Archival and field work

In the segment of collection and processing of material, six basic categories should be distinguished: (i) the gramophone records themselves in physical form; (ii) archival material on the work of the three companies; (iii) sales catalogs and similar printed materials; (iv) newspaper clippings about the three record companies and their releases; (v) material that attests to the links between the record industry and other areas of the music industry; (vi) testimonies of the living witnesses from the periods in question as well as collectors. In Croatia, as far as we currently know, relevant archival material is stored in institutions in Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka, and Split. Archival work outside of Croatia will include archival holdings in Belgrade, Ljubljana, and Prague.


From May 17 to 23, 2022, a doctoral student on the project Dora Dunatov conducted field research in Los Angeles and Petaluma, California. She also visited the Museum and partially documented the material of the Music Library located in the building of the Croatian Fraternal Union in Pittsburgh on May 30, 2022.

See: Report (Cro)

In February 2022, Jelka Vukobratović reviewed the HDA funds concerning copyright, performance and mechanical law between 1929 and 1960: HR-HDA Fund 163 Banovina Hrvatska. Department of Crafts, Industry and Trade, folder 93; HR-HDA Fund 781 Vojnović Family, folder 5; HR-HDA Fund 1948 Republic Secretariat for Judicial Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, folder 154. In addition, the HDA Fund of the General Directorate for Promotion under the Presidency of the NDH Government HR-HDA 237 was reviewed and folders concerning gramophone records were scanned.
In January 2022, the early issues of the Journal of the Composers’ Association Zvuk (1955-1960) and articles related to copyright and problems in the technique of recording and reproducing sound were reviewed and partially scanned.
From November 31 to December 3, 2021, project associate Joško Ćaleta and Irena Miholić documented a gramophone record collection that belonged to Damir Tončić, currently kept in State Archive Split.

See: Report (Cro)

In November 2021, Vukobratović inspected the funds of the Art Stage Variete and the Association of Entertainment Musicians at the State Archives in Zagreb.
From September 12 to 17, 2021, project associate Željka Radovinović went to Prague to conduct the research on the collaboration of Czech record companies Gramofonové závody and Supraphon (successor of Gramofonové závody) with Jugoton.

See: Report (Cro)

On June 14 and 15, 2021, project associate Željka Radovinović documented shellac records kept in the Museum of Slavonia in Osijek.

See: Report (Cro)

From June 7 to 11, 2021, project associate Željka Radovinović and research assistant Dora Dunatov documented the Radio Osijek phono collection used in the period between 1945 and 1966.

See: Report (Cro)

On April 20 and 21, 2021, research assistant Dora Dunatov visited the Croatia Records archive and photographed the remaining set of records that were not properly documented in the first visit to the archive.

See: Report (Cro)

During February 2021, the project associate Željka Radovinović documented and photographed shellac records released by EBP, Eketroton and Jugoton, that are being kept in the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb.

See: Report (Cro)

On February 14 and 15, 2021, the project associate Joško Ćaleta inspected the gramophone record collection kept in the Music School Josip Hatze in Split.

See: Report (Cro)

From November 2 to 13, 2020, the project leader Naila Ceribašić and PhD student Dora Dunatov documented the total fund of shellac records from Phono Material Collection 1936–1994 (sign. HDA 1397) kept in the Croatian National Archives.

See: Report (Cro)

On November 13, 2020, the project associate Jelka Vukobratović visited the Dutch House of the Sisak City Museum, where the collection of Velimir Kraker is located.

See: Report (Cro)

During four working days in October 2020, the project associate Željka Radovinović documented the archive collection of lawyer Milan Dečak in the State Archives in Zagreb, insolvency administrator of the record company Edison Bell Penkala.

See: Report (Cro)

On July 23, 2020, the project associate Jelka Vukobratović was at the Museum of the City of Zagreb to inspect and document the collection of shellac records in the Museum’s possession.

See: Report (Cro)

On June 18, 2020, project associates, Joško Ćaleta and Željka Radovinović, conducted research at the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum in Zagreb.

See: Report (Cro)

On October 13, 2020, the project associate Jelka Vukobratović inspected and documented the shellac records in the possession of the Music Department of the Zagreb City Library.

See: Report (Cro)

Workshops with experts from abroad

On Thursday and Monday, May 6 and 10, 2021, we organized two workshops on the topic of established norms within classical music performances. The workshops were led by musicologist Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus at King’s College in London. From 2004 to 2009, Leech-Wilkinson was a leading figure in a five-year “Expressivity in Schubert Song Performance” project at the Center for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM) that digitized a large body of 78 rpm gramophone records kept in the King’s Sound Archive. He is currently participating in the “Challenging Performance” project with the goal of increasing the performers’ creativity, and last year he published a free e-book of the same name available here. This project seeks to raise awareness of the challenges faced by classical music performers and to break the often harmful and restrictive norms of a “proper” performance. Two virtual workshops were held via the Zoom platform. Great interest in the topic and rich discussion hinted at future collaboration.






In two three-hour terms, on Monday and Wednesday, January 18 and 20, 2021, doc. dr. Drago Kunej held a workshop on the technical characteristics of 78 rpm music records. He is currently the head of the sound archive of the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Ljubljana. He greatly contributed to the scientific field of old records through a three-year project “Sound material of gramophone records as a source of ethnomusicological and folkloristic research“, officially completed in April 2012. In the first part of the interactive workshop, held via online Zoom platform, he presented the development of various recording techniques, from the invention of phonographs to the invention of vinyl records. The second part was reserved for a detailed analysis of the complex information obtained from the label area of  78 rpm music records produced by the leading record companies.



On Monday, November 16, 2020, a workshop was held with Peter Tschmuck. Tschmuck is head of the Department of Cultural Management and Gender Studies at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. The focus of his research is the music industry, economics of copyright, cultural institutions, and cultural policy evaluation. He excelled in the research of creativity and innovation in the music industry, and his extensive study on the subject was published in 2003. The workshop was designed as an interactive dialogue between Tschmuck and project collaborators with comments and questions. It is worth noting the extremely comprehensive review and analysis of the music industry in the period from its beginnings to the late 1950s.See: Report (Croatian)

Study visits

The collaborators in the project will be trained at the research and archival centers that are most relevant to the topic of this research: the National Museum in Prague, the two popular music studies institutions in Liverpool (Institute for Popular Music at the University of Liverpool and the Harry McKinnel Popular Music Resource Centre at Liverpool Hope University), and two institutions in Washington D.C. (the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution.

From May 24 to June 3, 2022, Dora Dunatov, a doctoral student on the project, visited the Immigration History Research Center Archives in Minneapolis, Minnesota for educational purposes.

See: Report (Cro)

In the period from 16 to 22 May 2022, project associate Jelka Vukobratović was in London for archival research, education and networking with British researchers of the early record industry.

See: Report (Cro)

Research workshops

Research workshops of the project collaborators will be held once a year. In them we will discuss: the devising the contents of the module Hrvatska e-diskografija (Croatian e-discography); issues of the record “filers”; the relationship between record industry and other driving forces of musical life; and opportunities for developing EU projects.


Due to epidemiological measures, the research workshop “Designing the content of the Croatian e-discography module in the IEF repository” could not be held live, so the project associates remotely agreed on the basic elements. Nada Bezić, Naila Ceribašić, Irena Miholić and Željka Radovinović held a series of video meetings in March 2020, during which they defined and specified the content of the Croatian e-discography database. See: Report (Croatian)
Work meetings and other

See records of work meetings:

1st meeting (Croatian)  (2020/2/20)

2nd meeting (Croatian) (2020/6/3)

3rd meeting (Croatian) (2020/9/24)

4th meeting (Croatian) (2020/12/4)

5th meeting (Croatian) (2021/2/23)

6th meeting (Croatian) (2021/7/5)

7th meeting (Croatian) (2022/4/11)

June 2020 – Visit to the Record Fair

The project collaborators visited the International Record Fair, held on June 28, 2020 in the yard of the Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb. Among the small number of exhibitors, those from Croatia prevailed (Zagreb, Sisak, Varaždin, Koprivnica, Pula), with a few from Slovenia and Austria, which should probably be attributed to the conditions of the pandemic. No one on offer had gramophone records from the shellac period, and some suggested that we prefer to look for them at the fair in Hrelić.