In 1983, a small select group of Croatian artists was invited to a meeting at the American Croatian Lodge. This small group was asked to begin planning for a museum and library. They were handed the Articles of Corporation for Our Croatia, Inc., a non-profit status organization, and thus was born the Croatian Heritage Museum & Library. Collections of artifacts and library resources were begun. The museum was completed by the generous donation of $15,000 by the Croatian National Women’s Club “Kardinal Alojzije Stepinac”. The opening exhibit was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Lodge in August of 1984. Many Croatians brought in their beautiful native treasures for display. Upon completion of the museum, regular exhibits were planned both in the museum, various schools, and other facilities.
The museum and library are staffed by unsalaried volunteers who have been working successfully to achieve the stated purposes and goals of its parent organization Our Croatia Inc. They have created numerous exhibits on various topics in folk art, fine art, and documentaries.
The Croatian Heritage Museum & Library receives its funding primarily from the annual membership dues paid by the Friends of the Croatian Heritage Museum & Library. In addition, we have received grant support for specific exhibits from the Ohio Arts Council. The St. Paul’s Youth Association and the Croatian National Women’s Club support various projects as well.
The Croatian Library finally received a permanent home in 2005 adjacent to the museum. The cataloguing of library resources is ongoing because donations of materials are coming in continually. The library is a lending library and a great resource for students studying Croatian history or Croatians enjoying the fiction books.
The volunteer staff of the Croatian Heritage Museum & Library thanks all the Croatians for their continued support over the last 30 years.
The Croatian Heritage Museum & Library is a member of the Northeast Ohio Inter-museum Council.