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Matice hrvatska in Zagreb
Matica hrvatska is one of the oldest Croatianmarker cultural institutions, dating back to 1842. The name is somewhat idiosyncratic, best translated as "The Croatian Centre" (while the term matica translates roughly as "matrix", "foundation", or "parent body", and the adjective hrvatska as referring to Croatia and/or Croats). It is the largest publisher of Croatian language books. The organization also organizes cultural events, symposia, round-table discussions and theatre.

Matica was founded as Matica ilirska, during the time of the Illyrian movement, when Janko Drašković proposed to found it as part of the new Illyrian reading room (Ilirska čitaonica) at February 10, 1842. Matica became independent in 1850. Between 1868 and 1873 it was under the wing of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. In Dalmatia, the Matica dalmatinska played the same role, from its founding in 1862 to its merger with Matica hrvatska in 1912.

Matica Hrvatska has had an important role in the standardization and promotion of the Croatian language. In 1971, during the Croatian Spring it ended the Novi Sad agreement and began to print Croatian works. Soon after December 20, 1971, its work was banned by the communist authorities.

It finally resumed work after Croatian independence, officially since December 8, 1990. With the Croatian language no longer subject to political maneuvering, the organization has since opened over 130 local branches in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker.

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