SASA Archives


Director: academician Vasilije Krestić Telephone: (+381 11) 2027-118 Fax: (+381 11) 182-285 Е-mail: Address: SANU Arhiv, Knez Mihailova 35, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia


General information

Archives reading room is supplied with card catalogue, microreader and reference library. Working hours for scientific workers - every day from 830 a.m. - 230 p.m.



The Archive of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art in Belgrade was founded in 1841 with the establishing of the Society of Serbian Letters. It paid special attention to gathering sources and materials referring to Serbian history. The Society intensified its activity in that area in late 1846 when Jovan Stejić presented his memorandum on saving historical data from oblivion, Avram Petronijević took over the task of developing a plan for collection of material and a Committee was established for the purpose. The Society of Serbian Letters was suspended on January 27, 1864 and reestablished on August 1, 1864 under the name Serbian Learned Society. The Serbian Learned Society inherited the collected material and continued further collecting of documentation and by the end of 1870 began to organize and make an inventory of the holdings. When the Serbian Learned Society and the Academy united based on the amendment of the Basic Law of Academy on February 10, 1892 and when the name Serbian Royal Academy became official, the Archive holdings became the property of the Academy with its 263 old manuscripts and printed books (Old Collection) and in 1397 inventoried and marked documents in the Historical Collection. The result of the union was establishing of foundations for the Archive which the Academy organized and significantly enlarged. The holdings on the cultural, political and literary past of the Serbian peoples that the Archives availed of gave rise to the idea for the Academy to consider the Archives as a public institution. At a meeting held on October 4, 1899 the Presidency decided to that effect "in order to make the Academy's historical archives and manuscript collection available to wider scientific circles" that the academies of philosophical and social sciences should raise the issue at the first joint meeting of "organizing the subject archives and collections". At the Official Annual Meeting of the Serbian Royal Academy on March 7, 1925 it was stated in the report "On the work and tasks of the Serbian Royal Academy of Sciences" that the Archive "has a significant collection of old manuscripts", private documents, letters, memoirs, collection of folklore material and that "a great part of that precious material can be made available to the professional public; however that requires the Archives to be organized as a public institution; The work in that direction has begun and we hope to complete it in the course of this year". The job was not actualized for several reasons, first of all because of the premises. The Archive as a public institution became accessible to all interested scientific and public researchers after moving from the Brankova street No. 15 to Knez Mihailova street No. 35 in February 1952. The Archive obtained its office, depot for the holdings and a reading room. It went from management by administrative officers to the professional supervision by a director and Archive workers. Four years later the Presidency of the Serbian Academy of Sciences passed Regulations on the Organization and Work of the SASA Archives. These changes made it possible to acquire modern technical equipment and staffing. The Archive reading room is equipped with the title card catalogue, microreader and reference library.



The Archive dispose with funds (administrative archives) from the Society of Serbian Letters (1841–1864), Serbian Learned Society (1864–1892) that have a card catalogue, the Serbian Royal Academy (1887–1944) and two suspended institutes of the Serbian Academy of Sciences - Institute for Study of Literature (1947–1954) and Institute for Study of Villages (1948–1954). The holdings include the minutes from the sessions of the Executive Board of the Presidency of the Serbian Academy of Science - Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, the sessions of the Presidency of the Serbian Academy of Science - Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, minutes from the regular, extraordinary, official and elective sessions of the Assembly of the Serbian Academy of Sciences - Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art, all for the period 1945-1998, and the dossiers of the deceased members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences - Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art. In 1997 a Medal Cabinet was also formed at the Archives as well as four collections of documents, as separate integral units, each with its own markings. They were named: Old Collection, Historical Collection, Ethnographic Collection and Oriental Collection.

Old Collection, or Collection of manuscripts and old printed books, after the National Library of Serbia was bombed in 1941, is the largest in volume collection of old Serbian manuscripts and printed books in our country. The Collection inventory holds to date 526 registered units, with the time of origin ranging from the 13th to the 19th century. They are described up to the number 339 in the Catalogue of Manuscripts and Old Printed Book, prepared by Ljubomir Stojanovic and published by SKA in 1901.

Historical Collection is the most diverse in contents and largest in volume. It holds 15,071 inventory numbers (markings). It contains the material from the medieval times to the present day, consisting of medieval charters in the original or transcript, various documents, correspondence, deeds, protocols, manuscripts, excerpts from foreign archives, memoirs, compositions, photo albums, etc. either as independent, separate units or within integral units - the legacies of our renowned scientific, political, literary, cultural and public workers. Among others, these include the inheritance of Vuk Karadžić, Jovan Cvijić, Nikola Pašić, Jovan Tomić, Ivo Andrić, Milutin Milanković, Obrenović family, Aleksandar Belić, Viktor Novak, Duke Vasa Popović, Branko Ćopić, Mihailo Ristić, Steva Dimitrijević, Svetislav Cvijanović and many others. This collection has a name-subject card file and card file of the Vuk legacy, eight inventory books and inventories and lists of processed legacies which sometimes contain up to 10000 individual documents. They are written in Serbian language. There are those written in Church Slavonic variant, as well as those (individual) written in Latin, Russian, French, English, German, Italian, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek and other languages.

Ethnographical Collection contains 482 inventory units or smaller or larger collections of cultural and ethnographic material of various collectors from almost of Serbian areas and regions, as well as the legacy of Veselin Čajkanović, Jovan Erdeljanović, Dena Debeljković and Radoslav Pavlović. The collection covers the tie period of the 19th and the 20th century. It has two inventory books and card file based on researchers and collectors of folklore literature.

Oriental Collection has 262 manuscripts and printed books and 92 inventory numbers of documents. It is written in Turkish and Arabic language from the period 15th to 20th century. It is inventoried in a single book.

Medal Cabinet holds to date 611 inventory units of various objects and documents.


Task and Role

The territorial competence of the Archive is not stipulated by law and it has no jurisdiction over certain territorial and administrative units.

The main task of the Archives consists of systematic gathering of archive material for the history of the Academy and the Serbian people in these areas and territories where the Serbs live, as well as take over, accommodation, safe keeping, ordering, processing, protection, publication and issuing archive material for use to research and other interested parties. The Archive has no strict division of organizational units or departments for the performance of these tasks, e.g. strictly protection, or processing and use, or accounting and legal work. The tasks of technical protection of archive material (conservation, restoration) the Archive performs in cooperation with the National Library of Serbia and the Archive of Serbia, while the general work (legal, financial security) is performed by specific services of the SASA Operational Services.

The Archive had not dealt till now with publishing activity as institution, although the statutory requirements for this exist. The Catalogue of Andrić's Manuscript Legacy was issued in cooperation with the Ivo Andrić legacy, and with the Archive of Serbia a Guide through the Archive of the Society of Serbian Letters (1842, 1845-1864). The Academy has published within its publishing plans, from the Archive material, several publications, or this was done by the researchers.


Major editions

Ž.Živanovicć, Memoires of Stefan-Stevča Mihailović. Two parts From 1813 to 1842 and from 1858 to 1867, Collection for IJK, First Section, Volume 18, Belgrade 1928; S. Lovčević, Letter of Ilija Garašanin to Jovan Marinović. Volume one. From March 29, 1848 until December 31, 1858, Proceedings for IJK, Fist Section, Volume 21, Belgrade 1931. Volume two From January 4, 1859 until March 29, 1874, Proceedings for IJK, First section, Volume 22, Belgrade 1931; J. Grujić, Records of Jevrem Grujić. Volume one. (Before the St. Andrej Assembly), Proceedings for IJK, First Section, Volume 7, Belgrade 1922, Volume two )St. Andrej Assembly), Proceedings for IZ, First Section, Volume 8, Belgrade 1982, Volume three. (Second Rule of the Obrenović-s and the Turkish Wars), Proceedings for IJK, First Section, Volume 9, Belgrade 1923; V. Jovanović, Memories (prepared and foreward written by V. Krestić) Belgrade 1988; N.Pašić, Harmony of Serbians and Croatians, (prepared by Đ. Stanković) Belgrade 1995; A. Petrović, Memories (prepared by L. Perović), Belgrade 1988, (maintained in the SASA Archive as Memories of Avram Petrović from 1871-1903); P. Todorović, Diary (prepared by L. Perović), Belgrade 1990; M. Obradović, Serbian National Poems from Western Slavonia (prepared by S. Garonja-Radovanac), Topusko - Novi Sad 1995; Collected Works of Vuk St. Karadžić; M. Piroćanac, Notes (prepared by S. Rajić), Belgrade 2004; Nikola Krstić, Public Life I-IV (prepared by M. Jagodić), Belgrade 2005-2007; Nikola Krstić, Private and Public Life I-II (prepared by A. Vuletić and M. Jagodić), Belgrade 2005; Lazar Arsenijević Batalaka, Life and Experience of Karađorđe (prepared by R. Popović), Belgrade 2004; Viktor Novak, Magnum Crimen. Two Omitted Chapters (prepared by V.Krstić), Jagodina 2005.