Tradition of safe keeping of records in public offices has been practiced in Rijeka continuously since the 15th century. However, the systematic activity of gathering, keeping and processing historical archival material began only when the independent institution of the Royal State Archives (R. Archivio di Stato in Fiume) was founded on the 1st of September 1926. Royal decree issued on the 6th of December 1928 attested the existence of the Archives in Rijeka, but only as a branch of the Royal State Archives in Trieste. That status and the same name (R. Archivio di Stato – Sezione di Fiume) has remained until the year 1945; until the end of the Italian rule in Rijeka. In the Yugoslav State Rijeka was united with the People’s Republic of Croatia, which ended the unnatural separation from her Croatian hinterland. From 1945 until 1947 the Archives was run as an independent institution, as Državni Arhiv Rijeka. In February 1948 it became an integral part of the Zagreb State Archives under the name Ispostava Državnog Arhiva u Zagrebu. By the end of 1949 the former name and status of an independent institution had been returned. From 1959 the name was changed to Historijski Arhiv Rijeka, and under that name it operated until 1993, when the name changed into Povijesni Arhiv Rijeka. In the independent Croatian State the Archives has been renamed in 1997 into Državni Arhiv u Rijeci, the name which is used today.
In its seventy years long existence the Archives has been sharing the destiny of the town of Rijeka. Its achievements were restricted by specific conditions, in particular by the administrative and practical parameters in which the Archives worked. Congruently with the latter, the sphere of the Archives’ activity has been changing. From its foundation until 1945 the archives was active in the Kvarner Region which, in addition to Rijeka and the Liburnian part of Istria, encompassed a substantial part of Slovenian Karst. During the Second World War the scope of the Archives extended over parts of the south-western Croatia annexed by Italy. In the period after 1945 the Archives’ area of activity extended over the whole of Croatian Istria and over the islands of Cres, Lošinj and Krk. When the Archives was founded in Pazin, in 1958, the Archives in Rijeka was left with reduced sphere of activity which covered only the eastern, Liburnian part of Istria. Loss of mandate in these parts was compensated by extension of the area of activity in Primorje (Croatian Littoral) and Gorski Kotar. At that time the Archives has encompassed the regional sphere of activity which includes today the entire area of the Primorsko-Goranska county as well as the city of Senj in the Ličko-Senjska county. Frequent changes of governments in the area over which the competence of the Rijeka Archives extended resulted in extinction of a number of administrative, legislative, military, educational and economic organizations, which left behind very extensive archival material. It is, therefore, characteristic for this institution the speed by which the quantity of the archival material has been increased, so that since the foundation of the Archive the length of archival storage has increased tenfold.
the Archives supervises more than twenty thousand linear meters of current
records in the County and in the city of Senj. Inside, there are six
thousand five hundred linear meters of archival storage as well as seven hundred and
forty archival collections. The oldest document deposited in the State
Archives in Rijeka comes from the year 1201.
language of the older records was predominantly Latin and Italian; only
Their work is organized in the following departments:
By the number of professionals employed and by the quantity of archival records the State Archives in Rijeka is among the leading archives in the network set up by the Croatian Ministry of Culture.
Palace Housing the Archives
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