One of the Institutions of the Italian National Community (INC) which has been operating for 50 years in the field of research, filling up a heavy and unjustified gap in historiography and, lately, in sociology, too.
Founded in 1968 by the Unione Italiana/Italian Union (UI – formerly Unione degli Italiani dell’Istria e di Fiume) the only representative organization of the italian national minority living in Croatia and Slovenia (ex Yugoslavia), represents today a body owned by the UI and it was created with the aim of starting a process of clarification and specification about the history of Istria, which surely is one of the most complex and delicate, according to its geopolitical position, its secular multiethnic structure, etc…
The CHR has organized, since the beginning, its activity inside five sections: general history of the region, ethnography, dialectology (romance), history of the workers’ movement and of the Resistance; in 1985 the section for social researches was founded. Its seat has always been since the foundation at Rovigno (Rovinj), in Istria (Croatia), in a building of 1000 sm inside the Old Town; since february 1996 the network (LAN) (24 clients + 2 server, 3 scanners and 3 printers) has been installed throughout the seat; since april 1996 the CHR has been available in Internet, by means of the site of Triest (Italy; University of Studies – Faculty of Science of Formation), then from 1999 the Center has got a proprietary domain (www.crsrv.org) Its Scientific Library, completely computerized, has got over 110.000 volumes of high bibliographical value; there are 1.695 titles of periodical publications, 673 newspapers.
The carrying subject of the books fund is represented by the regional history (Istria, Fiume/Rijeka and Dalmatia – historical territory settling of the INC!) and the concerning themes (archeology, linguistics, dialectology, heraldry, cultural and artistic heritage, sociology, etc.); since november 1995 it has received the status of Depositary Library of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg), with a special section about human and minority rights and environment protection. It is annually visited by over 850 researchers, mostly from Italy, Croatia and Slovenia; besides, there are more than 650 students coming from numerous european universities (some americans,too) who use our funds to compile their dissertations (we’ve got a special section of the library concerning the copies of such texts).
A particular collection (c.ca 3.500 objects) is represented by the geographical, topographic and military maps, prints and sight-seeings of our area, starting from the 16th century; besides these are almost 10.000 drawings, calendars and library documents. In 1973 the documentary activity has been established, concerning the INC of the territory of its historical environment, starting since 1943 to our days, so that a very great quantity of printed material, photos, films, documents, video and music cassettes, geographic maps, etc. has been collected, with over 78.000 archive units, i.e. about 350.000 documents (originals and copies), all of them computerized.
The realization of all this, including a lot of other enterprises, has been made possible thanking to the irreplaceable collaboration and material support of our Mother Nation -Italy, by means of the Università Popolare (People’s University) of Triest. During over 45 years of activity, our Institute has published 270 volumes, which correspond to about 100.000 printed pages, all of them in italian (summaries in croatian and slovenian) and most of them distributed in about 350.000 copies.
The subscrivers to our edition are over 200 people/institutions, while 250 copies are exchanged. These are the series which are published: ATTI, COLLANA DEGLI ATTI, QUADERNI, MONOGRAFIE, DOCUMENTI, FONTI, ACTA HISTORICA NOVA, RICERCHE SOCIALI, ETNIA, LA RICERCA (bulletin) and Special editions. In all these pages have been published 1.450 essays. There are 20 employees (researchers and auxiliary pers.); 70 external collaborators in researches (from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia). Since its foundation, the Institute has been not only a contestation of the factious and distorted interpretation of latest history of our territory and more widely, but at the same time it has been a reference point for the defence of the italian national identity for the population of this area.
The contribution of the Center has been particularly significant also because it has brought closer the italian, croatian and slovenian researchers who have accepted this open way of historiographic dialogue introduced by our Institute; in fact, in our publications there is over one third of non italian authors (in translation).
The Center, open to everybody and to all kinds of collaboration, has always tried to recover events, notices and personages that a socio-linguistic, cultural and human context of our latest history has particularly and dramatically worn and corroded, so that they seemed to be destined to disappear. In the spirit of such an activity, the Center – and with it the italian population of the area – had the opportunity to compete with the questions of the clash between scientific duty and social imposition; this particular sensibility has become in the long run a natural and necessary qualification of our national community, proving the correctness for the initial choice of the founders of the Center itself.
Last update: october 2018