Jan Trefulka Collection at the Moravian Museum
The collection of Jan Trefulka documents the transformation of a prominent writer and an engaged Communist into a dissident, a signatory of the Charter 77 publishing in samizdat and exile periodicals. The collection contains Jan Trefulka's personal materials, documents related to his samizdat activities, literary works and editorial work in a periodical Host do domu.
Hudcova 76, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Show on map
Name of collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection of Jan Trefulka documents the transformation of a prominent writer and an engaged Communist into a dissident, a signatory of the Charter 77 publishing in samizdat and exile periodicals. The collection contains Jan Trefulka's personal materials, documents related to his samizdat activities, literary works and editorial work in periodical Hosta do domu.
The collection was created in the private ownership of Jan Trefulka during his life. Trefulka kept his materials mainly in his Brno apartment; its content had not been marked by attempts to hide documents from the secret police. The collection was given to the Moravian Museum at the end of his life in 2011. In the decision on the place of donation, two reasons played key roles. The first one was a letter from Pavel Kohout, who urged Jan Trefulka to hand over a collection to this institution. The second reason consisted of Jan Trefulka’s own sympathies, with an idea of creating a department collecting personal materials of important figures of Czechoslovak dissent or exile. Jan Trefulka prepared and partly organised the materials before the purchase to the museum.
Some kind of self-censorship is evident, for example, in personal correspondence, the collection contains only letters received and not sent. The collection is not very extensive, it includes about 22 archival boxes and a smaller library containing samizdats. It has been formed for several decades and covers the second half of the twentieth century, including the beginning of the 21st century. The core of the collection lies in the period of normalisation. In addition to personal materials, it contains documents related to literary works, editorial work in Host do domu, samizdat, censorship etc. There is also an interesting correspondence with other representatives of dissent. This is a comprehensive file that will no longer be extended. At present, the collection is used mainly for exhibition purposes, especially in connection with the issue of samizdat and censorship.
Description of content
The collection of Jan Trefulka is one of the smaller ones, containing 22 archival boxes and approximately six metres of books. A large part of the materials is an agenda of the literary magazine Host do domu, where Jan Trefulka worked as an editor and later an editor-in-chief. In addition to correspondence with various institutions and authors, there are regulations on censorship; the last issue of Host do domu from 1970 which has never been published, a “black list" of books to be removed from public libraries, etc. The collection also contains interesting material associated with the so-called "kohoutiáda" a broad debate on the meaning of Czechoslovak socialist poetry from 1954-1955, whose main actors were Jan Trefulka who critically responded to the book Čas lásky a boje and Pavel Kohout as the author of these poems. A personal correspondence with other representatives of the cultural opposition (such as Božena Komárková, Jaroslav Šabata, Milan Jelínek, Pavel Kohout) existed amongst interesting segments of the collection. Trefulka´s library, containing approximately 6 metres of books, includes literary works of various authors, about 50 samizdats of Czech writers and thinkers (such as Václav Černý, Václav Havel, Božena Komárková, Jan Patočka). The collection also contains materials of Trefulka's public engagement after 1989, including its presidency in the Moravian section of the Charter 77 Foundation or in Obec moravskoslezských spisovatelů. A specific subject of the collection is Trefulka´s typewriter.
- artifacts: 0-9
- 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.): 500-999
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 500-999
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Brno, Czech Republic
Show on map
Creator(s) of content
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. „Jan Trefulka“. Last modified December 2012.
Janoušek, Pavel et al. 2007. Dějiny české literatury 1945–1989. II. Praha: Academia.
„Naši slavní rodáci. Spisovatel, signatář Charty 77.“Královo Pole, July 1997, p. 2.
Malaťák, Demeter, interview by Nečasová, Denisa, September 06, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection