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Books: Konavle na starim razglednicama

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Konavle na starim razglednicama (1898.-1944.) by Niko Kapetanic'. Translation of title: Konavle through Old Postcards (1898-1944). Dimensions: 9.25" x 9". Hardback. Photo-quality paper throughout. Four-color printing throughout (though many photos are sepia-tone). One bookmark woven into binding. 216 pages. 300+ photographs. Around 8 pages of text, total. Entirely in Croatian language. Printed in Dubrovnik. First printing: 500 copies. ISBN: 978-953-951070-1-2
. Photo of cover.

Some extraordinary books have been coming out of the Dubrovnik region lately -- all of great value to Croatian historians and genealogists, and especially to the diaspora. The past 10 years have seen at least 8 books on the surname histories of the area with more scheduled. All are written in the Croatian language, with no translations in sight, but the facts are there -- that's what's important. An individual or a family can have them translated at any time in the future. The important thing is to have them in your library now to pass down to your descendants.

One good thing about this latest one, Konavle na starim razglednicama (1898.-1944.), is that it has over 300 color or sepia-tone photos. And photos, like music, require no translation.

The author, Niko Kapetanic', has been collecting sundry items from the Dubrovnik region for many years: coins, stamps, relics, old photos, genealogical information -- and old postcards, the topic of this book (the title means "Konavle through Old Postcards"). Also, he is the author of other books on the region, mostly pertaining to genealogy and the tracing of surnames. The postcards and old photos in this book are from the collection of Mr. Kapetanic', as well as from the collections of other individuals, museums and archives in the Dubrovnik area. These old postcards are mostly of good scenery, national dress, and villages -- all topics that are meaningful to family historians.

The geographical scope of this book is a region called Konavle, which is the southern-most tip of Croatia. The population of Konavle today is around 9,300. The population of Konavlian descendants throughout the world is easily 100,000, probably much more. In the region around Watsonville, California, there are more than 2,000 Konavlian descendants today.

The book starts out with several pages of explanation about the history of old postcards in this part of Europe. It's all in Croatian but this should make little difference to non-Croatian readers because 95% of the valuable information is in the photos. The photos (and photos of postcards) are mostly of:

Villages: Cavtat-1; Ploc"ice; children in C"ilipi; Franic' and Res"etar houses in C"ilipi.
Scenery: Cavtat-1; Cavtat-2.
Folk dress: Bogis"ic' family; Nos"nje-1; Nos"nje-2; Nos"nje-3.

This is a high-quality book with almost all of its photos and images demonstrating the old way of life, dress and topography in a very colorful part of Croatia. All families throughout the world who are descended from Konavlians should have this book in their libraries.

The only objections I can find (and they are very small) are that there is no map showing where the villages are in relation to, say, Dubrovnik; and the font used is a very modern sans-serif. Historical matter should always be set in appropriate serifed fonts.

Also, I strongly urge that a future version have an English translation, even if it must be in the back. The captions could easily be doubled up, one in Croatian and one in English, if a smaller type-size were used. This urging is based on the fact that there are easily 10 times more Konavlian descendants outside of Konavle than the current population of Konavle. And 80-90% of these speak English.

To buy this book, send a personal check of US$50 (or equivalent) directly to:
Niko Kapetanic'
Put A. Starc"evic'a 3
HR-20207 Mlini
Croatia, Europe

This price includes airmail shipping.

[Cilipi; Bogisic/Bogisich; Plocice; Franich; Resetar; nosnje; nosnja]