The Department of Folk Literature


The University Library of Belgrade Department of Folk Literature is situated in the house of the late Vojislav M. Jovanovic, at no. 24, Bircaninova Street. The house was built by Mata Jovanovic, as a family house in 1883. Slavka Jovanovic, the sister of Vojislav M. Jovanovic, bequeathed the home where he spent his life to the University Library together with books, manuscripts and other personal belongings. The house of Vojislav M. Jovanovic has been registered as a museum-gallery. The house was opened to the public in 1988 as a Department of Folk Literature.

Vojislav M. Jovanovic (1884-1968) was a versatile figure and expert in many fields – a writer, archivist, diplomat, amateur photographer, literary critic, one of the creators of famous anthologies of folk poetry and stories published between the two world wars, explorer of literature, history and Serbian folklore, especially the presence of our national literature on the European literary scene and the author of a great many studies on false folk poetry.

There are 6.292 volumes altogether belonging to the personal library of Vojislav Jovanovic, whose most valuable parts are collections and studies of folk literature. This also includes his manuscript collection (with autographs, clippings, notes, correspondence and personal documents), more than 1,300 photographs, 22 photographic plates, furniture and other personal belongings of the donor. Apart from the library materials from Jovanovic’s library, the departmental collection is based on acquisition, exchange and gifts.

The Department deals with research into and the publication of Vojislav Jovanovic’s legacy, organises meetings on folk literature topics, exhibitions based on the publications from Jovanovich’s library and the promotion of publications on folk literature.

On the occasion of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the University Library, a collection of papers by Vojislav Jovanovic was published, and in that way the Library paid a tribute to its benefactor.

All the publications may be used only in the departmental reading room, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.