Department of Cultural History of the City Museum of Novi Sad contains a collection of varied character, with about 6,000 museum objects that have been collected over the past five decades. Almost half of the items within the Department comes from bequests and legacies of the citizens of Novi Sad to the City Museum of Novi Sad, and a large variety of museum material caused the formation of the following collections: fine arts, applied arts, a collection of cultural and historical contributions, theater and music collection, as well as collections of publishing activities, school system and education. The Department preserves in this fund voluminous collections of fine arts, drawings, sculptures, old photographs and personal belongings of citizens of Novi Sad, musical material, then garment and decorative textiles, books and magazines, and archival items from the history of printing and school system in our city.
The Fine Art collection was formed as a specialized art collection related mainly to Novi Sad. There are various authors from Novi Sad and Vojvodina from the 18th to the 20th century (V Ostojić, T. Dimitrijević Kračun, D. Bačević, D. Popovic, S. Gavrilović, N. Mihajlovic, E. Bob S. Ipić, M. Kerac, A. Lakic B. Petrović, M. Petrov , M. Šerban, V. Trifunović, etc.), as well as important authors who marked the Serbian art (N. Aleksić , U. Predić, S. Todorović V. Eškićević, M. Josić, S. Šumanović, M. Murat and others). Besides paintings, the collection contains a number of graphic works, from Serbian engravings on canvas from the 18th century and vedute of Vojvodina towns and monasteries from the 19th century, to contemporary graphics of Đ. Tabaković and B. Šuput. There is also a smaller number of sculptures of modern Serbian sculptors in the Fine Art collection.
The Collection of Applied Arts was created from items that are created primarily in the area of Novi Sad and were in use in the Novi Sad interiors. It consists of a set of furniture, silverware, porcelain, glass, clocks, carpets and other housing jewelry. A significant part of the collection also includes items made in a wider area of Europe that are brought to the Museum through bequests and gifts of Novi Sad citizens, like legacy of Danica Lučić, Desanka Kostić, family Vučetić and others. They illustrate the taste, culture of housing and financial capabilities of Novi Sad citizens from the 18th until the mid-20th century. A part of the Collection of Applied Arts includes also a large group of textile items (costumes, accessories, clerical vestments, home textiles, etc.).
Cultural and historical contributions, as well as a collection of items related to the history of theater and music, contain material related to personalities and events in the past of Novi Sad. A large number of albums, scrapbooks, letters, programs, posters, invitations, notes, instruments, diplomas and other documents provide insight into the everyday private and social life of the city population. This valuable museum materials testifies to the rich cultural life of the city during the past two and a half centuries.
In addition to the mentioned collections, in the Department there are also the Memorial of Melanija Bugarinović and her daughter Mirjana Kalinović-Kalin, the legacy that the City of Novi Sad conceded to the Museum from the legacy of this famous opera singer. Apart from numerous music and documentary material, this collection contains valuable works of art: furniture, paintings, glass, porcelain, carpets, chandeliers and other items which Melanija Bugarinović collected throughout Europe during her fruitful artistic career.
Within the Department of Cultural History of the City Museum of Novi Sad, there is the Literature and publishing collection which possesses about 1,200 objects originating from the territory of the City of Novi Sad.
The items arrived to the Museum mainly through gifts and repurchases; and chronologically associated with the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century and follow the development of publishing activity in this area. In this field the Collection possesses descriptions of shops, bookshops, bookbindings, printing offices; their photographs; material that was therein handmade, produced and sold: plenty of books, catalogs, magazines, brochures printed in bookstores of famous Novi Sad booksellers: Emanuel Janković and Damjan Stefanović Kaulicije and publishers: Аrsa Pajević, Brothers Popović, Luka Jocić, Svetozar Ognjanović, Vladimir Ležimirac…
The Collection is, at the same, a real treasury of first editions of books of some of the most important writers, historians, public and cultural figures who lived and worked in Novi Sad and its surroundings (Zaharija Orfelin “Iskusni podrumar” 1808, Dositej Obradović “Mezimac” 1818, Jovan Sterija Popović “Pokondirena tikva” 1838, Laza Kostić “Maksim Crnojević” 1887, Branko Radičević “Odabrane pesme” 1881, Ilija Okrugić Sremac “Sveti Ivan Kapistran ” 1892 etc.), and besides all these works printed in Serbian, the Collection has some works of the world’s famous writers in Hungarian and German, and a significant number of newspapers and magazines (“Zastava”, “Branik”, “Jedinstvo”, “Srbadija”, “Javor”, “Stražilovo”, “Starmali”, “Ženski svet”, “Srpska zora”, “Orao”, “Srpski sion”, “Neven”, “Dan” in Serbian, and “Reggeli Ujsag”, “Szabad Vajdaság” in Hungarian and и ” Deutsches Volksblatt”, “Neuzatzer lokalblatt” in German).
The diversity and abundance of collected items, their rarity and professional classification in old and rare books, provide a good basis for the the permanent exhibition, which will conceptually and thematically follow the development of publishing and the written word on the territory of the City of Novi Sad.
The Collection School Systems and Education of the City Museum of Novi Sad has about 1,300 artefacts originating from the territory of the City of Novi Sad and consider the development of schooling and education in this area in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
The items arrived to the Museum mainly through gifts and repurchases. In these fields the Collection possesses the following subjects: teaching aids such as the abacus, globes, historical and geographical maps and blackboards, as well as one bench of school children, then pupils’ tables, notebooks, bags and stationery, lots of school journals, books, work reports, textbooks, као и pupils’ certificates, diplomas, registration forms, photographs и students’ graduation panels and teaching panels. A significant number of items is related to the establishment and operation of the Serbian Orthodox Great High School in Novi Sad, to its famous professors and students, as well as the importance of the role that the institution played for the development of the overall culture and literacy of our nation in this region.
A special place in the Collection takes interesting and rich collection of inkstand, stylus and pens, ink pads and paper cutting knives belonging to the various stylistic directions and give evidence that citizens of Novi Sad pay much attention, care and taste to their writing tools.
The rich cultural heritage of the City is precisely reflected in the preserved issues in the field of schooling and education, from the first and the earliest attempts to set up schools and high schools, to the present days.