The Museum through history
12. 1. 2021 to 12. 12. 2021

The Museum through history

Part one: The first acquisitions of the Provincial Museum for Carniola

12 January - 12 December 2021, Muzejska

Part two: Museum Guest Books 1837 - 2019 (excerpts)

21 June - 12 December 2021, Muzejska

Part three: The employees of the Provincial Museum in Ljubljana, the National Museum, and the National Museum of Slovenia (1822 - 2021)

21 June - 12 December 2021, Muzejska

The first page of the letter “To the patriotic friends of science” by Joseph Camillo von Schmidburg (National Museum of Slovenia, photography by Tomaž Lauko)

The first acquisitions of the Provincial Museum for Carniola

In his famous letter to the Patriot friends of science, dated 15 February 1823, Joseph Camillo von Schmidburg, the governor and president of the provincial estates of Carniola, wrote: 

“Our patriotic museum should encompass everything in the areas of national literature and national creativity in particular. It should also bring together everything that nature or human diligence have created in our country. It must preserve all the memories of the country’s faith, and the merits of its people.”

A short and succinct presentation of our acquisitions reveals that the areas covered by the National Museum of Slovenia, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History, and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, had already been formed in the first years of their activities. Over the decades, our collections have been supplemented and upgraded, studied and publicly presented by our curators, librarians, pedagogues and conservators-restorers, on the foundations built by the first Slovenian museum experts 200 years ago. Today, they present a cooperation mosaic of modern national museums.


  • A house urn made of red-brown ceramics, size 31.9 cm, Drnovo, bought (?) from Valentin Patzar in 1823.
  • Bone distaff, l. 19.5 cm, site: Ljubljana, the garden of the Novi svet pub in 1824.


  • The Repežič numismatic collection was one of the founding museum collections, as it was particularly pointed out by the count Hohenwart in his speech at the opening of the Lyceum building in 1831. Jože Repežič was taking care of the numismatic collection in the Museum and was identifying the coins to be published. He donated over 2000 coins to the Museum, including 367 Roman republican silver coins, representing the core of the collection, which has been preserved almost intact to this day.


  • A seal matrix of the Ljubljana citizen Wolfgang Wiser from 1492, found in the nowadays Čopova ulica (Čopova Street) in Ljubljana. Donated by the Ljubljana Mayor Johann Nepomuk Hradeczky in November 1822.
  • A scythe specimen. Donated by Joseph von Dietrich, 1 May 1821/1826.
  • Paving stone from the Spital church in Krško, dated 1518. Donated by Cecilja Lichtenberg in 1823.

Applied art

  • A set for fruits and brandy made of brushed glass, made in a glassworks in Czechia, at the beginning of the 19th century. Donated by Josef Maria Schemerl von Leytenbach (?) in 1825.


  • Antonija Makovic (Antoinette Makovitz), The Capuchin Monastery in Ljubljana, watercolour, 1806 (?). Donated by Janez Evangelist Bučar in 1824.


  • Janez Ludvik Schönleben, Carniolia antiqua et nova, 1680 - 1681. Acquired in 1823.

Ethnology (Slovene Ethnographic Museum)

  • The moccasins of the North-American peoples from the Baraga collection. Acquired in 1837.

Natural sciences (Slovenian Museum of Natural History)

  • The ammonite stone core, discovered in the Triglav lakes valley. Acquired in 1821.
  • A cross-section of a Jurassic Cephalopoda, discovered in the Triglav mountains above the Bohinj lake. Acquired in 1821.
  • Aragonite, Bad Eisenkappel, Austria, the Zois mineral collection. Acquired in 1821.
  • The Chiragra spider conch (Lambis chiragra). From the Hohenwart collection of conches, in 1831.
  • Leptodirus (Leptodirus hochenwartii), the first described cave animal in the world. Ferdinand Joseph Schmidt, in 1831.
  • Samples of domestic wood assortments from the collection of Pinter. Acquired in 1831.

The exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Slovenian Museum of Natural History and the Slovene Ethnographic Museum.

The opening ceremony and the presentation of the first acquisitions of the Provincial Museum for Carniola (in Slovenian)

Authors: Helena Bras Kernel, Blaženka First, Dr Mateja Kos, Dr Jernej Kotar, Dr Alenka Miškec, Gašper Oitzl, Barbara Rogač (all Narodni muzej Slovenije), Dr Miha Jeršek, Dr Tomi Trilar (both Slovenian Museum of Natural History), Dr Marko Frelih (Slovene Ethnographic Museum)

Project managers: dr. Mateja Kos, dr. Alenka Miškec

National Museum of Slovenia, 12 January 2021 - 31 October 2021

Participated: Polona Bitenc, Matej Hreščak, Petra Grom, Grega Gutman, Špela Kojc, Darija Mavrič Čeh, Mojca Mikolič, Urša Pajk, Anteja Tomašič, Miro Vute, Zora Žbontar (all Narodni muzej Slovenije) and Polona Sketelj (Slovene Ethnographic Museum)

Public relations: Petra Grom, Grega Gutman

Design: Barbara Bogataj Kokalj, Ariana Furlan Prijon

Celebrating the Museum's 200th anniversary

By opening the first part of the exhibition, Museum through history, we are solemnly entering the jubilee year of the Museum’s 200th anniversary. The idea of founding a national museum goes way back in the past, with the first steps taken by baron Sigismund Zois von Edelstein and the key figures of the enlightenment movement. The direct initiative, however, was given in 1821 by the participants of the famous congress in Ljubljana, who pointed out that Carniola had no museum of its own. They had passed the proposal on to the provincial estates (Landstände), who made a decision on 15 October 1821 to establish a patriotic museum.