Jaromír and Dolores Šavrda Collection
The Jaromír and Dolores Šavrda Collection consists mostly of materials documenting the life and work of Jaromír Šavrda (1933–1988), a Czech journalist, writer, political prisoner and significant representative of dissent in Ostrava. Parts of the collection are, for example, Jaromír Šavrda’s biographical documents, his literary work including poetry written in prison, samizdat editions of his works as well as works written by other authors, manuscripts and typescripts of books and magazines, materials documenting his activities in dissent and his correspondence.
Špálova 19, 702 19 Ostrava - Přívoz, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
- Šavrda Jaromír and Dolores
Provenance and cultural activities
Jaromír Šavrda was a Czech journalist, writer, political prisoner and significant representative of dissent in Ostrava. He was not allowed to publish officially after 1968; therefore, he published in samizdat during the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in his own edition Libri prohibiti, founded in 1972, and in exile magazines. He was sentenced to two and half year of imprisonment because of the production of Libri prohibiti and for possession of forbidden printed materials in 1978. After his release from prison, he signed Charter 77 in 1981. In September 1982, he was taken into custody again, this time for alleged sedition and possession of forbidden printed materials, and sentenced to twenty-five months. Even after his second release, Šavrda continued with his samizdat activities. The flat of Šavrda and his wife was a place of regular meetings of dissidents from Ostrava and the surrounding area, even during the time when Šavrda was in prison. Jaromír Šavrda died in May 1988 as a consequence of his imprisonment. In 1993, he became an honorary citizen of Ostrava, and he was in memoriam awarded the Class IV Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk by the president Václav Havel in 1998. “Cena Jaromíra Šavrdy za svědectví o totalitě” (the Prize of Jaromír Šavrda for Witnessing of Totalitarism), awarded by the association PANT since 2008 on the Human Rights Day, now bears his name. The name of the library Libri Prohibiti, founded by Jiří Gruntorád in 1990, refers to the name of Šavrda’s samizdat edition.
After his death, the written estate of Šavrda that cared for his legacy was administrated by his wife Dolores. After her death in 2012, the heirs gave part of the estate of both spouses, specifically documents from 1933–2009, to the Ostrava City Archive, where the collection “Jaromír and Dolores Šavrda” was founded. The handover of the documents was co-organised by Ilona Rozehnalová, an owner of the antique bookshop and club Fiducia in Ostrava, who along with other institutions, organised a festival “Šavrdovský květen” (Šavrda’s May) in Ostrava in May 2013 to commemorate 85th anniversary of birth and 25th anniversary of death of Jaromír Šavrda; during the festival, parts of the Šavrda collection were presented to the public by the Ostrava City Archive. A similar festival, called “Šavrda v ulicích” (Šavrda in the streets), was organised in Ostrava five years later, in May 2018.
Apart from the Ostrava City Archive, a personal collection of Jaromír Šavrda is also in the Silesian Museum in Opava. This collection is much smaller than the one stored in the Ostrava City Archive, as it consists only of the author’s manuscripts and pictures.
Description of content
Parts of the Jaromír and Dolores Šavrda Collection are biographical documents (e.g. their expulsion letters from studies, vindication after imprisonment, documents regarding his stay in prison etc.), Šavrda’s literary works including his first poems from 1940s or his later poetry written in prison, samizdat editions and manuscripts and typescripts of books and magazines, materials from his editorial and review activities (in the publishing house Puls), samizdat literature by other authors or materials documenting activities in dissent (e.g. materials regarding Charter 77 or Společnost přátel USA /Society of Friends of the USA/). There is also documentation of public and leisure activities of the Šavrdas, obituaries and reactions to Šavrda’s death, written after 1990, his in memoriam awards, his correspondence (Šavrda’s letters and secret notes from prison and his correspondence with friends – with R. Battěk, O. Filip, J. Gruntorád, V. Prečan or A. C. Nor), prints and pictures.
- legal and/or financial documentation: 10-99
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
- photos: 100-499
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Ostrava, Czech Republic
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Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
Badatelna.eu. “Šavrdovi Jaromír a Dolores.” Accessed October 22. http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/170078/?q=%C5%A1avrda%20jarom%C3%ADr.
ÚČL AV ČR. 2006. “Slovník české literatury po roce 1945: Jaromír Šavrda.” Last modified November 29. http://www.slovnikceskeliteratury.cz/showContent.jsp?docId=1133.
Štalmach, Darek, Ivana Lesková, and idnes.cz. 2013. “Archiv představí život skladníka Šavrdy, z něhož měli komunisté strach.” Last modified May 9. https://ostrava.idnes.cz/jaromir-savrda-skladnik-ze-ktereho-meli-komuniste-strach-pzb-/ostrava-zpravy.aspx?c=A130509_105526_ostrava-zpravy_dar.
Moderni-Dejiny.cz. 2012. “Jaromír Šavrda – Svědomí Ostravy.” Last modified March 6. http://www.moderni-dejiny.cz/clanek/jaromir-savrda-svedomi-ostravy/.
Málková, Iva. 2017. Jaromír Šavrda: tvůrce v zástupu i v opozici. Praha: Pulchra.