Culture / institutions

Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

About the Institute

The Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute, which marked its 70 anniversary in 2020, stands alongside the most prominent European and world lexicographical achievements. In the environment of rapid and advanced information technologies and a growing amount of publicly available information, the Lexicographic Institute holds an important standard. The Institute systematically deals with the production of lexicographic and encyclopedic content in the widest range of scientific disciplines providing a scientifically verified and systematic basis for navigating the world of global information.

Founded on October 5th, 1950, it’s the only Croatian institution that has been systematically engaged in lexicography for seventy years. The Institute has published more than 400 volumes of encyclopedias, dictionaries, lexicons and other publications, an essential contribution to maintaining and raising the Croatian academic standard. 

The founder and creator of the Institute was the Croatian writer, lexicographer and erudite Miroslav Krleža. Krleža partnered with associates from all possible scientific fields and initiated modern encyclopedic-lexicography in Croatia. 

Krleža was able to establish the Institue in Zagreb, which already had a strong lexicographical tradition and work experience based on The Croatian Encyclopedia. Mate Ujević was the initiator and editor in chief of the first Croatian modern national and general encyclopedia, The Croatian Encyclopedia, which was originally planned to be published in twelve volumes but was eventually released in five. The Encyclopedia is a rarity and its copies are difficult to access, especially the fifth volume, which circulation has been mostly destroyed. It’s one of the largest cultural and scientific projects between the 1930s and 1940s.

The publications of the Institute are traditionally reliable and interpret facts from Croatian heritage and social reality in a recognisable way.

Mate Ujević | Miroslav Krleža

The name

Initially, it was called the Lexicographic Institute of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1962, it changed its name to the Yugoslavian Lexicographic Institute, and on June 15, 1972, the founding rights of the Institute were transferred to the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which recognised its affiliation with the Croatian cultural heritage. Since 1984, the Institute has been named after its founder and creator, Miroslav Krleža.


Encyclopedias, lexicons, dictionaries, atlases and bibliographies of the Lexicographic Institute are the traditionally most reliable sources of general knowledge. We will name just a few: 

The Croatian Encyclopaedia, described by the Institute as articulate, reliable, accurate and authentic, is a fundamental edition created in 1999. It contains information about diverse disciplines and professions, the spiritual fields, history, archaeology, linguistics and mathematics, all the way through to chemistry and biomedicine, informatics and astronomy. Special attention is dedicated to etymology and the pronunciation of foreign words, the position of Croatian culture and Croatian future generations. The Institute made the publication available in a digital format

In collaboration with the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Croatian Academy of Technical Sciences, The Croatian Technical Encyclopedia carries the facts on Croatia’s rich technical heritage and achievements. It’s supported by a digital edition, whilst the printed version is planned to be structured in four volumes, dedicated to particular areas and industries. 

Croatian Land and People, also available online, has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and is available in several languages. It holds geographical, historical and political information, as well as information about the population, economy, culture and society. 

If you are curious about Croatia’s contribution and relations to European countries, this publication will unveil influences and its tangible and spiritual heritage. 

Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

The International Scientific Conference of Encyclopedistics 2020

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute in 2020, the chosen theme for the Conference was ‘Achievements and Challenges’. 

Despite the pandemic, organisers managed to gather both domestic and foreign experts in the field of encyclopedists. Scientists and experts exchanged experiences and the results of their research and reflected upon the current achievements, current state and predictable future of encyclopedias in Croatia, Europe and the world. 

Digital encyclopedias and networked knowledge were discussed on a day one, and experts from various scientific branches of social sciences and humanities discussed the state and possibilities of digital encyclopedists and lexicography, thematic portals and digital research infrastructures.

On the second day, participants from particular disciplines presented the results of their research, inciting discussion on encyclopedic processing of various lexicological and lexicographic topics, concluding that linguistics, cartography and historical sciences, among other subjects, are important principles for understanding encyclopedic knowledge.

The Bookstore 

If you want to enhance your collection of valuable reads you can visit the Bookstore of the Lexicographic Institute Miroslav Krleža in Frankopanska 24 in Zagreb, Monday – Friday 8 am to 4 pm. At the moment, the web store is not available but we hope it will be soon, however, some of the publications are available online. Search, read and research! 

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