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The Croatian Maritime Museum in Split has in its holdings a collection of written documentary material that includes a variety of ship records, diaries, naval documents such as academic diplomas and competency certificates, as well as various manuscripts and printed documents, seaman books (called matriculas), diplomas and personal documents of seafarers.

The Collection of Written Documentary Material covers the time period from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Standing out among the Collection, but without diminishing the value and significance of any single part of it, are the ship's diaries, the fundamental books of each ship and the oldest manuscripts of their kind in general. The Croatian Maritime Museum in Split owns, among others, four logbooks kept by the commander of the "Novara" expedition, frigate captain Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair, during his voyage around the world from April 15th 1857 to August 30th 1859.

From the other documents, bills of lading, navigation permits, seaman's booklets, health certificates, travel documents, and crew lists, it is worth drawing attention to a document written in Croatian entitled "Certificate of Competence" which was issued to Petar Šakić from Split, naming him a third-class engine officer in Trieste, on November 20th 1908. From the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, maritime documents were issued by the Naval Authority in Trieste and the Naval Authority in Rijeka mainly in Italian. Since there were no forms for certificates in Croatian, only in Italian, this practice of issuing certificates in a foreign language was changed at the request of Petar Šakić


Collection Manager: Branka Teklić, senior curator

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