Jan Hus Educational Foundation Collection
The Jan Hus Educational Foundation's collection presents an extraordinary set of materials documenting a work of a British organization focusing on supporting of cultural opposition in Czechoslovakia, mainly through underground university, scholarships, and the publication and translation of forbidden or unaccessable books.
Hudcova 76, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
Collection of Jan Hus Educational Foundation
Provenance and cultural activities
The Jan Hus Educational Foundation is an international, non-political, educational and cultural foundation established in Oxford in 1980, supporting the Czechoslovak opposition. The collection was created in a privately-owned organisation. It contains materials of its internal functioning, organisation of underground universities, education and publication of books. From a chronological point of view, the documents cover the period from the establishment of the Foundation in 1980 to the end of the 1990s.
The collection was deposited in the UK until the 1990s and then transferred to the Czech Republic, where the foundation still exists and operates. The collection was handed over to the Moravian Museum in a one-off event in 2012. The reason for the materials being stored in this institution was to create a special department that would preserve and present the activities of Czechoslovak anti-Communist dissent and exile, such as the collections of Pavel Kohout and Jiří Gruša, and an effort to make the Hus Foundation's educational activities available to the public. At present, the collection is one of the most presented and used for scholar and exhibition purposes. The Moravian Museum is still in a contact with the Jan Hus Educational Foundation.
Description of content
The Jan Hus Educational Foundation's collection presents an extraordinary set of materials documenting the work of a British organisation focusing on supporting the cultural opposition in Czechoslovakia, mainly through the underground university, scholarships, and the publication and translation of forbidden or inaccessible books.
It contains the materials at its centre, and so-called Oxford branches, the activities of the French and other branches of the Hus Foundation which are not stored there. The collection is medium-sized, consists of about 35 standard archival cartons and covers the period of the beginning of the foundation in 1980 to the second half of the 1990s. In terms of material types, the collection is quite varied. The dominant part consists of documents coming from the internal activities of the organisation: minutes of meetings, annual reports, scholarship records, including requests for them, correspondence with various representatives of dissent from Czechoslovakia, other branches of the Hus Foundation and lecturers, etc.
An interesting part is a collection of materials documenting the management and teaching of the theology distance courses between 1987-1994, which contains lists of participants, evaluation of tests, essays, etc. The collection also includes various analyses (especially ecological), and lectures. The most valuable part of the collection includes 6 books worth of travel reports of the Foundation´s lecturers and its members, about their visits to Czechoslovakia from 1983 to December 1989. The collection also contains posters, correspondence and materials related to the Jazz section (an association of artists working in the field of informal culture) as well as translations of original texts of books published by the Foundation (Palach Press Limited, Central and East European Publishing Project). The collection also contains audio recordings from the second half of the 1990s and video recordings from 1990-1991 of lectures organised within the Foundation's activities (such as Jacques Derrida, David Levy, Jáchym Topol, Zdeněk Vašíček).
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 500-999
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 100-499
- memorabilia (posters, flyers, stamps, etc.): 0-9
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 0-9
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Oxford, United Kingdom
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Important events in the history of the collection
- parts are closed to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Nečasová, Denisa
Dayová, Barbara. 1999. Sametoví filozofové. Podzemní univerzita v Československu a role Vzdělávací nadace Jana Husa v letech 1979–1989. Brno: Doplněk.
Vzdělávací nadace Jana Husa. 2018. Accessed October 25. http://www.vnjh.cz/
Malaťák, Demeter, interview by Nečasová, Denisa, September 06, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection