- 1380-1383, 1457-1459, 1574-1576, 1568-1569, 1581-1583, 1601-1603, 1605-1815 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
64 volumes; 3.4 linear metres; textual records
Name of creator
Preserved interstate treaties and other documents from the 12th century provide enough data to conclude that the authorities would already at that time oversee the work of the public notary and the chancellery. Based on key provisions made during the 15th century, the central administration consisted of five offices located in the Rector's Palace, and these were: The Public Notary (legal private affairs), the State Chancellery (legal public affairs), the Judicial Chancellery (criminal justice affairs), the Office of the State Secretary (legal state affairs) and the Slavic Chancellery, which would be transformed into the Turkish Chancellery.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
The fonds has been linked to the archive since its inception. In times of the Dubrovnik Republic, the books of the fonds were stored in the Rector's Palace. The books remained in the Rector’s Palace after the fall of the Republic (1808). In 1891, the archives were consolidated and became available to researchers. The archive in the Rector's Palace has been functioning as an independent institution since 1920 and it was dislocated to the Sponza Palace in 1952, where it is still located today.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The fonds contains registers with letters of applications and first statements in civil litigations dating to the 80s of the 14th century, mid-15th century and those dating to the period between the 70s of the 16th century and the beginning of the 19th century, which were first settled by Curia maior and Curia minor, and then by civilian judges (consuls). The data show that in the 13th and 14th centuries, civil and criminal cases were settled by Curia Maior and Curia Minor (for disputes worth up to 5 perpers), two legal bodies that consisted of members of the Minor Council (iudices). The central position in the judicial council until the 15th century was held by the Rector. The Civil Court was established in 1416, and initially there were six judges, and later their number decreased. The most common topics of litigations are found to be disagreements over the payment of rents, rental of real estate, arable land and other land, or disagreements over construction and remodelling, division of property, loans, etc. If it was deemed necessary, the proceedings would continue with a further examination of prosecutors, defendants, and witnesses. The statements in real estate litigations were entered in the Stabilia books (HR-DADU-25), and those related to litigations on movable property were entered in the books Mobilia (HR-DADU-26).
The fonds contains significantly less information about Jews if compared to the records of the Criminal Court. The data of the fonds are important for researching business affairs of Jewish people both in Dubrovnik, and in the Ottoman Empire, as well as in the countries of the Apennine Peninsula. The topic matters of the applications are mostly unpaid debts and trade disputes, or problems with the delivery of trade goods to Dubrovnik and their shipment to Italian ports. The fonds contains some references to Jewish women, widows, and fatherless girls. These women would defend their rights and their property, most usually from other family members such as their male in-laws, in person, or through their guardians (i.e., vol. 60, ff. 90v-91v). The fonds contains data on famous figures from Jewish history such as Isac Ergas, who was the business representative for Gracia Mendes and conducted all her affairs in Dubrovnik, as well as his brother Samuel, and Abraham Coen de Herrera and his brother Jacob Coen de Herrera (i.e., vol. 13, f. 161). The data of the fonds mainly reference to Jews who were living in Dubrovnik and belonged to families Abeatar, Abenun, Abuaff, Almoslino, Altarac, Ambonetti, Arari, Azubi, Bensahen, Campos, Cittanova, Coen, Costantini, Danon, Esperiel, Fermo, Franco, Gaon, Israel, Lanciano, Levi, Levi Mandolfo, Luzzena, Maestro, Miranda, Oef (Ohev), Pappo, Pardo, Penso, Piade, Ribero, Russo, Salama, Saralvo, Sarfatin, Terni, Tobi, Tolentino, Valenzin, Vitali. The fonds could also be important to a certain extent for the reconstruction of the Jewish business network in the Balkans and the Mediterranean since the names of Jewish merchants from Italian and Ottoman cities are occasionally referenced to in the Civil Court proceedings. The members of families like Zonana, or Benvenisti and Galante from Sofia, Maestro and Tobi from Belgrade, or Franco and Pappo from Venice are also referenced in the fonds.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
The fonds is fully accessible to researchers in accordance with the Ordinance on the work in the reading room of the State Archives in Dubrovnik and the Law on Archival Materials and Archives NN 61/18 (Pravilnik o radu u čitaonici Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku and Zakon o arhivskom gradivu i arhivima NN 61/18).
Conditions governing reproduction
Taking photographs and scanning are allowed, for a fee.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Croatian (Slavic language)
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Paper. The archival material is well preserved.
Građa za generalni katalog Državnog arhiva u Dubrovniku, box 17, folder 14. Josip Gelčić,»Catalogus i. r. Archivii Ragusini.« Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja u Bosni i Hercegovini 22 (1910): 537-588.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
State Archives in Dubrovnik
Existence and location of copies
The fonds has been completely transferred to microfilms, but the microfilms are not available to the users of archives.
Related units of description
Konstantin Vojnović, »Sudbeni ustroj republike dubrovačke.« Rad JAZU 108 (1892): 99-181. Nella Lonza, Kaznenopravni sustav Dubrovačke Republike u XVIII. stoljeću (Summary: Criminal Justice in the Eighteenth-Century Republic of Dubrovnik), doctoral thesis, Zagreb: Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 1995.
Most registers contain subject indexes according to the first name of the plaintiff, indicating with a number the page on which the case begins.
Old reference code
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Descriptions of fonds, series and sub-series are made according to the ISAD (G) standard (general international standard archival description).
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Description prepared by Vesna Miović (Fonds, Series, Subseries) Croatia [The Institute for Historical Sciences in Dubrovnik, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (CASA)] Translation to English by Zrinka Friganović Sain