Lelja Dobronić was born in Zagreb in 1920. Her father, Antun Dobronić, was a well known musician and composer. She attended classics high school in Zagreb.
At the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb she studied art history and culture with archaeology, and national and universal history. She was employed in what is now the Glyptotheque (then the Gipsoteka), in Zagreb City, the Regional Museum for the Conservation of Monuments of Culture, worked as adviser and director of the History Museum of Croatia.
She was a subject editor and consultant of the Miroslav Krleža Lexicographic Institute. The first two pieces of research, which in her own words were a springboard for further work were concerned with the topography of the landed estates of the bishops of Zagreb according to a document of King Emeric of 2001, and the topography of the Zagreb Chapter according to documents of the 13th and 14th centuries, which she wrote with the help of a large map with a depiction of the estates of the bishops and the Chapter drawn by the painter Bišćan, co-worker in Zagreb City Museum. She was the first editor of the museum journal Vijesti muzealaca i konzervatora, which at the beginning came out six times a year. Along with her full-time job, she edited this journal for a full 13 years.
She published three books about the Templars, including the work [Estates and seats of the Templars, Knights of St John and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in Croatia] and [The Chronicle of the Jesuit Gymnasium, the Classics Gymnasium in Zagreb 1607-2003].
The high point of her work was in the Croatian History Museum, where she was particularly prominent in teaching and communication with the public. She worked in collaboration with radio and television. She was consultant and co-author in Croatian TV in the shows Kalnik Nobility, Past in the Present, Antun Dobronić.
She wrote a book about her father: [Antun Dobronić: Recollections and Memoirs]. She has won a number of prizes for her work, including the City of Zagreb Prize and the "Pavao Ritter Vitezović" Prize of the Croatian Museum Association for lifetime achievement. She died in Zagreb on December 22, 2006, in her 86th year.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on March 12, 2002.
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