History of the Slovenian Arts Program


The origin of the Slovenian Arts Program at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM), dates back to activities during the 1970's, which set the stage for significant relationships between the Slovenian community and the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

The contribution of Ciril Muskatevc's Slovenian music collection to the UWM Library in December 1980, and the supporting grant from the American Ethnic Studies Committee for "The Development of a Library of Slovenian Vocal Music at UWM" was an impetus for interest and growth in Slovenian activities at UWM.

Significant support from Mary Ermenc in 1981 assured the growth, development, and use of the music collection. Her support encouraged the involvement of the Slovenian community with UWM. The dedication and commemoration of the Frank and Mary Ermenc Fund took place on April 4th, 1982. The major part of the fund established the Slovenian Music collection at the UWM Library, consisting of classical, folk and popular music.

In June of 1982, Professor Leo Muskatevc (son of Ciril Muskatevc) conducted research on Slovenian music in Yugoslavia, resulting in an influx of materials to the library. Money from the Ermenc Fund made possible the purchase of the materials.

Since that time, 3,682 volumes of printed music, 10 microfilms and 865 recordings have been added to the collection. Four periodical subscriptions are maintained as well. Sheet music is available for use by musicians. Records, tapes and CD's may be listened to in the music library. UWM now has the largest collection of Slovenian music outside of Slovenia.

Zoran Krstulovic, Head of Technical Processing at the National and University Library in Ljubljana, Slovenia, spent the month of April 2000 in Milwaukee helping to catalogue all these materials in the Golda Meir Library at UWM, primarily those exclusively in Slovene. He also prepared a manual for the music librarian and other staff to use when handling remaining materials and which will be used for items collected in the future. In exchange, the Slovenian Arts Program is mailing copies of its newsletters and other related materials to the Ljubljana Library. This was the beginning of collaboration between the libraries which continues to enrich the Slovenian and UWM communities on both sides of the ocean.

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