In addition to the collections of exhibits and the Museum Library, are the Archives – the Museum’s own records department – is one of the cornerstones of the TMS. It is also the place where supplementary written, visual, audio and audio-visual documentary materials, which refer to Museum exhibits, are collected, processed, researched and stored.
Most of the materials pertain to those subjects and areas that are introduced through the Museum’s various collections. Here mention should be made of the exquisite graphics collection, which includes numerous hunting motifs. Many of the records, however, document those sectors of the nation’s economy and industries that have yet to find their place in the Museum.
As recently as 2001, most of the archived materials were stored at the TMS’ administrative headquarters in Ljubljana; as of 2002, however, part of this collection has found a new home at Bistra. The principal wealth of the department is represented by its photo-archives, which contain over 30,000 negatives, photos and slides. Most interesting are those photographs of heritage prior to restoration, as well as those pieces which, sadly, have been destroyed forever.
In addition to this, the department also collects and stores early original photographs and postcards. This photographic heritage includes an extremely precious coloured daguerreotype – a male portrait dating from 1853, which is the work of the Trieste photographer Ferdinand Ramann. Among recent acquisitions of great importance are the photo-archives of Tomos, the Koper-based motorcycle manufacturer, as well as those of Iskra group of companies.
The remaining materials encompass documents, maps and surveys as well as a wealth of printed matter. Also included here are company records, which embrace everything from published catalogues, brochures and price lists, to plans and technical drawings of machinery, devices and products, together with instructions for use. Further to this, the Museum has been striving over recent years to systematically extend and upgrade its fund of such technical documentation.
The department’s main project is to establish computer-aided record keeping, processing and indexing, which shall facilitate connections between databases as well as the retrieval of complex information on a particular article or collection of articles. Archive materials are, in the same manner as the collections themselves, accessible to both academia and general public alike.