Jerome Golubovich was born at Constantinople on 7 February 1865 to Dalmatian parents. Early in the spring of 1879, having lost his father, he was brought to the Holy Land on pilgrimage by his mother, where he was accepted into the seraphic school of the Custody of the Holy Land. On September 24, 1881, He was clothed in the religious habit in Nazareth, and on 18 June, 1888, he was ordained a priest. In June 1889, he was sent to Cyprus as a student of the Greek language; in April 1893, he was called to exercise the role of catechist and of Parrish coadjutor for the Slavic, Greek and Italian languages in Alexandria and at Port Said and, in June 1895, he became parish priest and vice president at Limassol His aptitude for historic study was quickly noticed by the Custos, Aurelio Briante, Who called him to Jerusalem in 1897, and confide to him the mission of composing the Chronicle of the Holy Land. In 1898, he published his first volume — the chronological series of Superiors of the Holy Land — which was awarded a gold medal at the exposition of sacred art at Turin, where Father Jerome was present as a member of the Custody’s delegation.
Upon the conclusion of the Exposition, he began his long research in the archives and libraries of Italy, which proved to be extremely fruitful. In the library of the Commune of Perugia, He discovered a codex containing the Treaty of the Holy Land and the Orient by the Custos of the Holy Land, Francesco Suriano, (14th century), of which he published a critical edition (1900). In April 1902, he found in the Vatican Library an unpublished manuscript designed and illustrated by Father Elzeario Horn during the course of the first half of the 18th century, which he published under the title Ichnographiae locorum et monumentorum veterum Terrae Sanctae There followed a brief missionary stint at Constantinople (1902-1904), at the end of which he entered the College of St. Bonaventure at Quaracchi (8 km west of Florence). He arrived at Quaracchi in March 1904, to realize the project to which he would dedicate a large part of his life as a researcher: the Biobibliographic Library of the Holy Land and the Franciscan Orient. This was a collection of studies of Franciscanism in the East, from the foundation of the Order until the 19th century. It was composed primarily of voyagers’ narratives, religious chronicles, directives from the Holy See, firmans from the Islamic authorities, and other unpublished documents. To this, he added other materials that had been scattered among publications that were difficult to obtain, which often necessitated a critical re-examination of the material in the light of newly acquired documents. This collection of sources, acquired from patient research, catalogs, and transcriptions, would be analyzed and annotated and it would serve as the point of departure for a general historical reconstruction of the activity of the Friars Minor in the East.
The first volume of the Bio-bibliographic Library appeared in September of 1906, and was followed by a second in 1913 and a third in 1921. With these three volumes, Father Jerome was able to painstakingly cover the first century of Franciscan history in the East. Realizing that he would not be able to complete the initial project, which had been conceived as treating the seven-century Franciscan history in the East in as many volumes, he decided to open a second series of the collection dedicated to the 17th-19th century, confided to a few of the most important researchers at the Order under his direct supervision. Over the next decades, two other volumes of the first series (thanks to which Golubovich was able to treat the entire 15th-century) and 14 volumes of the second were published, containing documents coming from the archives of the Custody and of the Propaganda Fide. In 1928, a third series was inaugurated, in which was published a two-part volume (1928), dedicated to the Franciscan missions in Ethiopia (14th-17th century) — a total of 21 volumes, of which 10 were written directly by Father Jerome (five from the first and five from the second series) and eleven by his collaborators.
Among the other important scientific activities of Jerome Golubovich, should be noted the foundation of the prestigious review Archivum Franciscanum Historicum – a project he conceived and of which he was director from 10 January 1907 until the beginning of May 1908 — as well as the re-publication of the celebrated Annales minorum of Luke Wadding: 25 volumes published in the space of only five years (1931-1935).
Golubovich was also an appreciated speaker. Some of his conferences were given in Rome, commissioned by Giovanni Gentile; others in different parts of Italy at the invitation of his friend Ernesto Schiaparelli. Still others, with allusions to the political and diplomatic situation of the Holy Places in the course of the first post-war years, gave rise to complaints on the part of the British authorities to the Holy See who, in 1924, were constrained to block the one dedicated to such thorny themes as the Custody of the Holy Land and Zionism and the rights of Italy over the Holy Cenacle of Jerusalem.
Father Jerome also published numerous articles in specialized reviews (more than 100), works of haute divulgation (about 60), as well as an important volume about the Holy Cenacle, written in 1938 in response certain researchers who put the authenticity of the Sanctuary in doubt.
He died in All Saints Convent in Florence on 9 January 1941, where he had lived continuously for 30 years, giving life to a large part of his scientific production.