Božena Komárková Collection at the Moravian Museum
The collection contains materials describing the activities of the Brno´s Protestant dissent, the philosopher Božena Komárková. It also documents lectures from the secretive meetings held in Božena Komárková’s apartment.
Hudcova 76, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
- Božena Komárková
Provenance and cultural activities
Božena Komárková was a philosopher, member of the Protestant dissent in Brno, a signatory of Charter 77, and organiser of secretive lectures. The collection of Božena Komárková was created in a private ownership during her life. It contains materials from childhood and adolescence up until the time of her death. The majority of collection´s materials are made up of intellectual and culturally-opposed work, but also personal documents. During Komárková's life the collection was deposited in her Brno apartment and after her death in 1997 it was relocated to the apartment of Jan Šimsa and Milena Šimsová, also in Brno, whom were both close friends of Komárková and attendants in the secretive group. In 2012, the collection was donated to the Moravian Museum. The reason for this institution was a support of a new department focusing on important figures of the anti-Communist opposition. Božena Komárková, according to Jan Šimsa and Milena Šimsová, considered the struggle against totalitarianism (in her approach the Communist and Nazi) as one of her major life tasks. The donation was a one-off and the collection would no longer be expanded. Currently, it is used mainly for exhibition purposes. Visitors are particularly interested in an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel, which she received for her professional activity in 1982. The collection has not yet been catalogued.
Description of content
Within the collection of Božena Komárková, holds some smaller specific materials, containing about 14 standard archival boxes and a small part of the library. The collection covers a wide period of the 20th Century, spanning from the 20s to the 90s, with a large part of the collection consisting of materials related to the intellectual activity of its author. It contains manuscripts and notes on the texts of Božena Komárková, cataloguing lists for secondary literature and excerpts from the works of other thinkers, but also the resulting publications, including samizdat and exile editions, correspondence related to publishing, and preparation for teaching, etc. There is also often an exhibited Honorary Doctorate from the University of Basel, which Komárková received in 1982.
Another aspect of the collection includes materials regarding her cultural opposition, incorporating interesting correspondence with other representatives of dissent at the time of Normalisation, the samizdat editions of mainly philosophical and Christian oriented productions, audio recordings from the seminars, interviews with representatives of dissent (especially from Brno, 13 tape records in total), and several transcripts of these interviews with Komárková´s comments. Josef Vydrář´s drawings (and their copies) presenting regular attendants of the seminars at Komárková´s flat (such as Milan Uhde, Jaroslav Šabata, Jan Šimsa) are very interesting too. The collection also includes materials related Božena Komárková’s engagement in the YMCA (1920s to 1940s), as well as her personal documents, diplomas and photographs from her life.
- graphics: 10-99
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 100-499
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 100-499
- photos: 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Brno, Czech Republic
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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
Komárková, Božena. 1996. „Moje generace patří minulosti“. In Olga Havlová a ty druhé. Ženy ve vnitřní emigraci, edited by Marta Marková, 85–104, Brno: Barrister & Principal.
Šimsa, Jan. 1997. „Naše paní profesorka“. In Přátelství mnohých. (studentské křesťanské hnutí), Božena Komárková, 7–12, Brno: Eman.
Mezník, Jaroslav. 1997. „Čemu nás učila a učí Božena Komárková.“ In čemu nás naučila válka, Božena Komárková, 7–13, Brno: Eman.
Lederer, Jiří. 1997. „Božena Komárková – Život zasvěcený lidským právům“. In Lidská práva, Božena Komárková, 7–13, Brno: Eman.
„Božena Komárková“. In Slovník českých filozofů, edited by Jiří Gabriel, 276–277, Brno: Masarykova univerzita Brno, 1998.
Nechutová, Jana. 2014. „Milena Šimsová, Svět Jaroslava Šimsy.“ Český časopis historický 4: 796–799.
Internetová encyklopedie dějin Brna. 2016. „Milena Šimsová“. Last modified December 24.
Internetová encyklopedie dějin Brna. 2016. „Jan Šimsa“. Last modified December 25.
Internetová encyklopedie dějin Brna. 2017. „Božena Komárková“. Last modified November 7.https://encyklopedie.brna.cz/home-mmh/?acc=profil_osobnosti&load=12327
Malaťák, Demeter, interview by Nečasová, Denisa, September 06, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection