Accumulation and preservation of archival material in the Manuscript Department commences with the actual founding of Matica Srpska in 1826. The core of the Manuscript Department was created from the first statute that regulates the activities of Matica Srpska, documents created by several decades of work of Matica Srpska both in Pest and in Novi Sad, manuscripts submitted to be published in the Journal of Matica Srpska or to literary competitions of Matica Srpska, minutes of meetings of management boards, correspondence between significant leading names in Serbian literature and cultural political history of the 19th and 20th century, purchases and numerous gifts. Several phases of it’s the development can be observed: from 1826-1847 there was no special form of organized activity, from 1847 to 1945 operates as Srbsko-narodna sbirka (Serbian – National Collection) that accumulated, among other old written documents: letters, books and manuscripts of famous Serbs. From 1945 to 1958 it operated as Department of Archival Material and Manuscripts as part of the Library of Matica Srpska, from 1958 to 1961 the Department operated under the management of the Literary Department of Matica Srpska. It emerged as an independent department in 1961 and in the 60s the Department received offices, a larger depot, and a reading room for work with researchers. The full time employment of a number of archivists made the beginning of systematic work on archival material possible.
The Manuscript Department is a unique archival institution; the only real archival holdings are in the Archive of Matica Srpska. That archival material came into existence during the rich and diverse history of Matica Srpska. Records of the Management Board, Department of Literature and the Board as well as minutes of the annual assembly meetings from 1826 to 1945 are kept here. Apart from 284 boxes with more than 100000 documents, 158 books of records and register deeds of Matica Srpska are preserved.
The rest of the archival material is sorted into three collections – Collection of Manuscripts, Collection of Letters and Collection of Photographs. The Collection of Manuscripts contains 20,000 processed documents and several thousand copies of important archival material. This archival material was created from the 18th to the 20th century. It was mostly written in Serbian, German, Latin and Church Slavonic language. The Collection of Letters contains exceptionally valuable letters of most esteemed Serbs. 61,150 letters have been processed until now, whereas several thousands of letters acquired through donations and purchases are still waiting to be processed. The Collection of Photographs has close to 25,000 photographs, negatives and albums, daguerreotypes and images created by means of modern digital equipment. From 1967 to 2001 the Editorship of Bibliographical Editions operated as a part of the Manuscript Department of Matica Srpska. Today, computer programs are used for the processing of archivalia whereas the most significant archival material is scanned and uploaded to appropriate data bearing media.
The Manuscript Department is an unavoidable source of precious archival material. It is impossible to learn about the most important people and key events in the cultural and political history of Serbs since the 18th century up to now without it.
The Department operates under the management of the Director and the Board of the Manuscript Department. Since the founding of the Department the following Secretary Generals have been appointed: Živojin Boškov (1963-1983), Academician Čedomir Popov (1983-1991), Professor Nikola Gaćeša, PhD (1991-1999), Branko Bešlin, MA (1999-2008), Pavle Stanojević (2008-2011), Sonja Bob (2011-2012), Professor Milivoj Nenin, PhD (2012-2013)
Director of the Manuscript Department:
Professor Aleksandra Vraneš, PhD
Telephone: 021 420 199, extension: 133; 021 528 917 and 021 63 36 987
THE BOARD OF THE MANUSCRIPT DEPARTMENT
Assistant Professor Đorđe Đurić, PhD
Professor Dušan Ivanić, PhD
Petar V. Krestić, PhD
Professor Dejan Mikavica, PhD
Aleksandra Novakov, MA
Professor Gorana Raičević, PhD
Assistant Professor Momir Samardžić, PhD
Assistant Professor Mile Stanić
Zorica Hadžić, PhD
Series Editor in Chief: Professor Aleksandra Vraneš, PhD
Editorship of the Series:
Assistant Professor Radovan Popović
Zorica Hadžić, PhD
Petar Krestić, PhD
The book O Crnjanskom; arhivalije, was edited by Stojan Trećakov and Radovan Šovljanski for the 100th anniversary of the authors death in 1993.
The book Veljko Petrović: Pisma: 1904-1967 (from the collection of the Manuscript Department of Matica Srpska) was edited by Sonja Bob, Stojan Trećakov and Vladimir Šovljanski in 1997.
The book Portreti prema živim modelima (a selection of texts from the prolific legacy of Milan Jovanović Stoimirović) was edited by Stojan Trećakov and Vladimir Šovljanski in 1998, followed by Stimirevićev Dnevnik 1936-1941 in 2000.
The book Laza Kostić, Prepiska I was edited by Professor Dušan Ivanić and Milica Bujas, MA in 2005.
The book Knjiga Sterijinih rukopisa was edited by Isidora Popović, PhD in 2008.