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Slovenian Collections in the Library of Congress

Motion Pictures and Recorded Sound

Selection of publications from Slovenia and related to the subjects of broadcasting, cinema and television. Library of Congress General Collections

A survey of the Slovenian collections in the Library of Congress would not be complete without some mention of audio-visual format materials. Two reading rooms provide access to recordings, fiction and non-fiction films and TV programs from or related to Slovenia: the Moving Image Research Center and the Recorded Sound Research Center. Each research center is the primary point of contact for materials in their respective formats, especially given that so much of the materials in audio-visual formats are not fully cataloged and findable via the Library of Congress online catalog.

The Moving Image Resource Center holds only a few items related to Slovenia. A highlight of the collection is the award-winning film Ekspres, Ekspres (Gone with the Train) by the Slovenian director Igor Sterk, which tells the tale of two young people who meet on a train. Another feature of the collection is four episodes of the animated television series Koyaa, created by Slovenian director and producer Kolja Saksida.

The Library also holds some Hollywood productions filmed in the beautiful castles and landscapes of Slovenia such as the Jackie Chan martial arts flick The Armour of God, which features the famous Predjama Cave Castle in the Inner Carniola region.

The Library of Congress has collected quite a number of current events recordings from the Yugoslav War period in the 1990s originating from news sources in the United States such as CNN, ABC, and CBS, which may present the Slovenian situation of the time.

As with all other kinds of materials from Slovenia described in this guide, it will also be beneficial to search for materials under subject headings related to Yugoslavia, not just Slovenia. For example, Slovenian creatives may have contributed to films from Yugoslavia, such as the the 1972 short war drama Tišine (Silences) which stars Slovenian actor Burt Sotlar. The Library of Congress also holds documentaries about the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s such as Roots of the Yugoslav Civil War and Memories do not burn. Specifically about Slovenia is the documentary Slovenija na barikadah (Slovenia at the barricades) about the Ten-Day War when Slovenia was declaring independence from former Yugoslavia. All of the materials in this collection must be used onsite.

About the Moving Image Research Center

The Library of Congress began collecting motion pictures in 1893 when Thomas Edison and his brilliant assistant W.K.L. Dickson deposited the Edison Kinetoscopic Records for copyright. However, because of the difficulty of safely storing the flammable nitrate film used at the time, the Library retained only the descriptive material relating to motion pictures. In 1942, recognizing the importance of motion pictures and the need to preserve them as a historical record, the Library began the collection of the films themselves; from 1949 on these included films made for television. Today the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS) is responsible for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation of the Library's motion picture and television collections.

Recorded Sound

Sound recordings of Slovenian music are held by the Recorded Sound Research Center. Several hundred titles from Slovenia or with a Yugoslav connection can be found in the Library of Congress online catalog by conducting a search limiting the results to the location of Recorded Sound. One collection strength is Slovenian folk music with many examples of both instrumental and choral music such as recordings by Radio Pula music editor Renato Pernić who disseminated music from Istria, including Slovenia. Slovenian classical music is well-represented with recordings of the works of the composers Uroš Krek and Primož Ramovš, and also works by the Slovenska filharmonija. Also present in the collection are recordings of great European classical works performed by Slovenian musicians such as Samuel Barber's Symphony no. 1, op. 9 by the Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra.

The Library's holdings of Jugoton, the Yugoslav recording studio established in 1947 in Zagreb, includes a number of examples from Slovenian performers such as Simfonije in divertimenti by Amandus Ivanschiz. Slovenian pop and rock music are not covered in the collection to the same extent as folk and classical music.

Lastly, the Recorded Sound Research Center holds recordings associated with books, regardless of subject. For example, a book of folktales from the Dobrepolje region Dobrepoljska dolina stoji na jezeru was published with a CD of readings of tales accompanied by music. The 12th-century Gospel lectionary from Trogir known as the Trogirski evanđelistar was reproduced in a two-volume facsimile accompanied by recordings of sacred music performed by performed by the tenor Želimir Pusǩarić, tenor, and bass Marijan Jurišić.

All of the materials in the Recorded Sound Research Center must be used onsite.

About the Recorded Sound Research Center

The Recorded Sound Research Center provides access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress. The collection dates from 1926 when Victor Records donated over 400 discs to the Library's Music Division to supplement its print and manuscript holdings. In the custody of the Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division since 1978, the collection has grown to include over 2 million items encompassing audio formats from cylinders to CDs.