Zdenko Jajčević was born in Zagreb in 1947. He attended primary and secondary school in Zagreb, and took a degree at the Physical Culture Faculty, part of Zagreb University.
His graduating dissertation was concerned with the development of sports periodicals in Croatia.
His first job was as a rugby coach in the institution SOFK in 1974.
In October 1978 he took a job as an expert associate in the editorial board of the Sporting Lexicon of the Yugoslav Lexicographic Institute, in which he worked until 1984.
He took over the job of curator in the Physical Culture Museum at the Faculty of the same name in 1984; he collected objects, started off campaigns, put on exhibitions and published texts concerning the history of the museology of physical training and sports.
He oversaw the purchase and donations of over three hundred bequests and collections of athletes and sporting organisations.
From 1980 he worked in the journal Povijest sporta, and from 1983 to 1999 was a member of the editorial board, and was also executive editor.
From 1988 to 2007 he lectured in history of sport at the Kinesiology Faculty, Zagreb, and Split.
He was a member of the commission for drawing up a strategy for Croatian sports. For twenty years or so he was concerned with matters for the registration of the Croatian Sports Museum, and when in 2003 the museum was actually registered, he was appointed its first director.
At the same time he appeared for the team Zagreb Rugby Club and played in over 800 matches. He was selector for the Yugoslav national team, and was the first selector for the Croatian national rugby team. In addition, he was the trainer of the first women’s rugby team, named Viktorija.
For twenty years he worked in many of the encyclopaedias published by the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute, and wrote several monographs: Dvadeset godina Ragbi kluba Zagreb [Twenty years of Zagreb Rugby Club], 1984, Sportska publicistika u Hrvatskoj [Sports journalism in Croatia], 1987., Sto godina skijanja u Zagrebu [A century of skiing in Zagreb], 1994, Olimpijada, olimpijske igre, olimpizam [Olympics, Olympic Games, Olympism], 2000, Leteće krilo [Flying Wing], 2001, Stoljeće stolnog tenisa u Hrvatskoj [A century of table tennis in Croatia], 2002, Olimpizam u Hrvatskoj [Olympism in Croatia], 2007.
He has devised more than 35 exhibitions and written over forty articles in the journal History of Sport; he created the feasibility study for the Dražen Petrović Museum, has supervised numerous undergraduate dissertations, has chaired commissions and run societies for the history of sport and has authored eleven TV films
He has won numerous awards and prizes: the Gold Badge of the association of physical culture teachers of Croatia; the Dr Franjo Bučar Republican Sports Award, 2001; the Matija Ljubek Prize of the Croatian Olympic Committee; the decoration Order of Croatian Daystar with the Figure of Franjo Bučar, 2007.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on July 18, 2008.
From our library:
Others about the author