The Library of the Theatre Institute collects, processes, preserves, and provides access to Czech theatre literature and periodicals and to selected international literature on theatre. The library contains 120,000 items comprising specialised theatre literature, theatre texts, literature in related fields, and periodicals. Approximately 1,500 items on average are added to the library’s collection each year.
The Library of the Theatre Institute was founded in the late 1950s. The library’s initial collection was made up of typewritten stage plays that it had received from the collection of former theatre agencies that had been nationalised and reproductions of texts from the Czechoslovak Theatre and Literary Agency (which is now called Dilia). When the Theatre Institute merged with the Institute of Scenography in 1975 its collection grew to include the theatre materials from that institute.
The Library of the Theatre Institute is a specialised public library (as defined in Act No. 257/2001 – the Library Act) and it is a member of SIBMAS (International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts). Today the Theatre Institute’s Library is one of the biggest libraries in Europe dedicated to theatre.
Services Department: +420 224 809 126/127 – in the passage on Štupartská Street
Loans Desk: + 420 224 809 129/161 – on the ground floor of the main building
Periodicals Reading Room: + 420 224 809 144 – on the 1st floor of the main building
Our department provides the following services
Registration to Use the Services of the ATI’s Departments
To register to use the services of all the departments at the ATI, come to the Services Department with your ID (passport), fill in the registration form, pay the registration fee, and you can borrow books and study in the library all year round. Registration cards are obtained from the Services Department in the passage leading from Štupartská Street.
ll of the library’s books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and more can be browsed in our online catalogue. You can find out whether the materials you are interested in can be borrowed, if they can only be used on site (in the reading room), where the materials are, and whether they are currently available or on loan. Use our Classification System to search the catalogue by topic.
Books can be borrowed for a loan period of four weeks. Loans can be renewed – for example, through the reader’s account accessed through the Virtual Study. To check out a book, go to the Loans Desk on the ground floor of the main building.
Researchers can listen to digitised recordings in MP3 on our research computers. Recordings are intended for the purpose of study, they cannot be copied or borrowed to use outside the study room. We recommend that visitors make a reservation in advance, otherwise there is no guarantee of available space.
A part of the library’s collection (CDs only) can be borrowed to use off the premises of the Theatre Institute. These materials can be borrowed during the library’s opening hours and the Library Rules apply to loans of such materials.
The Periodicals Reading Room is located on the 1st floor of the main building. It has a collection of selected periodicals (both current issues from this year and older issues of Czech titles, indicated in the catalogue with the letter B) that visitors can read without ordering in advance. Other periodicals stored in the depository can be ordered through this online form. The materials will be ready in the Reading Room for the reader to use the next operating day.
The Services Department accessed off the passage leading to Štupartská Street has a reading room with a small library, but it is also an accessible space for disabled researchers. They can arrange in advance to have materials from the institute’s other collections brought to them to use here in the reading room.
On request most of the library’s materials can be copied for a fee (based on the current price list). Electronic copies or copies of articles from periodicals that are not in our library’s collection can be obtained through the services of the Virtual Polytechnical Library (VPK) for a fee based on the current VPK price list.
Digitised materials in the collection of the Theatre Institute’s Library are accessible in the Kramerius digital library system. Here visitors can find rare manuscripts of plays, some periodicals, Prague Quadrennial catalogues, and other selected publications from the Theatre Institute. In compliance with copyright law the full-text versions of most of these materials can only be accessed on the premises of the ATI.
Portaro is a digital library integrated directly into the online catalogue and can be used to display inside the catalogue the full texts of digitised materials that previously could only be accessed through Kramerius Digital Library.
Select an early title in the library’s collection published between 1500 and 1900 and order it as an e-book. .
Interlibrary Loans (ILS)
An interlibrary loan service is available for readers outside Prague and is provided through their local library.
Each year we draw up a list of the periodicals that we currently subscribe to, new foreign literature added to our collection (specialised works and stage plays), unpublished theatre texts, and theatre texts printed in periodicals. These lists and an archive dating back to 1997 can be found here.
Our library contains the texts of plays, specialised theatre literature, periodicals on theatre, and audiovisual materials.
Theatre Texts Collection
This collection contains more than 62,000 texts of theatre plays (and copies of them), and this...
This collection contains more than 62,000 texts of theatre plays (and copies of them), and this includes the different versions, editions, stage adaptations, and translations of a title.
The library tries to collect all the Czech editions of a particular play. As well as the materials received from the former literary agencies mentioned above, some of which were copied by hand, the library also has unpublished manuscripts of plays. Whenever possible, the translations of plays by Czech authors into other languages are also added to the collection. Plays by non-Czech authors are often collected in the work’s original language. Radio and television plays are only occasionally collected.
The Collection of Specialised Literature on the Theatre
The collection contains more than 43,000 titles of domestic and foreign contemporary and historical...
The collection contains more than 43,000 titles of domestic and foreign contemporary and historical specialised literature.
This collection also includes specialised encyclopaedias, dictionaries, and bibliographies. The collection also has literature from adjacent fields, such as the visual arts, music, architecture, ethnography, film, radio, television, and more. The library also preserves the complete collection of publications by the Theatre Institute, which has published more than seven hundred titles.
The Periodicals Collection
The library subscribes to more than 80 Czech and foreign periodicals. The majority of them are...
The library subscribes to more than 80 Czech and foreign periodicals.
The majority of them are bundled as complete volumes in a collection that contains more than 16,000 items of both current and no longer existing periodicals.
Selected periodicals (indicated in the catalogue with the letter B) are kept in the Periodicals Reading Room on the 1st floor, where they can be accessed without ordering them in advance. Other periodicals can be ordered by completing the online form and ready for the reader to use the very next day.
The Collection of Audiovisual Materials
This collection contains non-print media such as CD-ROMs, audio CDs, DVDs, DVD-ROMs, and cassette...
This collection contains non-print media such as CD-ROMs, audio CDs, DVDs, DVD-ROMs, and cassette tapes. CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs are the only purchased additions to the collection, any other media added are obtained as gifts or as supplements from books and periodicals. Audio media (recordings of operas and the spoken word, etc.) are regularly purchased only for the Audio Library.
The Audio Library collection has audio recordings of the spoken word, operas, operettas,...
The Audio Library collection has audio recordings of the spoken word, operas, operettas, melodramas, musicals, theatre/incidental music, and ballet.
The Theatre Institute’s original collection includes spoken-word albums and gramophone records with recordings of melodramas, operas, operettas, and ballets. There are different types of records in the collection, including 78, 33, 45, and 16 rpm.
All new additions and gifts to the collection are in the form of CDs and MCs. The majority are Czech materials, and again these works include recordings of operas, operettas, musicals, theatre/incidental music, radio plays, actor profiles, and retrospective shows. The collection also contains recordings of opera productions from the National Theatre in Prague and the State Opera in Prague.
The library has a number of special collections which include a collection of cabaret performances...
The library has a number of special collections which include a collection of cabaret performances and songs, a collection of costume prints, and a collection of sheet music and especially piano reductions of operas and operettas.
Projects and Information Portals
+420 224 809 167
+420 224 809 149/161
+420 224 809 126/127
+420 224 809 121
+420 224 809 144
+420 224 809 126/127