The idea of publishing a new collection of studies and thus adding another »hungry mouth« at the barely adequate »bowl« of resources which our country earmarks for science, might seem questionable a t this time of economic crisis. Also, one could ask whether there hasn’t already been enough attention paid in print to our homeland’s interest in Slovene emigrants. What are the principal justifications for this publication of Two Homelands?
The first idea concerning the necessity for a special scientific publication devoted to migrations occurred to the researchers within The Institute for Slovene Emigration Research of the Centre of Scientific Research of the Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts as early as the end of 1987, when our Institute attained its more or less final form. The importance of studying and reporting on emigration patterns was emphasized at that time. Quite naturally, there was great interest and enormous enthusiasm among the entire staff of the Institute for an ambitious project that would present its work and help satisfy our nation’s booming interest in Slovene emigration. The Institute’s desire to publish this anthology was even more justified since our scientific press, which in other respects has a fairly rich offering, does not include a publication devoted exclusively to questions connected with Slovene emigration. Articles on this subject matter have so far been published only in various miscellanea, journals, papers, or almanacs. Slovene emigration, a phenomenon so important to our national existence, a phenomenon which concerns no less than one third of the Slovene nation, certainly deserves a special scientific publication.
Experts on emigration in this country and abroad accepted the idea with understanding and appreciation, which was an encouraging support to us. In response to our invitation to contribute materials, authors sent their treatises and articles in a surprisingly large number. Two Homelands was conceived as a scientific link which would connect institutions and individual researchers in Slovenia and abroad, all those who are dealing with Slovene emigration. We are gratified that our hopes for such a linkage have been realized.
Our publication will present results of research on the problems of »two homelands« - the old and the new – a common notion concerning all emigrants. There will be essays on emigration from the old country, on immigration issues and the way of life in the new country, as well as on contacts between both homelands. Primarily we will bring forth original treatises and articles, information about archival sources and documentary materials, reports on conferences and symposia, and reviews of publications on emigration. Bibliographies of researchers working on emigration themes and the activities of Slovene and foreign scientific institutions in this field will also be presented. Major attention will be devoted to questions of Slovene emigration treated in the widest interdisciplinary way; however, we will not neglect general methodological and terminological questions connected with emigration. Studies treating those emigration problems of other nations which are connected with Slovene emigration are also welcome. The publication will be open to everybody; the only thing we demand from our contributors is their scientific competence. As you can see, we hope that Two Homelands will turn into a periodical publication. A second issue, discussing the Slovene emigrant press, may be expected as early as next year. Judging from previous experience, our main problem will not be a lack of adequate treatises and other contributions, but rather a lack of finances. Hopefully, however, the financial situation of the Slovene sciences will improve in the near future.
Here then is the first issue of Two Homelands. Much unselfish work was put into it. We will be grateful for your critical rem arks on its form and content, as well as for your future cooperation. We hope that this publication will perform its task as we have conceived it and that it will be the first, but not the sole issue of its kind.