Collections and Archive Department

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The Collections and Archive Department collects, preserves, and presents objects and archival materials connected to Czech theatre. It processes large collections of stage artefacts and theatre photographs and posters, which are then digitised so that they are accessible to the public. Artistic artefacts are presented online in the Virtual Study and also shown at exhibitions and shared through publications.

The ATI’s collecting activities began in 2006 when the Collection of the Theatre Institute was inscribed in the Central Registry of Collections of the Ministry of the Czech Republic. The department was established in 2009. The separate archive collection (mainly a collection of documents) is organised in conformity with the methods of archiving and adheres to a strict research system.

  • Celetná 17, Prague 1
    (1st Floor, Room 107)
  • Open during the opening hours of the ATI or by prior agreement.
  • +420 226 522 073
  • Denisa Šťastná

Our department performs the following work

Our publishing work focuses on theatre photography, costumes, and stage designs. In a publishing series called Personalities of Czech Scenography we showcase the work of costume and scenic designers who have shaped the aesthetics of the theatre in past years, but whose work has not yet received more in-depth attention. Each publication is a valuable resource for research in theatre and scenography.

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Our department organises small- and large-scale exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad. Scenographic artefacts, posters, and theatre photographs form the content of these exhibitions. Some of the most important exhibitions we have organised so far include: Transformations – Theatre Artists at the Turn of the Millennium (Proměny – Divadelní výtvarnice na přelomu tisíciletí), held at the Critics Gallery in Prague in 2008 and at the Moravian Museum in Brno in 2008; Breaking through Space – Mapping the Boundaries of Theatre Design (Prolomit prostor – Mapování hranic divadelního designu), held at the Gallery of the National Library of Technology in Prague in 2009; Jaroslav Krejčí – On What Would Have Been His 80th Birthday (Jaroslav Krejčí – nedožitých 80 let), held at the New Town Hall in Prague in 2009; and Alfréd Radok 100 – A Director’s Story (1914–1976) (Alfréd Radok 100 – Příběh režiséra, 1914–1976), held at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague in 2014.  

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We organise conferences to mark special anniversaries – for example, we marked the occasion of what would have been the 50th birthday of Petr Lébl, one of the most outstanding Czech directors and stage designers. This conference sought to look back on his body of work with the historical objectivity acquired with the passage of time, and it was held at the Theatre in Celetná Street in 2015 with the participation of Vlasta Smoláková, Věra Ptáčková, Niny Vangeli, Jan Císař, and other professionals in the field.



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Scenographic Collection

  This collection was set up in 2006 and it currently contains almost 4,000 original...


This collection was set up in 2006 and it currently contains almost 4,000 original collection items.

The primary focus of this collection is contemporary work (since the 1990s) and the work of people who significantly shaped the visual artistry of Czech theatre since 1945. It mainly contains work that was created by Czech scenic and costume designers and, in some rare cases, puppetry artists working for theatres in the Czech Republic and abroad.

The collection mainly contains original scenic and costume designs, created using various artistic techniques (e.g. tempera, pastel, ink, watercolour, chalk), scale models of stage designs, and drawings, which together capture the creative process. The artistic quality of an item and its significance from a theatre arts perspective are the criteria that are ideally taken into account when new acquisitions for the collection are being considered. The collection contains work by a number of important figures, including: Vlastislav Hofman, František Tröster, Josef Svoboda, Jan Sládek, Otakar Schindler, Luboš Hrůza, Jan Vančura, Jaroslav Malina, Miroslav Melena, Marta Roszkopfová, Jana Zbořilová, Jana Preková, Zuzana Štefunková Rusínová, Petr Lébl, and many others.

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The Collection of Scenographic Documents

This collection has gradually developed since the Theatre Institute was founded in 1959, when...

This collection has gradually developed since the Theatre Institute was founded in 1959, when scenographic artefacts began to be documented in photographs. This was performed in cooperation with the scenic designers or as the documentation of exhibitions in stage design (e.g. national showcases, exhibitions, the Prague Quadrennial).

The scenographic artefacts that form part of this collection can be divided into two groups – reproductions that the ATI has only in digital format and items acquired directly from the people who created them, or from their heirs, but that do not belong in the Scenographic Collection. These include stage and costume designs, scale-models of stage designs, sketches, technical drawings, puppets, and photographs of completed sets or costumes. Because these artefacts are not subject to collection criteria, in some cases they are able to provide a more comprehensive idea of the overall visual component of a production.

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The Photolibrary and Photography Collection

The Photography Collection comprises more than 300,000 photographs of productions staged at Czech...

The Photography Collection comprises more than 300,000 photographs of productions staged at Czech theatres since 1945 (positives, negatives, diapositives, digital photographs). The processing and digitisation of the collection began in 2010 and was made possible thanks to the support of Norway Grants – EEA Grant. The collection includes work by major photographers such as Václav Chochola, Karel Drbohlav, Jaromír Svoboda, Jaroslav Krejčí, Josef Koudelka, Viktor Kronbauer, Bohdan Holomíček, Josef Ptáček, Martin Špelda, Patrik Borecký, and many others.

Data are made accessible with the consent of the author or the licence-holder. If consent is not provided, researchers can only access the materials in the Reading Room at the ATI. Information about the production and the cast and figures involved in it are gradually added to accompany each photograph. The Photolibrary (unlike the Photography Collection with its 300,000 collected items) contains both photographs that are owned by the ATI and photographs that (having been taken within just over the past decade) exist only in electronic format.

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The Collection of Theatre Posters

This collection contains more than 1,000 artefacts, each one of which represents a fusion of the...

This collection contains more than 1,000 artefacts, each one of which represents a fusion of the function of art, promotion, and information. The collected posters include work created by such important figures as Libor Fára (for Theatre on the Balustrade and the Drama Club), Pavel Brom (for Theatre behind the Gate), Jan Schmid (for Studio Ypsilon), Adolf Born, and Josef Flejšar (for the National Theatre). In the current era of online communication the theatre poster has somewhat lost its original purpose, but there are theatres that have not abandoned them yet – such as the Heroes’ Studio in Prague.

The theatre posters in this collection meaningfully complement the scenographic and photographic artefacts in the other collections and are also important evidence of our theatre history. There is no question that the posters need to be preserved. Their main value is as documentary and historical sources, but many of them are also of clear and in some cases even extraordinary artistic value. They also make excellent exhibition items. The collection also contains artistically valuable posters that were created by scenographers, such as Jaroslav Malina, Marta Roszkopfová, and Petr Matásek. Preserving these posters helps the effort to comprehensively document how different artists contributed to a production.

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Archiv divadelních fondů

IDU plní mimo jiné funkci paměťové instituce. Shromažďuje, zpracovává a zpřístupňuje...

IDU plní mimo jiné funkci paměťové instituce. Shromažďuje, zpracovává a zpřístupňuje dokumenty o umělecké činnosti českých divadel, divadelních souborů a tvůrců zejména druhé poloviny 20. a počátku 21. století. Archivní fondy v oddělení Sbírek a archivu kontinuálně navazují na fondy Informačně-dokumentačního oddělení. Obsahují listinné i ikonografické materiály soukromé nebo institucionální povahy (vč. fotografií, propagačních materiálů, záznamových médií atd.). Dokumenty jsou převážně neúřední povahy. Vypovídají zejména o konkrétní tvůrčí činnosti uměleckých osobností, divadel a jednotlivých souborů, dobových událostech, výstavách a v neposlední řadě o aktivitách IDU (např. PQ, Noc divadel). Přiložený abecedně řazený soupis je pro lepší orientaci rozdělen do tří částí (osobnosti, divadla, varia). U všech fondů jsou informace o přístupnosti, větší fondy doplněny krátkým popisem.

Soupis fondu

Badatelům jsou fondy přístupné výhradně ve studovnách IDU a po předchozí domluvě, půjčování není možné.

Správce archivu:
Anna Hejmová

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Denisa Šťastná


+420 226 522 079
+420 605 412 819

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Anna Cvrčková

Theatre photography

+420 226 522 074
+420 605 934 994 

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Jana Jansová


+ 420 224 809 190

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Marie Hodinářová


+420 226 522 079
+420 776 305 710

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Anna Dynka

documentation, digitalization

+420 226 522 074
+420 728 836 462

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Marie Zdeňková

+420 224 809 146

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Olga Plchová

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Róbert Štefančík


+420 226 522 074

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