Jiří Ruml Collection
The collection of the significant Czech journalist, dissident, signatory to Charter 77 and politician, Jiří Ruml, contains both published and as yet unpublished texts from 1967 to 1989, correspondence, Czech and foreign samizdat and exile publications. There are also writings by his friends, many of whom were also important signatories of Charter 77.
Archivní 2257/4, 149 00 Praha 4 - Chodovec, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection of the significant Czech journalist, dissident, signatory of Charter 77 and politician, Jiří Ruml, was established by the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences at the time) in 1992 using materials that were brought to the Institute by Jiří Ruml shortly after the revolution in November 1989 and the foundation of this Institute, with the aim of preserving evidence of the activities of the opposition groups surrounding the samizdat newspaper Lidové noviny. The provisory inventory list was created by the archivist Rudolf Jičín. The idea behind the collection was to preserve and organize articles and unpublished texts from the years 1968–1969, and samizdat and exile publications, primarily of the samizdat Lidové noviny, from 1988–1989; Jiří Ruml was one of its founding members and also its editor-in-chief. Jiří Ruml is not the only author of the texts in this collection. Some texts were written by his friends who were dissidents (e.g. Jiří Hájek, Petr Pithart, Dana Němcová) or were in exile (Erazim Kohák, Vilém Prečan and others). Valuable material for further research also consists of letters and leaflets distributed in defence of wrongfully imprisoned members from the cultural opposition (e.g. a leaflet defending Ivan Jirous). The collection is a valuable source for research into the cultural opposition thanks to the materials related to Charter 77, the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS), samizdat and exile. The collection was established after 1989, which means it did not have to be hidden from the state security (StB); however, it also contains some materials that were confiscated by the StB during house searches and were returned after the fall of the communist regime.
In 2011, the collection was moved from the Institute of Contemporary History of the Czech Academy of Sciences to the National Archives; it is in the National Archives to this day (2018). The collection’s name is “Ruml Jiří”. The administrator of the collection is the department “6th Section of the Collections of Non-state Provenience and Archive Collections” and the collection is available for researchers for in-house study.
Description of content
The Jiří Ruml Collection is important for the history of the cultural dissident movement for several reasons. There are articles and unpublished texts from 1968–1969, which reflect not only the events during Prague Spring and the intervention of Warsaw Pact troops in Czechoslovakia in August 1968, but also the beginning of “Normalization”. The collection includes materials documenting the banning of some magazines after 1968. There are also documents on the activities of Charter 77 (Jiří Ruml was a signatory of Charter 77) and the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS). The collection also includes samizdat and exile publications by Jiří Rumlʼs friends and colleagues from the 1970s and 1980s (e.g. texts by Egon Bondy, Josef Škvorecký, Václav Benda, Jiří Lederer, Božena Komárková and others). Lastly, the collection contains documentation of the samizdat newspaper Lidové noviny from 1987-1989. Some documents that are part of the collection were confiscated by the StB during house searches in the 1980s.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 10-99
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
- photos: 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Müller, Dorota
- Rajlová, Lucie
Tomeš, Josef et al. 1999. Český biografický slovník XX. století. III. díl Q–Ž. Praha: Paseka.
Jičín, Rudolf. 1992. Ruml Jiří: Prozatímní inventární seznam. Praha: Národní archiv. Accessible at http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/6018/zaznam/401519/reprodukce/.
Jiří Ruml Collection (Fond No. 1921), National Archives of the Czech Republic, Prague
Wikipedia. 2018. “Jiří Ruml.” Accessed September 27. https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ji%C5%99%C3%AD_Ruml.