#Borders finale: the David Owen’s papers on the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia

Our last #Border document is dedicated to one of the most tragic episodes of recent history, the Yugoslav Wars, which occurred between 1991 and 2001. The wars are so recent that they are still at the intersection between history and news; many of its protagonists are still alive today, as the millions of civilians that managed to survive through the horror, suffering terryfing losses.

Such an open wound in the history of Europe makes is very difficult to analyse the Yugoslav Wars as a historical event; however, preserving the memory of the events and of its victims is of paramount importance. For this reason, we would like to dedicate this final post to the memory of Aida Buturović, a librarian of the Vijećnica, the National Library of Sarajevo, who died while she was trying to save the books and cultural heritage of the Library from fire. The Vijećnica was bombed on the 25th August, and the ensuing fire raged for two days. 1.5 million books burned that night, 150 thousand rare and ancient volumes; Aida Buturović and other librarians defied the flames and the snipers to run into the building and save whatever was possible. Aida was hit by a sniper; it is only thanks to her sacrifice and her colleagues that some of that heritage is still available to humankind.

Here we propose the papers of David Owen, the former British Foreign secretary, held at the University of Liverpool Special Collections & Archives. Lord Owen was Co-chairman the UN-organised International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia between 1992-1995. The papers include official documentation, telegrams, facsimile transmissions, reports, memoranda, audio-visual material, articles, maps and correspondence. The collections’ descriptions are available on Archives Portal Europe here: https://www.archivesportaleurope.net/ead-display/-/ead/pl/aicode/GB-141/type/fa/id/gb141-d731/search/0/International+Conference+on+the+Former+Yugoslavia

Furthermore, we are pleased to have Content Providers from many archives from the areas affected by the war, namely from Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia – we would like to invite you to see our directory to get in touch with these institutions.

Aida Buturović (1959-1992)

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