Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Basic Research of Slovene Cultural Past

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
historical sources, social history, historical topography and geography, topicality of history, digital databases, digital humanities, castellology, social history of medicine, First World War, history of nobility, history of border areas, political history
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on March 1, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  29  41  35  1.21 
Scopus  82  135  110  1.34 
Researchers (13)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  36397  PhD Gregor Antoličič  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  166 
2.  53499  PhD Jaka Banfi  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2023  14 
3.  18164  PhD Matjaž Bizjak  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  161 
4.  14117  PhD Boris Golec  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  627 
5.  39185  PhD Matjaž Grahornik  Historiography  Researcher  2022  99 
6.  24476  PhD Katarina Keber  Humanities  Researcher  2022 - 2024  191 
7.  16316  PhD Mihael Kosi  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  239 
8.  55888  Jaroš Krivec  Historiography  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
9.  25644  PhD Neva Makuc  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  262 
10.  20221  PhD Miha Preinfalk  Historiography  Head  2022 - 2024  439 
11.  28439  PhD Miha Seručnik  Historiography  Researcher  2022 - 2024  50 
12.  11698  PhD Petra Svoljšak  Humanities  Researcher  2022 - 2024  576 
13.  21794  Barbara Šterbenc Svetina    Technical associate  2022 - 2024  30 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,532 
The programme "Basic Research of Slovene Cultural Past", which is currently being implemented by the programme group at the Milko Kos Historical Institute ZRC SAZU, builds on the following three core concepts: 1) the specificity of explicitly long-term historiographical research that covers all areas of human creativity in the past, 2) the importance of historical sources, which are the foundation and conditio sine qua non of historiographical research, and 3) the significance that history as a nation-building scientific discipline has for the state and national identity. In view of these core concepts, the research programme is divided into several thematic clusters which also form part of regular research activities carried out at the Milko Kos Historical Institute: critical editions of historical sources, historical topography and geography of Slovene territory, social history (with a particular focus on the history of the nobility, the history of healthcare, and the history of border areas), the First World War, and as of recent also the somewhat forgotten political history. The programme centres on under-researched and under-represented areas in Slovene historiography, including the social history of medicine, which has taken on a special significance following the outbreak of the pandemic. It addresses research questions concerning the health conditions in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a particular focus on the history of diseases and epidemics, the development of the public health system, and the healthcare-social policies in the Slovene provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy and the First Yugoslavia. Within this framework, special mention ought to be made of research on the history of epidemics and its findings regarding the past examples, which point to the phenomenon of vaccination and vaccination coverage and warn about the consequences of moving away from this good practice. This is a highly topical subject today when parents are deciding en masse not to involve their children in regular vaccination programmes, whereas the need for such historical insights is further highlighted by contemporary epidemiological occurrences. The programme presented is the only one in Slovene historiography that, to an important extent, performs systematic research on the history of diseases, healthcare, and the development of the public health system in Slovene territory, and whose nearly entire scope also includes systematic research on noble families in Slovenia and the First World War.
Significance for science
Publishing archival materials is undoubtedly the one element that ensures the greatest breakthrough in the development of historiography and sets the foundation for every broader, primarily historical research and subsequently also research by other humanities and social sciences. The basic research on sources as such enables the reconstruction of the past, especially the everyday, cultural and political life, as well as mental worlds and social interactions. At an advanced level, working with sources signifies publications and their multifaceted purpose. On the one hand, they constitute the multiplication of an original and unique manuscript specimen. They can allow for easy accessibility and study of the written remnants of the past to a larger number of Slovene and international researchers and thus spare them the time-consuming work with archival manuscripts. On the other hand, the editions already incorporate basic research of sources themselves - e.g., authentication, origin and dating, identification of places and persons - and, combined with textual tools (indexes), substantially facilitate their use. In this way, they enable comparative research covering wider geographical areas and/or time periods and, above all, offer the researcher-user a certain measure of "data" safety by also facilitating the use of sources to somewhat less competent researchers. According to the current state of research in Slovene historiography, the past (now already obsolete and incomplete) collections and basic discussions of sources have for the most part already been exhausted by the existing analyses and syntheses. Therefore, there is a need for new synthetic discussions that will only be successfully carried out if based on new analyses, which in turn will inevitably require new and complete collections, as well as digital databases of sources supported by basic research. Apart from publishing critical editions of new historical sources, fresh impulses for the development of historiography are also set by several other aspects. On the one hand, these involve discussing topics that are under-represented in Slovene historiography, thus promising more diversified and more coherent views on historical processes and phenomena in Slovene territory, as well as providing researchers with a referential competence not only in the Slovene but also in the broader international milieu. On the other hand, the inclusion of new information technologies ensures a technological and methodological breakthrough in the field of the so-called digital humanities, which are under-recognized in Slovene historiography. More specifically, such technologies ensure systematic treatment of a vast corpus of data or treatment of a major sample of all kinds of data, thus rendering the final results more relevant than before. At the same time, science not only uses the new technologies, but it also offers new solutions for their development. All this points to the originality, topicality, and interdisciplinarity of the proposed programme and the competence of its implementers to keep abreast of contemporary challenges raised by the swift technological advances. The topics of the proposed programme will bring Slovene historiography on a par with similar research performed abroad as well as allow the beginning of new and the continuation of the already set comparative studies at European and broader levels. In substantive terms, the programme will ensure a balance between Slovene and European historiography in research on the economic, social, and cultural history, as well as on the history of phenomena. The results of the programme research will contribute to the overall knowledge of human history with the latest findings regarding Slovene territory and national community.
Significance for the country
Social historical research is a prerequisite for unveiling history as an integral interaction between nature and humans, and the foundation for understanding the ways in which (Slovene) society functions today. Because the transformation of Slovene society from the beginning of systematic modernization to the mid-eighteenth century retained some medieval social patterns and merely reformulated others, some ancient patterns and conceptions persisted until the nineteenth and even twentieth century; a few have remained in the perceptions across all social strata to date. Their determination and scientific assessment pave the path towards understanding contemporary social occurrences, processes and phenomena, as well as visions for the future. In the time of globalization, research on Slovene past bears outstanding social and cultural significance: it enables the strengthening of national identity, the knowledge of who we are and why we are who we are, they uphold national consciousness and historical memory, as well broaden the knowledge of the world which we live in and our role in it. Such understanding enables Slovenia and its citizens to integrate themselves into the global society and culture with confidence and on equal terms. The proposed programme will have a twofold impact on Slovene society. On the one hand, its results will promote the Slovene state, which will place itself even more firmly on an equal footing with those European countries that have already added to the treasuries of their achievements with similar research. The results of the proposed research programme will prove Slovenia to be Europe in miniature, with its territory featuring all kinds of historical processes and occurrences that are typical for the old continent. At the same time, the research results will also allow for the co-formulation of state policies in areas covered by the programme, that is, culture, cultural heritage, science, and social welfare. Only results supported by scientific methods can ensure progress and more efficiently designed long-term solutions, and thus pave the way towards a responsible and competent society. The research results will also be included in all levels of education processes, as six members of the proposed programme group are qualified university teachers working at Slovene universities (Ljubljana, Maribor, Koper, and Nova Gorica), and they also lecture on questions to which the programme research will bring a welcome and quality addition. What is more, the public interest in the research results has already been reflected in invitations to the members of the programme group to appear in television and radio shows and comment on current developments, e.g., the anniversary of the First World War and the preservation of cultural heritage in the past, and currently above all to present the historical contexts of modern pandemics. Historical research is important for economic development because it often touches on the history of economic industries, it detects and investigates the oscillations or the cyclicality of economic-historical processes, identifies the factors of influence, and investigates historical economic models. In this way, it allows an understanding of the degree to which a certain scientific discipline in the country has developed and helps avoid repeating any mistakes that may have been made in the past. On the other hand, the results of historical research can be successfully integrated in particular into cultural and historical tourism, with an emphasis on sustainable tourism. In other words, a better knowledge about our own past makes tourist destinations (individual places, areas, castles, the heritage of the First World War, and so on) more attractive to visitors, while also establishing and fostering the culture of dialogue, peaceful coexistence, and a more positive attitude towards cultural heritage. According to global assessments and forecasts, tourism as the fastest growing industry is one of the main factors underlying the development of countries and will as such also contribute to the economic recovery after the end of the current pandemic crisis. The said crisis is also at the centre of research on the history of diseases in the perspective of history of long duration (longue durée). Placing epidemics in historical context fosters understanding of which responses were effective and which were not, as well as how mistakes can be avoided when tackling new, modern epidemics. This strengthens the awareness about the need to prepare for emergency situations, about intervention to combat stigmatization, and above all about the urgent social investment in education and a well-organized public health system. In Slovenia, research could open the path to the younger historical subdiscipline, historical catastrophe studies, which has experienced a rapid growth in European and global historiography over the last two decades. It is an explicitly interdisciplinary discipline discussing past catastrophes within the discursive frames in which they occurred and considers them primarily as social phenomena, even if they were caused by extreme natural events.
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