuisic, her brother Mihailo Jovanović and his wife, Vera Jovanović-Dražić kindly donated a plot of land in Belgrade to the library.

 

The legacy of Professor Ileana Čura
Museum of Novi Sad Raid in Novi Sad

           

            Ileana Čura Sazdanić, founding member of our institution, was a Professor of English with a post-doctorate position at Yale University, founder of the Department of English at the University of Prishtina and the Department of Serbo-Croatian Language and Literature at the University of New Delhi. She is a descendant of Mihailo Polit-Desancic, a respected lawyer and politician in his own time. Accepting an invitation by her aunt, Ljubica Sazdanić, the most celebrated Indian Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore stayed as a guest at the family home in Novi Sad while visiting Serbia.

Sixteen members of the Čura family were killed in the Novi Sad raid, a series of attacks by Hungarian troops on Serbian, Jewish and Romani civilians in Voyvodina, in January 1942. Ileana was taken to the executions, which she survived by pure chance, as an eleven-year-old child. On that occasion, her mother and aunt were not only shot dead, but also savagely disfigured (their ears and fingers were cut off). After the war, the communists nationalised much of the family’s property.

            Professor Ileana Čura Sazdanic bequeathed a legacy of over 10,000 books to our institution. Thanks chiefly to Viktor Lazić, she has also donated part of her family home in Novi Sad, where Tagore was hosted in 1926, to our institution. That building, which is undergoing restoration, will be used to house the Novi Sad Raid Museum.

This legacy not only encompasses a substantial literature collection on India, but also an important collection of English and Canadian books containing the signatures of prominent authors.