Tomislav Sladojević Šola was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1948. Until 2013 he was a Professor at the University of Zagreb in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty. He studied Art History and English in Zagreb, and also studied Museology in both Zagreb and Paris. Šola has practical experience as a curator, director, editor, lecturer, consultant, and has also worked at several different international organisations in relation to his areas of expertise. After seven years of curatorship and another seven as a director of Museum Documentation Centre, Šola started his academic career. His main interests is the practice of heritage and especially its theory, for which he coined the terms “Heritology“ and, later on, “Mnemosophy”. He has attempted to highlight the integrity of heritage and the need for a strong, wide profession in the domain of public memory. The notion of Cybernetics as the core value of the theory as well as the practice of heritage is the proposal in many of his written texts. Though ample and diverse, much of his writings are on theory and marketing, on critique of museum practices and, increasingly examining the art of heritage communication and public memory. He has published several books on these issues. Throughout his career he has kept constant contact with the international community through his consultancies and participation in professional evaluation bodies.
After completing his degree in the History of Art at the University of Zagreb, where he also studied journalism and museology at postgraduate level, Šola started his museum career as a curator at what is today the Contemporary Art Museum in Zagreb.
While studying under Georges Henri Rivière at the Sorbonne in the late ’70, he worked in the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Documentation centre, and later became the director of the Museum Documentation Centre of Yugoslavia as well as editor-in-chief of the magazine "Informatica Museologica". In 1985 he received a Ph.D. in museology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His dissertation was entitled: "Towards the Total Museum". By 2012 it had been translated into Serbian and the original version was published by the Faculty of Philosophy in the University of Belgrade.
He has published nine books, written chapters for ten international academic books, as well as two Croatian books, and has had more than 200 articles published. His most influential books include: Essays on Museums and Their Theory - Towards The Cybernetic Museum (Helsinki, 1997); Marketing in Museums or About Virtue And How To Make It Known (Zagreb, 2001), Towards the Total Museum (Belgrade, 2011), Eternity Does Not Live Here Anymore (Zagreb, 2012) and Eternidade no ya vive aqui (Girona, Spain, 2012).
Šola has been honoured with several important positions within the international museum profession. These included the chairmanship of the National Committee of ICOM (where he organised three major ICOM conferences - ICOFOM, ICTOP and, with assistance, CIMAM), a seat on the Executive Council of ICOM, and board membership with ICOFOM/ICOM (International Committee of Museology). Until 2001 he was member of the jury of the European Museum of the Year Award (EMF/Council of Europe). Presently he is a member of the Advisory Editorial Board of "Museum International" (UNESCO), as well as a member of "Museum Practice" (Museums Association, UK) and the International Journal of Heritage Studies (UK).
He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Association of Peace Museums, and was a member of the Steering Committee of MA, UK, which was established for the future of collecting. Until 2012, Šola served two terms as Chairman of the Association for Cultural Tourism at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is a member of the scientific committee at Institut del Patrimoni Cultural (Girona, Spain).
Šola is a founder of the NGO European Heritage Association, and the founder and organizer of The Best in Heritage, the world’s only annual survey of museum, heritage and conservation projects in Dubrovnik, which began in 2002. He also founded "The Best in Heritage Excellence Club" at “Exponatec”, Koelnmesse, Cologne.
Šola was awarded the International Concourse for the permanent post of senior curator in the National Museum of Denmark in 1999. This post involved handling internal assessment as well as training and organizing international events in the museum. As a consultant, he has worked on 12 national and international projects in countries including Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Serbia, England and Montenegro. He also elaborated approximately a dozen others. These included The Best in Heritage, Global Love Museum and The Bridges of Europe, which are still ongoing. He initiated and spent three years managing an International Summer School for Heritage Studies in Jyvaskyla, Finland. Šola regularly taught in Barcelona at Escuela Europea del Patrimonio and also in Finland; where he was a guest lecturer at the University of Ljubljana. He was also a guest lecturer at the University of Dubrovnik in Croatia, the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia, and in the Faculty of Philosophy in the University of Belgrade. In total, as an invited lecturer and conference speaker, he has lectured internationally for approximately 300 hours.
In 1982, Professor Šola proposed the phrase "Heritology" to describe the convergence of museum and heritage related professions into one mega-profession in spe and its associated scientific discipline. In 1989 he developed this concept further and, addressing issues of public memory institutions and processes, proposed the term "Mnemosophy" which he describes as "Cybernetic philosophy of heritage", a sort of „general theory of heritage...which includes at least five informational sciences: librarianship, archivistics, ,museography, encyclopedisctics and documentalistic.". Institutions and studies in Ljubljana, Jyvaskyla and Belgrade are using these neologisms as their title and teaching.
At different times in his university career he has been the Head of the postgraduate study of Museology, the head of the Chair of Museology and Heritage Management, and the Head of Department of Information Sciences, - at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. During the career at the University he has been teaching several subjects (Heritage institutions, General Theory of Heritage, Heritage Management, Heritage Marketing, Heritage and Development, Heritage Tourism etc.). Since 2013, Professor Sola has retired from the University. Presently, he is teaching at the post-graduate studies at the University of Zagreb and University of Split. Occasionally, he is lecturing internationally as a guest lecturer. He has oriented more towards The Best in Heritage conference (as its founder and director), to writing, to his experimental projects (Global Love Museum, Bridges of Europe) and to consultancy. He is a member of the Europa Nostra Council.
Scientific monographs and books
- Antimuzej: bibliofilsko izdanje. Zagreb: Zbirka Biškupić, 1985.
- Role of museums in developing countries. Varanasi: Bharat Kala Bhavan Hindu University, 1989. p. 24.
- Essays On Museums And Their Theory: towards the cybernetic museum. Helsinki: Finnish Museums Association, 1997. p. 293.
- Marketing u muzejima ili o vrlini i kako je obznaniti. Zagreb: Hrvatsko muzejsko društvo, 2001. Str. 322.
- Marketing u muzejima ili o vrlini i kako je obznaniti. Beograd: Clio, 2002. Str. 380.
- Eseji o muzejima i njihovoj teoriji-prema kibernetičkom muzeju. Zagreb: Hrvatski nacionalni komitet ICOM, 2003. Str. 350.
- De la vanitat a la saviesa / From Vanity to Wisdom // Institu Catala de Recercs en Patrimoni Cultural, Girona, 2009, pp. 1–71.
- Prema totalnom muzeju. Beograd, 2011, Centar za muzeologiju i heritologiju
- Eternity does not live here any more - a glossary of museum sins, Zagreb, 2012.
- Вечность здесь больше не живет: толковый словарь музейных грехов. — Тула: Музей-усадьба Л.Н.Толстого «Ясная Поляна», 2013. – 356 с.
- Javno pamćenje, čuvanje različitosti i mogući projekti. Zavod za Informacijske znanosti. Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb, 2014.
Chapters in books
- The Museum Curator: endangered species. // Museums 2000 / ed. by Patrick Boylan. London : Association Routledge, 1990. pp. 152–164.
- Museums and Curatorship: the role of theory // The Museum Profession/ ed. by Gaynor Kavanagh. Leicester : Leicester University Press,1991. pp. 125–137
- The European Dream and Reality of Museums: a report from South-East. // Museums and Europe 1992 / ed. by Susan Pearce. London : The Athlone Press, 1992. pp. 159–173.
- Museums, museology, and ethics: a changing paradigm// Museum Ethics/ ed. by Gary Edson. London: Routledge, 1997. pp. 168–175.
- The role of Museums in Sustaining Cultural Diversity // Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland: cultural diversity in contemporary Europe./ ed. by maurna Crozier and Richard Froggat. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, 1997. pp. 107–113
- Redefining collecting // Museums and the future of Collecting (Second Edition) / ed. by Simon J. Knell. Ashgate Publishing Limited: Aldershot. 2004. pp. 250–260.
- The importance of being wise or could "Museum archaeology" help us be better professionals // Archeologia del museo / Lenzi, Fiamma ; Zifferero, Andrea (ed.). Bologna : Editrice Compositori, 2004. pp. 11–16.
- Baština kao poziv i društveno opredjeljenje // Ivi Maroeviću baštinici u spomen / Vujić, Žarka ; Špikić, Marko (ed.), Zagreb : Zavod za informacijske studije Odsjeka za informacijske znanosti Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 2009. Str. 111-138.
- Towards the Total Museum/ Museums in a Digital Age / Parry, Ross (ed.)London : Routledge, 2009. pp. 421–426.
- The Museum Definition: Questioning the Scope and Motives // What is a museum? / Davis, A ; Mairesse, F ; Desvallees, A. (ed.). Muenchen : Verlag Dr. C.Mueller-Straten, 2010. pp. 106–112.
- European Collection Resources - museums serving European identity // Encouraging Collections Mobility - A way forward for museums in Europe / Pettersson, Susanna (ur.) Helsinki, Finska : Finnish National Gallery, 2010. pp. 248–257.
- Virtues and Qualities - a contribution to professionalizing the heritage profession // The Best in Heritage / Šola, Tomislav (ed.) Zagreb : European Heritage Association, 2011. pp. 10–21.
- Uloga baštinskih institucija u građenju nacionalnog identiteta // Hrvatski identitet / Horvat, Romana (ed.). Zagreb : Matica hrvatska, 2011. Str. 255-285.
- The heritage product as suggested by a marketing approach // Sketches and essays to mark twenty years of the International Cultural Centre / Purchla, Jacek (ed.). Kraków : International Cultural Centre, 2011. pp. 460–470.
- Waidacher, Friedrich (1999-01-01). Handbuch der allgemeinen Museologie (in German). Böhlau Verlag Wien. ISBN 9783205991304.
- Hedegaard, Ruth; Melrose, Elizabeth Anne (2008-01-01). International Genealogy and Local History: Papers Presented by the Genealogy and Local History Section at IFLA General Conferences 2001-2005. K G Saur. ISBN 9783598220364.
- Parry, Ross (2013-01-11). Museums in a Digital Age. Routledge. ISBN 9781135666316.
- Kavanagh, Gaynor (1991-01-01). The museums profession: internal and external relations. Leicester University Press. ISBN 9780718513870.
- bvba, d'artagnan. "Europa Nostra". europanostra.org. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
- "Tomislav Šola :: Detalji znanstvenika". tkojetko.irb.hr. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
- Tomislav Šola Blog
- The Best in Heritage official Website
- on 's channelYouTube
- Global love museum
- Prof. Tomislav Šola: Une vision humaniste du patrimoine
- DUGi Media - Tomislav Šola
- The Future of Museums and the Role of Museology
- A Contribution to Understanding of Museums: Why Would the Museums Count?
- Museology for tomorrow's world: proceedings of the international symposium ...
- Museums 2000: Politics, People, Professionals and Profit - By Patrick Boylan
- Bridges of Europe