The memory of Astra library collections: Ioan Pop Reteganul
Autor: Voichiţa Biţu
The eternity of teacher and storyteller Ioan Pop Reteganul rounded out to one century on the 3rd of April 2005. The Special Collections of ASTRA Library preserve an autobiographic document in the documentary collection bearing his name. Typed on 19 sheets of standard mail record paper, measuring 260 mm in length and 212 mm in width, the document is a copy made most probably by either his daughter Eugenia or the literary secretary of ASTRA Library, with the intention of submitting it for publication.
Specifying the date of its drafting – 10 February 1899 – Ioan Pop Reteganul presents an excursus on his life up to his graduation from the Gymnasium in Năsăud and then his enrolment at the Pedagogic School in Gherla. Starting with his birth date, we are given the opportunity to learn details regarding family genealogy, the first years of school, and his teachers, marvellously portrayed. The style of the generous and talented storyteller delights the reader with a veritable panorama of education in the nineteenth century, with portraits of people, descriptions of traditions, and even short accounts of journeys. Childish pranks, occurrences generating mirth, situation appraisals done by the boyish grown up Pop Reteganul – these are all arguments in favour of reconsidering the status of the Transylvanian teacher, storyteller and ethnologist Ioan Pop Reteganul.