Local History Department
The Local History Collection occupies a special place in the organizational structure of the Leskovac Library. Until 1973, it was integrated into the Library’s general fund. Following the decision of Ratmirko Petković, the then director of the Library, the local collection was separated and the Local Collection Library Unit was formed, which functioned within the Professional Publications Department. The collection was placed on specially designated shelves and was
located in the hallway between the Professional Publications Department and the Adult Lending Department. The formation of the accession catalogue of the Local History Collection begins on May 23, 1973, so this date can be considered the day that this department was founded. The first librarians at the Local History Department were Stevan Prvulović and Vera Stamenković. That year, 36 books were accessioned, and by the end of the 1980s, the book fund reached the number of 2417 publications. With the reorganization of the Library’s space, the Local Collection fund was separated from the Professional Publications Department and in 2001 it received its own premises within the main Library. After more than fifty years, the Library received new premises in which it stationed the Local History Department, together with the Legacy of Nikolaj Timčenko.
Today, the Local History Department is located at 176, Bulevar Oslobođenja Street. The Department contains materials related to Leskovac and the Jablanica District, works published and printed in the territory of the City (regardless of the author’s place of birth), as well as works by authors born in Leskovac, regardless of where they now live and where their works are published. Precisely because of this structure, the Local History Collection represents a one-of-a-kind guardian of our cultural identity.
Our fund boasts a very rich collection of monographic publications comprising 5,680 items from all areas of creative work. We can offer the most recent novels written by authors from Leskovac, but also works related to the history of the City, architecture, art, medicine, economics, philosophy…
If you are fans of antiques and rarities, you are also in the right place. The collection of old and rare books puts at your disposal books printed in the period from 1834-1867, as well as over 300 rare books.
A real treasure is the collection of serial publications, which contains about 3,500 issues of various magazines and newspapers.
The non-book materials is a chronicler of the City that tells the story of Leskovac in a slightly different way. It will vividly evoke the spirit of the City with a large number of postcards, posters, photographs, leaflets, flyers, minor documentary material, as well as audio-visual material. Audio books stand out from the non-book materials by their significance.
The manuscript legacy of famous creative minds from Leskovac is also a part of our fund. We are especially proud of this collection because, through correspondence and works in manuscript, we can follow the process of creation of some works that are very important for Leskovac, but also discover what our famous fellow citizens were really like.
Since its founding, the following have worked at the Local History Department: Stevan Prvulović, Vera Stamenković, Zorica Mitić, Radmila Savić, Jadranka Jović, Maja Jugović, Tatjana Jankov, Irina Nešić, Glorija Dedović and Aleksandra Samokal-Jovanović. We have all tried to ensure that the services we provide to our users are in accordance with the laws and rules of library and information activities, but also with the needs of users. Therefore, we listen very carefully for the needs of users and accordingly plan the purchase of library materials. We work
on educating users to access the database in all segments of COBISS. We work on the preservation, maintenance and protection of the Local History Collection fund. Digitization of this collection is a very important activity of our department. As we started with digitization back in 2008, we can proudly say that we have a very rich digital collection, which includes the entire collection of old books and most of the collection of rare ones. A part of the visual non-book materials has also been digitized. A very important activity of our department is the active assistance to the users of the electronic reading room that is stationed in our premises. With this type of engagement, we additionally enrich the quality of library services that the employees of our department provide to their users on a daily basis.
As this department’s fund represents a true cultural treasure, not only of Leskovac but of the whole of Serbia, it is necessary to treat it with care. Therefore, there are some restrictions when using this collection. Books cannot be taken out of the Library premises, and old and rare books can only be used in digital form.
Promoting the national through the local is certainly one of the ways to permanently achieve the mission and task of the public library, and that is to increase awareness of cultural heritage, understanding of art, scientific achievements and discoveries (IFLA / UNESCO 2005).