Jaroslav Mezník Collection at the Archive of the Masaryk University
The Collection of Jaroslav Mezník documents the activities of the Charter 77´s signatory, the work of a professor of History and later Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University.
Žerotínovo náměstí 449/3, 601 77 Brno, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
- Jaroslav Mezník
Provenance and cultural activities
The Collection of Jaroslav Mezník documents the activities of the Charter 77´s signatory, the work of a professor of History and later Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University. The core of the collection consists of materials that remained in Jaroslav Mezník's office at the Department of History of the Faculty of Arts after his death in 2008. Because these materials were donated to the Masaryk University Archive ten years later, it is rather a trove in comparison to the previous corpus of documents. Most of the texts, copies of studies and books were distributed to colleagues and students for further professional use. In 2011, when the Department of History had to move to a provisional location because the faculty was having its building renovated, duplicate materials of the Jaroslav Mezník collection was discarded or was intended to be. After the Department of History was able to return to its old location in 2015, to the renewed building, some documents from the Mezník' s estate were distributed among colleagues and students again and the rest were expected to be placed in the library. Approximately 30 titles of scholar publications were transferred to the Department of History's library, the same number of samizdats were completely passed to the Libri Prohibiti. At the end of 2017/beginning of 2018, Lenka Janošová received several materials (in about two small bags), which had been preserved at the home of Jaroslav Mezník, given from his life partner Irena Hrabětová, as a donation to the archives of Masaryk University. Irena Hrabětová also promised to hand over to the same archive other materials by Jaroslav Mezník which were in their apartment, but has not done so yet. The collection was handed over to the university´s archive on April 12th, 2018. This collection was not an official initiative of the Department of History, and currently, has not yet been systematically catalogued, and at the moment is neither accessible to the public.
Description of content
The collection was created in the private ownership of Jaroslav Mezník during his life. The author kept his collection in his Brno apartment and, after his return to the Faculty of Arts in 1990, also in his office. The collection is not very extensive, and is consisting of about 20 standard archival cartons. From a chronological standpoint, the materials range from the 1960s to the beginning of the millennium. The majority are documents related to the professional and pedagogical activities of Jaroslav Mezník: summaries and notes from academic books, copies of other studies from historians, sources for his texts, seminar notes and assignments from his graduates etc. There is also a typed version of Mezník´s Memoirs, manuscripts of lectures, lists of course participants, reviews, etc. A minor part of the collection consists of documents of an official nature, such as employment contracts, appointment lists, received correspondence, etc. We also found several pieces of samizdat periodicals, Lidové noviny, Infoch, Alternativy, and Zpravodaj Hnutí za občanskou svobodu. The collection also contains materials documenting a discussion on the character of Czechoslovak historiography in the second half of the 1980s in response to the publication of the Charter 77 statement The Right for History.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 100-499
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Brno, Czech Republic
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- all closed to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Nečasová, Denisa
Mezník, Jaroslav. 2005. Můj život za vlády komunistů (1948–1989). Brno: Matice moravská.
Wihoda, Martin. 2009. „Historik v soukolí dějin. Za Jaroslavem Mezníkem.“ Dějiny a současnost 1: 7.
Šmahel, František. 2009. „Jaroslav Mezník (31. 12. 1928 – 28. 11. 2008).“ Český časopis historický 1: 226–228.
Marek, Jaroslav. 1993. „Jaroslav Mezník – ne zcela okrouhlé výročí.“ Časopis Matice moravské 2: 393–395.Jan, Libor: 2003. „Jaroslav Mezník jubiluje.“ Časopis Matice moravské 2: 637–639.
Janošová, Lenka, interview by Nečasová, Denisa, September 04, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection