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Angela Cannon, Reference Specialist, European Division
Created: January 23, 2020
Last Updated: November 8, 2021
From 1797 to 2020, Slovenia published over 18,000 periodicals. Approximately 1,500 of those periodicals were general or special interest newspapers, called časniki or listovi, or sometimes even časopisi, although the latter term is typically used for a journal or magazine. The website of the Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica External [National and University Library] provides many digitized bibliographies of periodicals, which are linked in the section of this guide for "Slovenian Newspaper Bibliographies." Even more helpful to those wanting to read Slovenian newspapers are the many newspapers which have been digitized and made available via the COBISS Union Catalog of Slovenian Libraries External
The first newspaper in the Slovene language was the weekly Lublanske novice External [Ljubljana News] in Ljubljana 1797-1800. Titles published in German issued on Slovenian territory predated the Slovene press by almost 100 years, beginning in 1707 with Wochentliche Ordinari-Laybacher Zeitungen External [Weekly Ordinary Laibach News], 1707-1709. During the Austrian period of Slovenian history the longest running and most influential German newspaper in Slovenia was Laibacher Zeitung External [Laibaich News], 1784-1918, whereas the most influential Slovene newspaper was Kmetijske in rokodelske novice External [Agricultural and Artisan News], 1843-1902. Originally intended as a professional periodical, the title soon took on a role as a national news source. All of the newspapers in Slovenia, regardless of language, were weeklies until the 1870s when the first dailies arrived on the scene—Slovenski narod External [Slovenian Nation], 1868-1943, a politically liberal title, and then Slovenec External [Slovenian], 1873-1945, a Catholic political newspaper. Unfortunately, the Library of Congress holds none of these early titles, but they are all available in digitized versions. The only 19th century issues of Slovenian newspapers held by the Library of Congress are several years of Gospodarski list [Economic Newspaper] from Gorica and long runs of the various official gazettes held by the Law Library of Congress, which are not covered in this guide.
Newspaper publishing in Slovenia experienced modest but steady growth from the 19th century until after World War I. News publishing began to expand as Slovenia joined the new state of Yugoslavia, although some areas which became part of Italy, such as Trst and Gorica, experienced declines in Slovene language publishing. During World War II, the mainstream press decreased dramatically, but many underground, partisan titles sprang up, especially in areas outside of Ljubljana. The communist era saw a rebound of newspaper publishing, including a plethora of party titles and many with particular subject focus. In the post-communist era with Slovenia now an independent country, periodical publishing in general is healthy, but newspapers in particular are suffering another decline. According to the 2014 edition of Statistični letopis Republike Slovenije [Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Slovenia], there were 180 current newspapers being published in Slovenia, down slightly from 201 titles in 2012. One dozen of these newspapers were general news dailies, with the rest being more specialized in locale or subject. As is true in many countries, in Slovenia readership of print newspapers gradually is being supplanted by digital sources. For more on electronic newspapers from Slovenia, see the section in this guide titled "Online Newspapers from Slovenia."
The major center of contemporary Slovenian newspaper publishing is the capital city, Ljubljana, but newspapers appear in regional cities such as Maribor, Koper, and Kranj as well. The largest collections of Slovenian newspapers are in Slovenia and Austria, with the preeminent collection held by the Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica External [National and University Library] in Ljubljana.
As a general rule, the Library of Congress did not start to systematically collect materials from Slavic, East, and Central European countries until World War II or immediately afterwards, and the Slovenian newspaper holdings reflect this collection development policy. For the interwar years of the 1920s-1930s, the Library holds mostly German-language titles published by Balkan and Central European German populations in Slovenia, titles which were added to the collection after World War II. In all, the Library of Congress holds eleven newspapers from the capital city Ljubljana, nine from other cities in Slovenia, and fifteen published outside of Slovenia's current borders, including titles published in the United States. For titles published in Slovene, the collection is strongest during the communist period, but the Library continues to acquire the daily newspaper of record Delo. Other current titles include Družina, a Catholic weekly from Ljubljana, and Novi glas, a weekly published by the Slovenian minority population in Italy.