Collections

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We are building the memory of Czech theatre.

We have one of the biggest theatre libraries in Europe, a video library, an audio library, an archive of photographs, and rich collections of photographs, materials and documents, bibliographies and more. We run the online Virtual Study, which is a one-stop user interface for accessing all of the Theatre Institute’s information databases. It also provides access to the collections listed below, so you can choose whether you want to browse them online or in our study and reading rooms.

Bibliography Department

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The Online Database of Articles

The database of articles contains 330,000 entries on articles published in periodicals (or...

The database of articles contains 330,000 entries on articles published in periodicals (or collections) primarily on Czech theatre.

The database currently tracks approximately 150 Czech print and online newspapers, periodicals, and bulletins, sources in the Slovak press dealing with Czech subject matter, and selectively also sources dealing with Czech subject matter in specialised periodicals published abroad. The database covers:

  • important Czech specialised and non-specialised sources since 1996
  • important Czech specialised periodicals published between 1990 and 1996
  • exceptionally also some Czech specialised periodicals published before 1990.

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A Retrospective Bibliography of Czech Theatre

The card catalogue contains more than 390,000 bibliographic entries for articles. This...

The card catalogue contains more than 390,000 bibliographic entries for articles.

This bibliography covers work published in selected specialised periodicals and the daily press between 1851 and 1990. Among the four sub-categories of this bibliography there are two that are of primary importance for visitors: the Czech Theatre Bibliography 1851–1990 (Catalogue 1), which primarily covers articles published between the middle of the 19th century and around the middle of the 20th century; and the Czech Theatre Bibliography 1851–1990 (Catalogue 2), which primarily covers articles published between the middle of the 20th century and the year 1990.

More on the Retrospective Bibliography of Czech Theatre

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Collections and Archive Department

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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.

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

Správce archivu:
Iva Frelová  iva.frelovadu@idu.cz

Soupis k nahlédnutí
 

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Czech Theatre Studies Department

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Archive of the Department of Czech Theatre Studies

Throughout the department’s existence it has been developing an archive of historical sources....

Throughout the department’s existence it has been developing an archive of historical sources. These are materials that have collected in the course of our research to prepare the volumes of The History of Czech Theatre (1968–1983), and that we continue to gather for the entries that we prepare for inclusion in the Czech Theatre Encyclopaedia.

In the spring of 2011 we began conducting an inventory of these materials in order to identify and document them and to make them accessible to others.

In 2013 we processed the personal research archive of PhDr. Milena Cesnaková, CSc. (*1924 in Prague), a theatre arts researcher who built her research career mainly in Slovakia and whose research interests were largely centred on early theatre and on the Renaissance and Baroque periods in particular. The inventory of her collection lists 615 items, along with the Personal Bibliography of dr. Milena Cesnaková Michalcová – (download the PDF).

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Information and Documentation Department

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Theatre Productions

This collection of materials contains invitations, promotional materials, programmes, and newspaper...

This collection of materials contains invitations, promotional materials, programmes, and newspaper clippings of reviews and news.

Almost all of this collection has been digitised and is accessible through the internal database. The collection also contains yearbooks on Czech theatre and Slovak theatre (both dating back to 1960) and the programmes of different theatres bundled by season.

The collection covers the network of state theatres (Czech theatres since 1945) and the network of independent theatre companies (selected information up to the 1989/1990 season, and systematically collected but not complete information after that).

Database of Theatre Productions

This systematically constructed database contains entries on Czech theatres since 1945. The database also serves as a catalogue for the productions collection.

Database administrator: Zuzana Jindrová, zuzana.jindrova@idu.cz

Casting and Roles

This search module contains information on various stage roles and who has performed them as listed in the production programmes. Users can also conduct a search to see whether a certain actor has performed a particular role.

Database administrator: Zuzana Jindrová, zuzana.jindrova@divadlo.cz

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People in the Theatre

The collection contains basic biographical information and press clippings on prominent figures in...

The collection contains basic biographical information and press clippings on prominent figures in Czech theatre since 1945. As sections of the collection are gradually digitised they can be accessed in the department’s reading room through the internal database.

The search module offers a selection of all the activities (author, director, actor) engaged in each figure (including different versions of their names) who is listed in the Theatre Productions search module.

Database administrator: Michal Šanda, michal.sanda@idu.cz

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Theatre Events, Festivals and Guest Performances

The collection contains programmes, press clippings, and publications, categorised by the name...

The collection contains programmes, press clippings, and publications, categorised by the name (after 1994) and the date (before 1994) of the event.
As sections of the collection are gradually digitised they can be accessed in the department’s reading room through the internal database.

The Theatre Events search module contains basic information on theatre festivals, tours by companies and ensembles abroad, exhibitions, permanent installations with a theatre theme, theatre awards, and other activities connected with theatre (lectures, talks, workshops).

Database administrator: Radka Petrmichlová, radka.petrmichlova@idu.cz

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Theatres and Theatre and Cultural Institutions

The collection contains clippings on activities and events in theatres and institutions and the...

The collection contains clippings on activities and events in theatres and institutions and the yearbooks of individual theatres.   

The collection is not digitised and is available in the department’s reading room.

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Video Library

The Video Library stores audio-visual recordings of drama, opera, ballet, and alternative theatre...

The Video Library stores audio-visual recordings of drama, opera, ballet, and alternative theatre productions, profiles of prominent figures in the field of theatre, and documentaries related to theatre. The entire collection is catalogued online and is accessible through the internal database.

Researchers can only use the recordings on site in the ATI’s reading rooms. They cannot be borrowed or copied.

Database administrator: Andrea Landovská, andrea.landovska@idu.cz

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Theatre Photography

This collection of materials is digitised and accessible in the department’s reading room through...

This collection of materials is digitised and accessible in the department’s reading room through the ATI’s internal database and online via the Virtual Study portal.

The search module provides access to the ATI’s digitised collection of theatre photographs. The collection was digitised as part of the project ‘Preserving and Presenting the Cultural Heritage of Czech and World Theatre’, which was supported by the Norway Grants. Visitors can access scans of the photographs’ positives and negatives.   

Database administrators: Michal Šanda, michal.sanda@idu.cz and Denisa Šťastná, denisa.stastna@idu.cz

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Library of the Theatre Institute

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Audio Library Collection

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.

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Special Collections

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.

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