To se mi líbí
Thank you for your prompt reply to my email, I will contact Libri Prohibiti. I would, however, like to ask the following:
1) Did at anytime emigré/diaspora books and periodicals constitute a separate collection? (Specifically between 1945 and 1989)
2) Is/was there a separate repertorium on the periodicals and books? I.e., do you know approximately how many periodicals and books from the diaspora (written before 1989)the library has? The Hungarian National Libary had a separate repertorium before the same materials here were incorporated into the main body of libary holdings.
3) Was there a directive to the library, that is was the library instructed to collect these materials for political reasons? (As it was in Hungary, these materials were used by the Ministries of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs.)
4) Were these materials available to the public before 1989?
1) The books written by the emigrants, dissidents and the authors adopting antisocialist view were withdrawn twice after 1945 from all libraries and
they were kept at reader's disposal only in departments of special collections in particular libraries:
a) From 1953 to 1968
The lists and discarding directives were published by the Ministry of High Schools and the Ministry of Education in 1953.
The list No 1. Indicated books had to be sent to the Institute of the History of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (CCP). Other libraries, even the
National Library could not have these books. For example, the works by Béla Kun were mentioned in the list. Also the new editions of the works by the
authors from the list could be deposited only in the library of Institute of the History of the CCP. (After 1990, the fragments of this library were
handed over to the administration of the Charles University in Prague.)
The List No 2. Indicated books could be deposited only in 45 particular libraries, which had to establish a department of special collections. The
works by emigrants published after 1953 had to be incorporated into these special collections. Also the complete series published by exile or compatriot publishers were incorporated into these collections. But it was the authorities of the Ministry of the Interior that had the main say; they decided which books a particular library could have in its special
collections. These authorities were censorship or print supervision.
In 1968 the lists and departments of special collections were liquidated and the books were given back into depositories of the libraries. However, only
a small part of the books that were turned in, has returned from the Institute of the History of the CCP.
b) In 1972 - 1989 there was a list published by Ministry of Culture of the Czech Socialist Republic - Directions of the Ministry of Culture of the CSR
about special collections of printed materials in the libraries of the integrated system. The similar Directions were published as well in Slovak
Socialist Republic. On the list some authors (also emigrants) from the 1953-1968 lists were indicated but larger part of it was represented by the authors who emigrated form Czechoslovakia after the year 1968. Also editions published after 1972,
including complete series of books or all production of foreign publishers were incorporated into the departments of special collections.
In 1987-1989 many of the books by these authors were returned back to the libraries. All special collections were liquidated in the beginning of
In 1972-1989 the special collections could be part of only selected libraries up to the level regions. Other, smaller libraries (district or of
trade union's libraries etc.) had to turn in the books to determined storages all over the republic. The books were not liquidated and after 1989
they were returned to the libraries. On the list there was also Hungarian author Lengyel, József, Igézö (Czech translation).
2) A detailed list of serials and books doesn't exist. There is not any survey about the number of volumes either - the number was different in each
library. The main departments of special collections were in National Library and in the Library of Marxism Leninism of the Central Committee of
the Czechoslovak Communist Party (former Institute of the History of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and later Institute of the History of Socialism).
No state institution published the lists of discarded titles. The employees of the libraries had to copy the list by hand into numbered notebooks and
then make sure that the book and serials were closed in departments of special collections or turned in to determined storages.
3) The establishing of special collections was a political decision always at that time. On the other hand the libraries acquired these titles into
their collections according to the specialization of the library. The National Library acquired these titles in accordance with its function, i.e.
to collect Czech and Slovak literature from all over world. It could buy them abroad, acquired them by way of exchange with foreign libraries or as presents. However, libraries had to have these titles in the special collections.
4) Materials from the special collections were accessible only for readers having a reference from their employer that they need the works by these
authors for their professional work or for study. These were e.g. journalists, critics, university students, employees of party organs and of Ministry of the Interior, writers and culture workers. The books were lent only to a present study and it was mostly prohibited to make copies of them.
Jazyk, lingvistika a literatura
Národní knihovna ČR