Franc Kotnik, a Slavist, an ethnologist and a
literary historian who worked as a general upper-secondary school teacher in
Klagenfurt and Völkermarkt showed great interest in Slovenian ethnographic,
literary and cultural history of Carinthian Slovenians. Kotnik was born in 1882
in Dobrije and died in 1955 in Celje.
Kotnik's extensive local-history materials, still
relevant for researchers, are kept at the Franc Kotnik Memorial Room at the Dr.
Franc Sušnik Koroška Central Library.
The most important items of great value from Franc
Kotnik's legacy are Luka Maurer's manuscript of the Cerkvene Pesmi song book
from 1754; Andrej Šuster-Drabosnjak's manuscripts; Žegar's manuscript of
Antikrist from 1767; the Colomone-Shegen manuscript from around 1800, and the
manuscript of the Charter of Pillath Foundation from 1700. Kotnik's rich opus
has also got remarkable value, including works such as the book of Koroška's
national fables and tales named Storije I: Koroške Narodne Pripovedke in Pravljice
(1924); a book named Slovenske Starosvetnosti (1943); Pregled Slovenskega
Narodopisja from Narodopisje Slovencev I (1944); Naši Bukovniki, Ljudski Pevci
in Godci from Narodopisje Slovencev II (1952); Verske Ljudske Igre from
Narodopisje Slovencev (1952), as well as a collection of papers from the area
of Gornji Grad and Kozje edited by Kotnik (1956).