Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences

The T. G. Masaryk Institute was established by Tomáš G. Masaryk on 23. 7. 1932 as a foundation aiming to administer and supplement the TGM Library and Archive, to continue editing and publishing Masaryk's writings, to allow for external study by researchers and to publish the results of their works or to assist such publication. TGM donated his own private library and archive, his private museum and securities (worth around 10 million crowns) as the material basis for the foundation. This initial collection was meant to form the basis for a study of the areas with which Masaryk had dealt. The first home for the Institute was in Prague Castle, then in 1938 it moved to its own building in Bubeneč. During the war it was deposited in the Clementinum, because its building was occupied by the Gestapo. During the postwar restoration the Institute got its building back, but its premises were now inadequate, so it moved in 1948 to Kramář's Villa in Hradčany and immediately after that into a building on Národní třída 3. In 1954 the Masaryk Institute was closed down as part of an anti -Masaryk campaign, but then 1968 saw an attempt to renew its activities.

On 4th January 1990 President Václav Havel decided to restore the T. G. Masaryk Institute on the basis of a proposal by the Masaryk Society Committee. In 1995 it was established together with the ASCR Masaryk Institute Foundation, which took over the administration of the Archive and the Library, and as an independent establishment within the ASCR it provided space for Masaryk research in broader contexts. Since 2006 it as been a part of the Masaryk Institute and Archive of the ASCR.

ASCR Archive

The Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences Archive launched its activities on 1.1.1953 as a public institution incorporated within the Czechoslovak archival system. In 1956 it became a "Special Archive" and in 1974 an "Archive of Special Importance". Its main tasks included and continue to include the collection and processing of materials that derive from the activities of former research establishments and associations, institutes and organizational units at CSAS or ASCR and the personal papers of leading Czech scholars and scientists. Since 1955 it has been involved in the activities of the Commission for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts Archive. As of 1.1.1966 the internal status of the archive within CSAS was decided and the establishment changed its name to CSAS Central Archive.

The first fonds to be administered comprised documents from the Royal Bohemian Learned Society, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Masaryk Academy of Labour and the Czechoslovak National Research Council. In addition to accepting fonds the Archive also established photographic and artistic collections and at the same time performed independent scholarly tasks involving the history of research institutes, Czech science and scholarship, archive keeping and the cataloguing and study of manuscripts. The first Guide to the fonds, published in 1962, comprised 48 fonds and collections. Since the end of the 1960s specialist working sections have been established, i.e. CSAS predecessors and CSAS personal papers and fonds. Thanks to an increase in the number of staff members pre-archive care has been enhanced and in 1972 the first official specimen document management and safe disposal regulations were published for CSAS and the CSAS Archive Reports periodical started publication (1970-1985). From the mid-1980s the Archive's historical works focused more on the history of science and were published by Práce z djin SAV (Works from CSAS history).

Significant changes took place at the Archive over the next twenty years. From 1991 it occupied premises at Prague 8  Bohnice and Prague 8 - Holešovičky (in the old Prometheus printing house), while the Department for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts workrooms were located on Husova Street in Prague city centre. After ASCR was set up on 31. 12. 1992, the establishment began to use the name ASCR Archive (as of 1. 1. 1993). 2005 saw the opening of the new building on Gabčíkova Street in Prague 8, designed specifically for archive purposes. During 2007 the Archive met accreditation requirements for "Specialized Archives".

Mobility
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Country
Europe Czech Republic
Institution type
Foreign Institutions Research councils, academies and coordinating agencies Independent research institutes and think tanks