Update on Serbo-Croat Letters

NAF 1-8-3-3 Postcard, frontWe’ve had a great response to our call for volunteers to help us translate letters from Serbo-Croat into English, and the results are starting to show. We’ve been sending out scanned and photocopied documents to volunteers as close as West Yorkshire, and as far away as Canada, not to mention volunteers in Serbia and Croatia. Volunteers have worked with everything from short, relatively simple postcards chatting about holidays, to long letters that bounce between widely varied subjects.

NAF 1-8-3-32 Postcard, Enghien-des-Bains, front

Through these translations we’ve discovered that the artist Sveta Vuković was delighted to have his work reviewed in the newspaper Politika, whilst Janko Lavrin didn’t think too much of Stephen Graham’s ambitions to write more for The New Age.

NAF 1-8-3-28 Letter from Janko Lavrin 17 Nov 1925, p.2 [crop, postscript]

Another translation has uncovered the fact that Dimitrije Mitrinović fell out with his sister Sophie Mirković (a.k.a. Mirkovitch), who tried to re-establish contact after twelve years of living in America. Letters from correspondents in Belgrade and Zagreb are beginning to shed light on a world of intellectual, artistic and esoteric groups in contact with their counterparts across Europe.

NAF 1-8-3-8 Letter, p1. crop

There are hundreds of letters and postcards in the collection, written in Serbo-Croat, awaiting translation. Our current volunteers are doing a truly wonderful job and we have been very impressed with their skill and thoroughness – as well as how generous they have been with their time! However, we still need more helpers to get the job done, so if you or anyone you know would like to get involved, it’s certainly not too late! You can choose your level of involvement – translate one letter or twenty – and we’ll try to tailor the content to your skills and interests. Email e.l.burgham@bradford.ac.uk if you’d like to find out more.

NAF 1-8-3-35 Letter from Stojanovic, envelope


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