Studio photography in Slovenia (1859-1919)
In Slovenia, portrait photography has been present for a long time. Its beginnings reach back to 1859 when Ernest Pogorelc, a photographer from Ljubljana, obtained a trade permit to build his photographic studio. During the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th century, studio photography evolved dramatically. By 1919, the year that marks the end of the first period in its evolution, there was already 67 photographic studios working in central Slovenia alone. But despite the fact photography was legally considered a craft from 1864 onward, it was only in 1910 that photographers came to found the Regional Cooperative of Photographers – an association that established rules concerning the required education and ways to obtain a work permit. The reason these rules were accepted relatively late is partially related to the complexity of the work processes. After 1900, these became much simpler, making photography much more accessible to amateurs.
In the collection before you we present a selection of photographs from 60 photographic studios working in different Slovenian cities and towns.

Mountain tourism
The beginnings of mountain tourism in Slovenia reach back to the second half of the 19th century. This was a time of an awakening mountaineering consciousness that showed itself primarily in the build of mountain huts, walking paths, and climbing routes. All these efforts gradually led to the foundation of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association (1893) that in the following decades contributed greatly to the development of mountaineering and alpinist culture. The enhanced interest in mountain hiking that was and remains to be the driving force of mountain tourism also brought about a boom in mountain photography and an increasing popularity of mountain postcards.
In this digital collection we present different material that is to highlight the history of mountain tourism in Slovenia. It is comprised of mountain photographs, a part of the mountain postcards preserved by the National and University Library, and a series of portraits of the fathers of Slovenian mountaineering.

Mountain photography albums
During World War I, the Slovenian Mountaineering Society lost a great part of its infrastructure. Fifteen mountain cabins were destroyed or abandoned while thirteen out of twenty-seven subsidiaries of the Society found themselves outside the borders of the new home country due to the Treaty of Rapallo and the Carinthian plebiscite. But as the newly founded Kingdom of Yugoslavia forbade all foreign societies, the Slovenian Mountaineering Society managed to take over some of the German mountain cabins which were then renamed. The first Slovenian mountaineering guide called Na planine! was written by Pavel Kunaver in 1921. The Interwar period was also the time of enhanced interest in alpinism that led to the foundation of the Skala Alpinist Club, and eventually, due to this club’s promotion of amateur photography, to the foundation of an amateur photographic section of the Club.
In the digital collection before you we present mountain photography albums preserved by the National and University Library. The photographs were taken by different Slovenian photographers between the years 1920 and 1940.

Togo: Building the wireless telegraph station
During his exciting creative life, Baron Anton Codelli (1875-1954), a nobleman, landowner, inventor, and politician, dedicated himself to a multitude of different things. As an inventor who became famous in the realm of radiotelegraphy, Codelli travelled to German Togoland where, between the years 1911 and 1914, he was in charge of building the wireless telegraph station Kamina to help establish a better connection between Togoland and Berlin. Due to the outbreak of World War I, Codelli was forced to demolish the station, otherwise seen as one of the great technical achievements of the time.
While living in Africa, Codelli got engaged in photography and managed to take a few hundred photographs documenting not only the process of building the wireless telegraph complex in Kamina but also the life he was surrounded with – the lives of German colonists as well as the habits and traditions of natives.
In this collection, we present 193 of Codelli’s photographs that are preserved by the National and University Library.

The Four Seasons
In the digital collection before you we present a series of photographs by Fran Krašovec (1892-1969), called The Four Seasons. Krašovec is considered to be one of the most creative Slovenian amateur photographers. He began dealing with photography before World War I. One could say that his work represents a link between photographers of this early period with generations of photographers that came after World War I end even World War II. He was given multiple awards and published his work in newspapers and magazines, such as Mladika, Jutro and Življenje in svet.
The photographs that comprise The Four Seasons were taken after World War II and represent one of the peaks in Krašovec’s career. In his series, divided into four segments of approximately 250 black and white photographs, Krašovec depicted the architectural and urbanistic heritage of the city of Ljubljana, the landscapes of its surrounding areas, and the lives of people living in this and other Slovenian regions. Thus, The Four Seasons series has both artistic and documentary value.

1895 Ljubljana earthquake
A destructive earthquake hit Ljubljana on Easter Sunday 14th of April at 8:17 p.m. Seven people were killed and several others were wounded. In the city, the mayorship closed all the schools and stopped some of the factories. A few days after the earthquake, military troops came to Ljubljana and began building shelters for the homeless. They also managed to establish five public kitchens that provided a few thousand servings of food a day.
The earthquake caused damage to approximately 10 % of the buildings. These were later mostly taken down and Ljubljana began turning into a lively construction site. After the earthquake, the city went through important urbanistic changes that went hand in hand with the implementation of various other reforms. Ljubljana was given a more Slovenian appearance.
In this collection we present photographs that were taken by a professional photographer Wilhelm Helfer who was chosen for the task by the mayorship of Ljubljana. Photographs, preserved by the Pictorial Collection of the National and University Library, depict the damage caused by the destructive earthquake as well as the lives of people faced with the consequences.

Photographs of Anton Vilar Snr.
Anton Vilar Snr. (1884-1953) was a highly talented all-rounder. He was active as a composer, organ player, and choirmaster, and is also considered to be the pioneer of photography in the Logatec region. He was dealing with photography professionally throughout all of his adult life. In 1907, he opened a large glass-built photographic studio alongside his newly built Art Nouveau villa in the city of Logatec.
Anton Vilar dedicated himself mostly to portrait photography that included both individual and group portraits. In his work, he liked to use backdrops. As electricity arrived in Logatec as late as the 1920s, many of his photographs were taken in broad daylight that he adjusted with the use of curtains. He was also keen on retouching his photographs. Besides taking portraits, Anton Vilar loved photographing landscapes and documenting cultural events and architectural heritage of Logatec and other places in the Primorska region.\nIn this collection, we present 629 of Vilar’s photographs that are preserved by the National and University Library in Ljubljana.

Photographs of Peter Naglič
Peter Naglič (1883-1959) was a successful entrepreneur who kept up many hobbies: he enjoyed mountaineering, was active in local sports and cultural societies, went on pilgrimages, dealt with petrography, and was highly interested in technical novelties. But his greatest passion was photography that took up most of his free time. He began dealing with photography in 1899 and, during his life as an amateur photographer, managed to produce more than 10000 glass and celluloid negatives.
Peter Naglič also kept up a detailed list of his photographs which includes the data on the time and place where they were taken and a short description of what is depicted. His negatives can be divided into groups of portrait, landscape, architectural, and documentary photography. In this collection, we present 428 glass negatives that depict the lives of soldiers and war prisoners during World War I in Vrhnika and at Ljubljana castle, cultural and entrepreneurial events in the Kamnik region, architectural heritage and landscapes of the same region, and the everyday life in villages around the city of Kamnik.

Archive of photograph chronicler Fran Vesel
Fran Vesel was a collector of cultural and historical material, and one of the best Slovenian amateur photographers. For many years, he was also a committee member of the National Gallery and was very active in the Ljubljana Probuda art school.
He was renowned for his irresistible passion for collecting: in his house in Ljubljana he had a rich library, many valuable books and first editions of the Slovenian modernist authors as well as numerous reproductions, paintings and sculptures, book drafts and designs, and in particular, originals of the Slovenian artists. He collected biographical material, the material of art exhibitions and art associations, on architecture, monuments, sculptures, manuscripts of the Slovenian writers, and the like. Vesel’s legacy is kept at the National and University Library’s Manuscripts Collection. He personally knew many Slovenian modernists. Vesel took photos of Ivan Cankar several times and his photos are the best taken of the writer. He collected thousands of photographic plates with snapshots of Slovenian important people. His collections were the largest private archive of Slovenian cultural history.

Marjan Kukec's portrait photographs
In 2009, the Map and Pictoral Collection at the National and University Library of Slovenia bought 288 portrait photos of the most important Slovenian poets of the 20th century photographed by Marjan Kukec. Photos were taken between 1974 and 1981, when the Slovenska matica published France Pibernik’s books Med tradicijo in modernizmom (Between Tradition and Modernism (1978), and Med modernizmom in avantgardo – pričevanja o sodobni poeziji (Between Modernism and Avantgarde - Testimonies on Contemporary Poetry (1981).
Marjan Kukec (1933-2019) was a painter, graphic artist, art teacher, photographer. He was a student of Evgen Sajovic, Božidar Jakac, and Marij Pregelj. He mastered several art techniques. His works are distinguished by a clear concept and carefully planned interpretation.
In 2008, the Photographic Association of Slovenia awarded Kukec with the Janez Puhar Prize for his life’s work. He is a master of portrait photography. His photos reveal his clear conceptual approach to photography, and the ability to observe in-depth a portrayed person.