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Books discovered once again

Department 58 – International Relations
Department 58 – International Relations


Updated 22-12-2014
  • region changed

RegionNational coverage
Title of the ProgrammeCZ06 – Culture
Title of the Programme Area

Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Art - programme area no. 16

Title of the ProjectBooks discovered once again
Project Website

Number of the Project---
Project Promoter

National Library of the Czech Republic

Name of Norwegian Partner(s)

Stiftelsen Arkivet

Objective of the Project

The National Library of the Czech Republic is the largest library in the area of the Czech Republic and holds the leading position in the system of Czech public libraries. Its book fund is universal and has a whole-European importance. It maintains the national production, a selection of foreign scientific literature, an extensive collection of historic documents and special collections. It manages and makes accessible the total of almost 7 million documents with an annual increment of approximately 70,000 books. In the past, the National Library of the Czech Republic served, besides others, as a central institution intended for depositing of many separate book collections from various sources – for example book deposits from closed down memory institutions or abolished church orders, confiscated property seized during the Second World War and shortly after it, etc. Most deposited funds managed by the National Library of the Czech Republic have never been duly processed yet (there were only partial catalogues and sheet records in exceptional cases which did not correspond to the actual physical amount of documents). The presented project should cover this gap and enable basic records and description of the documents having been seized or otherwise acquired during the Second World War or shortly after it and make them accessible to both the general and professional public and to other memory institutions. It will not only deal with the documents themselves (mapping their number, recording them pursuant to applicable standards, storing them safely, etc.) and their presentation (professional outputs, virtual and physical exhibitions, specialized workshops and seminars, etc.), but also with their historical context. As in this case the library documents cannot be understood as purely printed carriers of information, but in a broader context also as witnesses of war-time and post-war events having taken place in Central Europe. The above-mentioned documents may often be the only proof of existence of their original owners (physical persons, associations or societies) who ceased to exist during the war-time events and who may be traced by means of provenience stamps, notes or ex libris. At the same time, they accurately illustrate violent transfers of the European cultural heritage and the manner in which the post-war state administration tried to cope with these remnants of Third Reich. It is necessary to carry out thorough archive survey that would help the public and specialized workplaces (universities, research centres) open other information sources to study the war and post-war period of time, it means the time that affected the everyday lives of our inhabitants for more than 60 years. Thus, the information received by recording the library documents and by the archive research will need to be presented in an adequate manner also via specialized interdisciplinary web portals and educational events. Valuable experience will be shared here by workers of a Norwegian foundation called Stiftelsen Arkivet, who have been dealing with similar matters for a long time and who have sufficient experience presenting the war-time period to the same target groups which will be strived for in the Czech Republic.

Approved grant

approximately 398 032 EUR

Project DurationStart date: 1st January 2015, End date: 30th April 2016