Jiří Gruša Collection at the Moravian Museum
The collection is an extensive set of materials documenting the culturally opposed activities of its author: a writer, a signatory of The Charter 77 and later a diplomat who was deprived of Czechoslovak citizenship during the Communist regime.
Hudcova 76, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
Collection of Jiří Gruša
Provenance and cultural activities
Jiří Gruša was a writer, a signatory of the Charter 77 and later an ambassador of the Minister of Education. The collection was created in its private ownership and covers a wide period of time from Gruša's childhood in the 1940s to the first decade of the 21st century, when he died. The collection was kept mainly in Prague, after Gruša's forced exile in Germany. It is a relatively large corpus of about 120 standard archive cartons and a library of about 30 meters of books. The collection contains materials relating mainly to the literary, cultural and diplomatic career of Jiří Gruša.
The collection was handed over to the Moravian Museum in 2010 by Jiří Gruša, who prepared it for further deposition. At the time, there were only a very few other donations made by Gruša, but nowadays the museum holds a variety of other collections, including a small collection of his private photographs. However, all the major materials connected with his life and the culturally-opposed activities of Jiří Gruša have already been deposited in the Moravian Museum. In 2010, Jiří Gruša was approached by the museum on whether he would be willing to store his collection there. The management of the museum started these negotiations on the basis of the initiative of Pavel Kohout, who had already spoken with Jiří Gruša on this issue and was met with a positive response. An important motive was in showing sympathy with the idea of creating a specialised department devoted to important figures of Czechoslovak anti-communist dissent and exile. The collection has only been partially processed. It is currently used mainly for exhibition purposes.
Description of content
The collection of Jiří Gruša is quite extensive, it contains in part a catalogued, partially unsystematised materials in the total range of about 120 standard archival cartons and a library of 30 meters of books. The collection was handed over to the Moravian Museum by Jiří Gruša, so it contains only the material the author wanted to make available to the public. It also covers a wider time span from the 1940s to the first decade of the 21st century. The focus of the collection lies in three interconnected areas: literary, cultural and diplomatic. The largest part covers the literary activities including manuscripts with notes, texts by other authors, correspondence relating to the publication of books, reviews and responses to Gruša's texts, and documents relating to the prosecution of Gruša for the publication of the prose Mimner etc.
Materials related to Jiří Gruša’s culturally-opposed activities in wider terms include correspondence with other representatives of dissent and exile (V. Havel, P. Tigrid, M. Kundera, etc.) and efforts to financially support the exile magazine Mosty, etc. An interesting segment of the collection also represents copies of documents from state security, led about Jiří Gruša. A large part also includes documents produced after 1989, which are related to the diplomatic and political activities of Jiří Gruša. The collection includes speeches (including preparatory texts), pre-election campaign materials, newspaper cuttings related to Jiří Gruša, and his diaries etc.
An important part consists of materials illustrating the draft of the Czechoslovak-German Treaty of the Good Neighbourhood and Friendly Cooperation signed in 1992, and materials from the activities of Jiří Gruša as a head of the PEN Club. Audio-visual or audio sources include theatre performances based on Grusa's texts, interviews with Jiří Gruša, his speeches or public appearances. The photographs show the above mentioned range of activities by Jiří Gruša, as well as some family moments. The collection also contains personal documents such as appointment lists, awards, papers, etc.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
- legal and/or financial documentation: 100-499
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 1000-
- photos: 100-499
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 1000-
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Pardubice, Czech Republic
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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
Slovník české literatury po roce 1945. 2011. „ Jiří Gruša“. Last modified November 3.
iLiteratura.cz. 2012. „Bernkopf, Jiří: Gruša, Jiří“. Last modified October 25.
Hvížďala, Karel and Gruša, Jiří. 2010. „Jsem mistr nedopsaných knih. Rozhovor Karla Hvížďaly s Jiřím Grušou.“ Host 3, 8–16.
Malaťák, Demeter, interview by Nečasová, Denisa, September 06, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection