Video and Audio Library of the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature
The video and audio library of the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature consists of audio and video recordings of Czech poets and writers from 1932 until 2013; the collection also covers the literary scene in Czechoslovakia before 1989, including the activities of unofficial or “banned” writers and artists and their work in exile. One important part of the collection are recordings made between 1990 and 2013 as part of the Authentic project, which focused on recording videos and audios from various spheres of the Czech literary scene.
Strahovské nádvoří 1, 118 38 Praha 1 - Hradčany, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
- Video and Audio Library of the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature
Provenance and cultural activities
In 1978, the board of the Museum of Czech Literature decided to create a collection of audio and video recordings of poets and writers in the Literary Archive (LA PNP). The museum, therefore, started to buy recordings of radio productions and archive recordings from Czechoslovak Radio, which made copies for the LA PNP (the original recordings remained in the archives of Czechoslovak Radio). In the second half of the 1980s, the institution was also buying archive materials from private individuals and some recordings were specifically ordered by the LA PNP. These materials, which have been gradually recorded since 1978, created the basis for the Phonic and visual collection of LA PNP.
The collection started to grow significantly after 1990, with the start of the LA PNP’s Authentic project. The goal of the project was to create video and audio recordings from various spheres of the Czech literary scene, both from public (e.g. authors’ readings by writers and poets, discussions, literary conferences etc.) and non-public (e.g. recordings of the memoirs of writers, poets and contemporary witnesses) events. The recordings were created in order to be a source for future literary historians. The project had the biggest impact during the first half of the 1990s when TV documentaries about this topic were only rarely made. In the second half of the decade, however, the number of interviews with writers published in newspapers or books increased. The interviews were also more often broadcasted on television or radio. Therefore, the project was significantly restricted in 1996 – the interviews for LA PNP were not conducted, but some lectures or authors’ readings were eventually still recorded. The project was completely stopped in summer 2009. During the duration of the project (1990–2009), about 1,160 recordings of interviews, literary readings and other events were made – most of them recorded by Petr Kotyk. Some of the interviews recorded for the Authentic project were published in magazines during the 1990s, fifteen of them were also published in Petr Kotyk’s 2008 book “Deset tisíc změn se znovu mění. Dno všeho vrchol prázdnoty”.
Description of content
The video and audio library of the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature (LA PNP) consists of unique audio and video recordings which also cover the literary scene in Czechoslovakia before 1989, including the activities of unofficial or “banned” writers and artists and their work in exile. The collections consists of phono recordings acquired from Czechoslovak Radio covering the period from the 1930s until the end of the 1970s; video recordings made for the LA PNP in 1989; recordings of public appearances of writers and theorists, in particular authors’ readings and lectures from 1990 until 2007; interviews with authors conducted specifically for the LA PNP between 1990 and 1996; recordings of programmes and conferences about the life and work of authors, round-table discussions with literary critics etc. The audio and video recordings are deposited in unedited versions. Altogether, the collection contains 1,441 cinematographic films and 2,884 audio recordings from 1932 till 2013; most of the recordings are in Czech and some are in German.
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 1000-
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Creator(s) of content
- Czech Radio
- Gruša, Jiří
- Hutka, Jaroslav
- Jirous, Ivan Martin
- Kantůrková, Eva
- Karásek, Svatopluk
- Knížák, Milan
- Kohout, Pavel
- Kolář, Jiří
- Kotyk, Petr
- Medek, Ivan
- Mňačko, Ladislav
- Placák, Petr
- Prečan, Vilém
- Reiner, Martin
- Tigrid, Pavel
- Topol, Jáchym
- Trefulka, Jan
- Trinkewitz, Karel
- Uhde, Milan
- Vaculík, Ludvík
- Škvorecký, Josef
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
Badatelna.eu. 2018. "Literární archiv Památníku národního písemnictví - Videotéka a fonotéka literárního archivu PNP." Accessed September 7. http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/3393/zakladni-informace/.
Kotyk, Petr. 2011. "Projekt Authentic: časosběrná natáčení Literárního archivu PNP v letech 1990-2009 jako literárněhistorický pramen." PhDr. diss. (rigorózní práce), Fakulty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.
The description of this collection was created with the kind help of the director of the Museum of Czech Literature (PNP) Mgr. Zdeněk Freisleben, the head of the Literary Archive of the PNP PhDr. Tomáš Pavlíček, PhD., and the curator of the Literary Archive of the PNP PhDr. Petr Kotyk.
PNP. 2018. Výroční zpráva 2017." Accessed July 11. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gFkIAgtZwd1eqgU3AZcbMV7Kt3GWzZ5Y?ogsrc=32.
Kotyk, Petr, interview by Kůželová, Michaela, May 24, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection