Libraries and archives


The traditional work of the library is to collect, process, store, protect and render accessible published documentation in whatever form this may take. The library is an important instrument for the practical realization of basic human rights on equality of access to information (which applies to all irrespective of difference, whether this difference is between inhabitants of town and country, people with and people without disabilities, members of minorities and the majority in society), for the free exchange of information, for the acquisition of knowledge and for the free forming of opinion. It serves as a means for the fulfilment of the rights on information laid down in the constitution, and as such is one of the pillars of a democracy.

The act no. 257/2001 Coll. on libraries and conditions for the operation of public library and information services (the Libraries Act ) is the first new delimitation of the scope of library and information services provision for the general public to have been issued for more than forty years; it accommodates modifications to legislation concerning library services as determined by contemporary developments in society and technology.

In accordance with the act no. 257/2001 Coll. on libraries and conditions for the operating of public library and information services, the system of libraries in the Czech Republic is as follows:

a) libraries governed by the Ministry of Culture – the National Library of the Czech Republic (, the Moravian Library ( and the K. E. Macan Library and Printworks for the Blind (
b) regional libraries governed by the competent regional authorities
c) basic libraries governed by the competent municipal authorities or another governing body
d) specialized libraries

Every year the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic presents the Library of the Year Award, the award was initiated in 2003.

Important links

Database of libraries and information institutions of the Czech Republic (maintained by the National Library of the Czech Republic)

Database of libraries, archives and museum (maintained by the Arts Institute)

Database of university libraries – portal about Czech libraries – website of the Municipal Library in Prostejov focused on libraries in the Czech Republic – libraries in the Czech Republic

National Digital Library (NDK)

Association of Libraries of the Czech Republic (SDRUK)

Association of Librarians and Information Workers of the Czech Republic (SKIP)

Librarianship and Information Science (KIV)


The field of archives is covered by the act no. 499/2004 Coll. Documents older than thirty years are available for studying, otherwise only with the approval of the archive´s director.

List of public archives

a) National Archive (

b) state regional archives in Prague, Trebon, Plzen, Litomerice, Zámrsk, Brno (Moravian Archive,, Opava

c) state district archives

d) specialized archives (eg. Archive of Czech Radio, Archive of Czech Television, Archive of the National Museum, Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature ( or Archive of the National Library)

e) private archives (eg. Archive of the Jewish Museum)


Archive Funds and collections in the Czech Republic – database of archive funds and collections – official public portal for searching in the archive funds and collections in the Czech Republic (

Database of libraries, archives and museums – maintained by the Arts Institute (

Czech Archive Society – association of archivists (