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When you start looking for a source that is not available in your College or University library, you have several other options. You can look for it

The majority of these institutions have an online catalogue, which means you do not need to phone, email or go there. However, before choosing the institution that you think is the most likely to have your source remember that many countries (including the United Kingdom and France) have META-OPACs, that is, online catalogues which collect all the OPACs of a certain area. COPAC, for example, collect major British OPACs; CCFR collects French major online catalogues. And there are even META-OPACs which allow you to do online bibliographical searches of different national OPACs at once. This facility gives you the greatest overview of what is available on a trans-national level. We therefore suggest you should start by having a look at the META-OPACs relevant to Czech Studies, included in our

Although META-OPACs permit you to scan a massive amount of books (authors, titles, and subjects), this information will not include any articles. So, if you are looking for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books, the best way of resourcing these materials is to consult the

MLA International Bibliography which will be available on CD-ROM or in print at your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published in modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and articles each year.

Site: Postgraduate online research training
Course: a PORT for Modern Languages
Book: Czech
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Tuesday, 18 February 2020, 6:41 AM

Czech Resources

When you start looking for a source that is not available in your College or University library, you have several other options. You can look for it

The majority of these institutions have an online catalogue, which means you do not need to phone, email or go there. However, before choosing the institution that you think is the most likely to have your source remember that many countries (including the United Kingdom and France) have META-OPACs, that is, online catalogues which collect all the OPACs of a certain area. COPAC, for example, collect major British OPACs; CCFR collects French major online catalogues. And there are even META-OPACs which allow you to do online bibliographical searches of different national OPACs at once. This facility gives you the greatest overview of what is available on a trans-national level. We therefore suggest you should start by having a look at the META-OPACs relevant to Czech Studies, included in our

Although META-OPACs permit you to scan a massive amount of books (authors, titles, and subjects), this information will not include any articles. So, if you are looking for secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books, the best way of resourcing these materials is to consult the

MLA International Bibliography which will be available on CD-ROM or in print at your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published in modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and articles each year.

1. Resources in the Czech Republic

These are organized according to three different categories on the following pages:

1.1 Archives

The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. This database contains entries about 151692 archive groups. The page links to those archive groups which are deposited in the National Archive, 7 public regional archives, 5 municipal archives, several dozen specialized and private archives, the cultural/scientific institutions (museums, libraries, galleries, branches of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, universities) and also those in the hands of legal entities or particular individuals (historical records and documents deposited outside archives).

Musica. Useful site for foreigners interested in contemporary Czech music. It provides a collection of documents on contemporary Czech music, composers, and events. It also includes archives of sheet music and recordings.

Jan Hus Educational Foundation. International non-political, non-denominational, educational and cultural foundation.

Czech News Agency (CTK) includes text-based news in Czech, Slovak and English, picture, video and audio news,infographics. CTK's archive is unique for its depth and complexity. Besides containing all of CTK's news published in Czech and English, it also contains a vast documentary database, an archive of dailies and many other periodicals published in the Czech Republic as well as other information archived either as texts, pictures or audio recordings.

1.3 Libraries

National

The National Library of the Czech Republic

Libri Prohibiti-the Exile Literature Library-is the library of Czech and Slovak books written and published in exile orsamizdat. The library contains Czech and Slovak samizdat literature from 1960 to 1989, including periodicals; Czech and Slovak exile literature from 1948 to 1998, including periodicals; Polish samizdat literature from 1979 to 1989, including magazines; literature of Czech wartime exile from 1939 to 1945; literature of the Russian and Ukrainian exile from 1920 to 1990, including magazines (a limited collection); foreign language literature relating to Czechoslovakia, including periodicals; material of the Czech and Polish domestic and foreign opposition (leaflets, postcards etc.); documents of VONS, Charter 77, and other independent initiatives; audio and video recordings by domestic and foreign opposition.

Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Also contains a Global Catalogue of the Institute Libraries of the ASCR, and the Institute Bibliography ASEP. Journals published by the Academy of Sciences can be found here

The Municipal Library of Prague is the capital's public library. It offers loans, materials for reference, newspapers and magazines, audio material, music sheets, graphics and reproductions in the artoteque.

Czech Library of Electronic Texts contains texts and links to both original Czech literature and Czech translations.

The Czech National Corpus (CNC) is a non-commercial, academic project focused on building up a large computer-based corpus, containing mostly written Czech material.

Václav Havel Library - contains the complete works of Václav Havel and everything related to his public activities.

2. Resources in the UK

There are several institutions that hold Czech materials in Britain. They can be classified in the following categories:

2.1 Archives

The UK Data Archive (UKDA) is a centre of expertise in data acquisition, preservation, dissemination and promotion and is curator of the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the UK.

UCL SSEES Library is one of the largest teaching and research collections for the study of Central and Eastern Europe, it contains collections of almost 400,000 printed volumes and extensive archive and audio-visual holdings.

Arts and Humanities Data Service
As a postgraduate student in humanities you will find this service useful and relevant. It includes 5 different domains:

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Literature, Languages & Linguistics
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts

Archives Hub is a portal bringing together descriptions of thousands of the UK's archive collections and representing nearly 300 institutions across the country.

AIM25 is a database of archives and manuscript collections from many of London's higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and City livery companies.





2.2 Cultural Institutions

The Czech Centre in London is associated with the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs to actively promote the Czech Republic in the UK. It provides resources for obtaining relevant information about the Czech Republic to students, scholars, business people, tourists and the general public.

The British Czech and Slovak Association: Aims to raise public awareness in Britain on all aspects of Czech and Slovak life, covering history, arts and literature, economics, politics and science.

The Jantar publishing house aims to publish Central and East European works of literature accompanied by an academic or critic introduction.

Czech Studies in UK Universities:

Czech Studies at the University of Oxford

Slavonic Studies at the University of Glasgow

Czech Studies at the University of Bristol

Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield

Czech Studies at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

2.3 Libraries

We cannot list all the libraries in the UK holding Czech resources. So before checking one of the larger libraries on this page, always search the catalogues of your University library first, and those which are in your neighbourhood. University libraries tend to have different specialisms depending on the research interests of the lecturers and researchers associated with the institution, so collections may vary considerably. Be creative when doing your research and use COPAC to locate your materials.

The British Library
The British Library's collection of books of Czech provenance and of books in the Czech language is among the most important collections outside the Czech Republic and, with regard to continuity, probably the major collection of such material outside the country of origin.
It contains links to sites within all subject areas of the Humanities, including academic institutions, art and culture, libraries and archives, media, publishers and booksellers, as well as Czech gateways and directories Czech Collections of the British Library.

Bodleian Library at Oxford
This is the main research library of Oxford University, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library, having a stock of 6 million volumes. Admission open to members of Oxford University is free, and to other bona fide scholars on production of a suitable letter of recommendation and proof of identity. Graduate students affiliated to universities and colleges funded by the higher education funding councils of the UK or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from payment.

Cambridge University Library
This library has more than 5 million books and more than 1.5 million serial volumes. For vacation access only your student ID is required, although during term time and for the section Manuscripts & Rare Books you have to produce a letter from your supervisor. Students from foreign universities are subject to an administration charge of £10 for six months. Newton is the online catalogue for the libraries of Cambridge University, including Cambridge University Library and its dependent libraries, and most faculty, departmental and college libraries.

University of London Library: Senate House
The University of London Library is one of the major academic libraries of the United Kingdom. Access is free for all postgraduates (although you have to show proof of identity and get a card). However, lending rights are only given automatically to University of London students and staff. Anyone else has to pay a fee (there are various different categories). Photocopying (also onto CDs) is available at a reasonable rate.

British Film Institute Library
The BFI Library provides access to a large collection of documentation and information on film and television including Czech films and scripts.

The National Art Library - Victoria and Albert Museum
NAL is both a major reference library and the Victoria and Albert Museum's curatorial department for the art, craft and design of the book, with a special collection of prints, drawings and paintings.

3. Resources in the Rest of the World

This section offers information on Czech resources outside the Czech Republic and the UK. Please note that what you will find listed does not of course exhaust everything available.

3.1 Archives

International gateway to information for archivists and archive users.

Collection of medieval manuscripts of the Czech Reformation is an artificially created collection of works of the key priests and lay-preachers, which inspired the process of the Czech Reformation. The most important of those was Jan Hus. The collection contains tracts and sermons outlining the main concerns of the Reformation movement.

University of Toronto owns collections of the Charter 77 documents, documents on Czechoslovak history, the Jazz Section collection, a collection of privately-issued typewritten samizdat works of the Petlice publishing house, audio and video recordings of interviews with Czech and Slovak leaders and the Josef Škvorecký collection.

Indiana University. The Czech collection contains long runs of journals, (Naše řec, 1917-1996; Slovo a slovesnost, 1935-1996; Lumír, 1851-1940) and Czech and Slovak collections of émigré books and journals.

Hoover Institution Stanford University. The Czech and Slovak collections are focused on the World War I period, Czechs and Slovaks at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the first Czechoslovak Republic, World War II and German occupation and post-World War II and socialist Czechoslovakia. It includes important documents on human rights, Charter 77, and other dissident publications.

Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from different European countries as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent. 

3.2 Cultural Institutions

Czech Centres. A list of Czech Cultural Centres abroad.

Czech Center in New York.

Czech meetup. A site assisting people interested in the Czech Republic to arrange regional meetings.

Hurontaria. A Czech expatriate forum in Canada.

American Czech Educational Centre. A site dedicated to Czech and Slovak News and Culture

Cesky Dialog. A magazine in Czech for expatriates around the world as well as those living in the Czech Republic.

Csplanet. This website provides useful information about and for the Czech and Slovak community in the USA.

Czechs and Slovaks Worldwide and their Culture. The official site of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU). Provides information about Czech-Americans.

The Czechoslovak Genealogical Society (CGSI) promotes Czechoslovak genealogical research and interest among people with ancestry in the Czechoslovak region as it was in 1918 including families of Czech, Bohemian, Moravian, Slovak, German, Hungarian, Jewish, Rusyn, and Silesian origin.

Brown University Online Czech Anthology. This website is a good starting point for anyone wanting to read Czech literature in the original language. It contains excerpts from Capek and Hasek with voice recordings and vocabulary links.

3.3 Libraries

This page lists a selection of libraries with Czech collections outside of the Czech Republic and the UK.

Libdex. Access to 18.000 libraries worldwide.

The Library of Congress - US
The national library of the United States.

4. Virtual resources

Besides descriptions and catalogues of real libraries and archives, you can find on the Net numerous virtual libraries, that is, numerous websites containing the transcriptions of entire texts. We suggest that you should have recourse to them only for the first reading, or in order to search for particular words or phrases. If you need to quote those texts in your thesis or papers, you should refer to printed editions, whose philological accuracy is more easily verifiable. On the other hand, the Net offers you several other research tools, such as:

  • META-OPACs: these are search engines that allow you to scan materials of several library catalogues at once.
  • humanities portals and sites, that is, portals/sites devoted to different aspects and fields of humanities.
  •  digital works and authors, that is, web-sites devoted to individual authors or works.
  •  e-journals, that is, periodicals published only (or also) online.

Another essential digital source of information is the

  • MLA International Bibliography which represents the best source for tracing secondary literature, especially articles and chapters in books. It will be available on CD-ROM (or in print) in your University Library. The MLA International Bibliography provides a listing and subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. It indexes over 50000 books and journals each year.

4.1 Digital works and authors

CD-ROMs
You can now access many literary works either online (for free) or on CD-ROM (then you will have to purchase the CD-ROM or consult it at a library that might hold it). In any case, the digitization of literature can be a great research tool as it will allow you to do specific searches in the text and in the case of online literature brings it into your house without your having to venture out to the library or the bookshop. For links to online literature, check our section on virtual libraries. There you will find many of the literary works you are studying online. To list them all individually on this page would be an infinite task. We have therefore limited our authors' page to few examples. If you are interested in CD-ROMs dedicated to particular authors, one major publisher of literature-based CD-ROMs isChadwyck-Healey. For more information on their products click here: ProQuest and Chadwyck Healey.

Examples of digital authors and sites listing digital authors

Ceskaliteratura. Probably the most complete Czech-based resource for Czech literature. Contains many texts, excerpts and links in Czech.

Czech literature portal. Links, excerpts and news in Czech.

Complete text and translation of the famous romantic poem by K.H.Mácha-Máj.

Website containing the entire corpus of 19th century Czech Poetry. Free to use upon registration.

Transition Online. Formerly Central Europe Review. Covers politics, culture, media, and literature of 28 post-communist countries.

Europeana provides access to over 50 million digitised items - books, music, artworks and more.

4.2 E-journals

Centomag
Online literary journal which publishes works of fiction and poetry, essays and artwork.

Noveknihy
Online version of weekly New Books Magazine which contains a searchable databse of nearly all books published in Czech since 1990. Over 30,000 titles (including translations from other languages) are listed here with brief bibliographical information and a synopsis.

Tulane University - E-journals list
This is the richest list of journals available online and includes sections devoted to

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture Web Journal CLCWeb
This is a peer-refereed quarterly of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences published online by Purdue University Press.

4.3 Humanities portals and sites

Bohemistika
A site of announcements for literary critics interested in Czech studies. All in Czech.

Carolina
E-mail news service covering the Czech Republic. Produced by journalism students at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague.

Intute Arts and Humanities Hub
This site is one of the most useful for all areas of research in the Humanities. It contains links to sites within all subject areas of the Humanities and you will be offered routes to projects/organizations, primary sources, research-related sites, secondary sources, teaching and learning related sites and also bibliographical sources. It is regularly updated and continuously maintained.

The British Academy Portal
This is the British Academy's directory of online resources in the humanities and social sciences. It is designed as an entry point to resources available for those working in higher education and research, including the domain of modern languages amongst many other subjects.

Research in Modern Languages in the UK
This portal provides an online single point of reference for research interests in modern language studies across the UK. The website provides: a searchable online database of research conducted by UK-based researchers to which researchers may submit their details online; searchable databases of modern languages research events and resources to which users may submit new resources and events; archives and joining instructions for an email discussion list dedicated to research in modern languages.

Gabriel - Gateway to Europe's National Libraries
This is the World Wide Web service of Europe's National Libraries represented in the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). It offers information about all the National Libraries of Europe, their services and online exhibitions.

History of Czech Theatre
Provides information on grants, projects, and the history of Czech Theatre.

Official Site of the Czech Republic

4.4 META-OPACs

British META-OPACs

COPAC
The most searched British META-OPAC. It contains the online catalogue of 22 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library catalogue.

Transnational META-OPACs

Karlsruhe Virtueller Katalog KVK
The wonderful University of Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue allows you to search all the major libraries and nationalopacs in the world at once. Indispensable.

META-OPAC Maldura
Maldura brings together online catalogues from Italian, Spanish, Swiss and Swedish libraries, plus the onlinecatalogue of the British Library and the Library of Congress. Homepage is in Italian only, but the catalogue search engine is also available in English.

4.5 Virtual Libraries

Babelot
This is a search engine that allows you to scour all major virtual libraries.