Fifteen years ago the birthday of Argentinean academician Zlatko Aurelio Tanodi, September 1st, was declared Archivist Day in South America in honour of this prominent Croatian-born researcher, expert, pedagogue and beloved teacher – the founder of modern archival science in South America
Zlatko Aurelio Tanodi’s life (Breznički Hum near Varaždin, 1 September 1914 – Córdoba, 14 July 2011), from Hum to Zagreb, followed by the tragedy and suffering of exile, was crowned by manifold professional successes and work in Argentina. He lived in Argentina’s Córdoba and worked across South America. During his three-decade-long career Croatian born archivist and historian Zlatko Aurelio Tanodi has been decorated with a number of prestigious awards, including the medal of honour of the Peruvian general archives on behalf of that country’s science academy on the occasion of the 185th anniversary of Peruvian independence. The decision to mark Archivist Day in South America on Tanodi’s birthday, in light of his work as an organiser and promoter of the archival profession across Latin America, is a well-earned gem in the crown of his scientific achievements. Tanodi’s life began on the 1st of September in the village of Hum. His days as a student at the University of Zagreb would lead this talented historian into the mysterious world of the archival material of his Croatian homeland. The result of his research was a doctoral dissertation on the Gold Papal Bull of Zagreb that he defended in 1944. The doctoral work in the field of history at the height of the Second World War did not bring Tanodi the scientific career in Croatia he so richly deserved. He was unjustly exiled from Croatia by the “people’s liberation” authorities of Yugoslavia. In South America the émigré Tanodi, after a fraught period as a refugee, found peace and freedom and soon took on his first career engagements. As a thirty-something émigré intellectual Tanodi established a family and began to work in the Argentinean archives and win the acclaim of the expert community with his abilities and erudition in the archival service, not only in Argentina, but also across all of South America.
He has an entry in the Lexicon of the Croatian Emigrant and Minority Communities and the recently published Encyclopaedia of the Hrvatsko Zagorje Region.

By: Vesna Kukavica