annual report 2017


The National Museum Library

In 2017, the collection of old prints and papers/documents relating to the development of modern and contemporary book culture was significantly expanded. Particularly noteworthy are two unique old prints from the 16th century (Encomia illustrium uirorum and Minucý a Pranostyka Hwedzharska) and a handwritten Czech magical grimoire from the first half of the 19th century. Extensive additions came from the estate left by Václav Fiala (illustrations, blocks, Ex-libris) and a collection of illustrations and yearbooks by Václav Kabát.  The central book collection was extended by the personal library of the significant Germanist Věra Macháčková-Riegrová.

Preventive protection and treatment of the collections

For the collections of the National Museum Library there is, in addition to the Central Preventive Care Unit, an independent conservation and restoration workshop located in the New Building of the National Museum. Its staff regularly monitors the state of the climate in library depositories located outside the central monitoring system, which monitors the climate at the Central Depository in Terezín. In the case of the Kinsky Library, located in a building under the administration of the National Gallery, operation of the humidifiers is also managed.

Throughout the year, library restorers were actively involved in the installation of short and long-term exhibitions and related activities (the assessment of books, the transfer and exchange of specimens, uninstallation). A unique activity, besides the usual restoration and conservation activities, was the material survey of the Manuscript of Dvůr Králové and the Manuscript of Zelená Hora, the results of which will be published in 2018 and will serve to establish a suitable regime for the further preservation of these rare documents.

The focus of the work of the restorers is the care of old prints and manuscripts, but also modern books. For the Central Library Department they partially restored 60 volumes, and completely restored 4 volumes (at a cost of CZK 640,000). In the collections of the Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, various interventions were made in 9 handwritten volumes and 80 old printed works, including 4 old printed works from the Nostic Library. In addition, the complete restoration of one manuscript and 17 old printed works was carried out (at a cost of CZK 2,140,000). For the Journals Department one volume of journals was partially restored (at a cost of CZK 10,000). The Chateau Libraries Department has restored 8 old printed works partially and 4 completely (at a cost of CZK 280,000). For the Book Culture Department the restorers partially restored 10 volumes and completely restored 2 volumes (at a cost of CZK 10,000). For the Theatre Department of the Historical Museum, one volume was completely restored (at a cost of CZK 10,000). During the regular summer visit to the depositaries in Terezín, 85 volumes were treated "in the field" (at a cost of CZK 110,000).

Separate conservation and restoration activities were conducted by the Department of Book Culture, with a special focus on historical furnishing of libraries from estates and historical typographic machines. For this, the restoration workshops of the Historical Museum and external specialists were used.