October 20 – Slovene Archives Day

On October 20, 1943, the Head of the Department for National Education in the liberated Slovenian territory, sent a letter to the District Cultural Officer in Velike Lašče: »We’ve been informed that much of the archives from the Turjak Castle is being destroyed. The records have most surely a lot of valuable information about the past, as well as the family Turjak, and surely the most about the social history of our farmers and our village. […] Find a man right now who will […] keep the papers […] in a safe deposit box […] It is about every piece of paper, every book and every record. […] As they are valuable national records, immediately do everything to save as many records as possible in the earliest of times.« During the war, despite shortages and danger, the authorities took the time to take care of the archives.

Arhiv Republike Slovenije, SI AS 1644, Upravna komisija za osvobojeno slovensko ozemlje, fasc. 440/2.

In 1954, efforts and care for archives led to the founding of the Archival Society of Slovenia, which in 1976 proclaimed 20 October as the Slovene Archives Day, based on a letter from 1943. The founding members were aware that to carry out the programme of the society, which was necessarily connected with the development of Slovene archives, they couldn’t merely rely only on themselves and will have to seek help from others, which is still true today.

Today is the Slovene Archives Day – of one national archive, six regional and three church archives as well as two special archives. Almost all of them face the same problems – inadequate facilities for archival repositories and the workers, insufficient staffing, lack of financial resources for ICT…

I would like to emphasize that despite the present state, small but solid steps are possible along the way, which must be clearly outlined. Perseverance, dedication, even bold actions are essential, but above all vision.

I wish everyone vision and strength for change.

Hana Habjan, President of the Society

October 20 – Slovene Archives Day
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