The collection contains non-periodicals (books and pamphlets) issued outside the territory of the former Czechoslovakia. It is thematically divided into the following catalogs:
- Exile monographs
- Slovak exile monographs
- Exile monographs from the Second World War
- Countryman monographs
- First czechoslovak resistance monographies
Exile – Magazines
The fund has more than 17 000 units from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, both in editions (e.g. Edice Expedice, Petlice, Popelnice, Česká expedice, Kvart, Kde domov můj, etc. – approximately 100 editions and publishers), and also publications not released in editions. We have over 440 periodical titles (e.g., Informace o Chartě 77, Informace o církvi, Revolver Revue, Vokno, Historické studie, Kritický sborník, Střední Evropa, etc.), and all the significant periodicals are complete.
This arose in 1993 from the initiative of PhDr. Aleš Opekar. At present we own recordings of nonconformist music and spoken word on more than 3 000 cassettes, 1 300 CD-ROMs, and 220 gramophone records; audio recordings of underground lectures and seminars (nearly 1 200 items) comprising of 1 170 cassettes and 50 CDs; video documentaries and films of amateur production (more than 2 000 records) on more than 700 video cassettes and 1 100 DVDs and external disks. We try to obtain recordings directly from the originators, therefore of the best possible technical quality. In 2014, we made significant progress in digitizing the endangered documents (audio cassettes, reel-type recordings), having digitized more than 200 GB of sound recordings and 200 GB of visual materials. We have also begun to catalogue the reel-type recordings (130 items).
Documents concerning violations of human and civil rights in former Czechoslovakia and the entire Soviet bloc form a large part of this collection. It is a set of written documents stemming mostly from the activities of independent initiatives – Charter 77, the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS), the East European Information Agency, etc., and also the works of individual authors and groups circulated by samizdat, feuilletons, political commentary, occasional texts, petitions, letters, etc. The collection is partially processed – for the time being over 2 800 records are prepared. Apart of this collection also consists of unpublished works and manuscripts (over 450 units), documents and writings about the activities of exile organizations, publishers, and editors, including correspondence, samizdat and exile posters, flyers, and archives of photographs and newspaper clippings.
- The Czechoslovak students’ movement in the 1960’s (the collection of Ivan Dejmal)
- Collection VONS
- Archive Libri prohibiti
In years 2007–2012, the following personal collections were put in order and their inventories and catalogues prepared: the collections of Otakar Veverka, Jarmila Charfreitag, Hana Šklíbová, Jaroslav Strnad, Nikolaj Terlecký, Miroslav Obrman, Jaroslav Jírů and Jiří Němec, and we brought in and organized the personal collections of Jaroslav Vrzala and Karel Trinkewitz. We completed preliminary work on the Edmund Řehák collection and continued working on the voluminous collection of Jiří Kárnet. In 2013, we completed cataloguing the personal collections of Jarmila Bělíková, Jiří Ruml and began to work on the voluminous collection of Ivan Martin Jirous. An effort of a several years’ duration saw the completing of the extensive collection of Antonín Kratochvil and the catalogueing of the Zdeněk Neubauer collection. In 2014, we completed the work on the collections of Jiří Kárnet, Jiří Lederer and Josef Jonáš; nearly complete is the inventory of the Josef Kalvoda collection. In 2015, we have completed the cataloguing of the voluminous collections of Ladislav Radimský and Ivan Martin Jirous and were nearing the completion of the work on the Edmund Řehák and Jiří Lederer collections while beginning the work on the collection of Dagmar and František Vaněček.
The Polish underground library
The library contains Libri prohibiti Polish documents from the years 1970-1989, outline the so-called underground activities, in print, audio or video form. The collection is partly a gift of Karta Foundation in Warsaw, partly the result of systematic replenishment of library Libri prohibiti. Part of the fund documents are exiled Polish and foreign information about events in Poland. In 2009 and 2010, this unique collection and archive that charts the history of the Polish underground activities of the last 20 years of communism and mutual Polish-Czech contacts in this period, opened to the public in a project supported by the Czech-Polish Forum. At the same time digitized Czech samizdat periodicals that regularly published translations from Polish and addressed the Polish opposition. The project has a separate website http://polpk.wz.cz , including the catalogue. The updated version is available in the library.
We released a collection of Czech-Polish samizdat literature in a second circulation: studies and interviews with translators.