Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS
The Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS is a public research institution, one of the workplaces of the Section of Historical Sciences within the Field of Humanities of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Institute consists of seven departments, including four scientific research departments and two archival departments.
The scientific research departments of the MÚA focus on three main areas of historical research. The first is research on the life and work of T. G. Masaryk, especially with regard to his importance for democratic Czech statehood and his humanitarian legacy, as well as broader research on Czech and Central European history between 1848-1948. The second research area is the history of the Czech Academy of Sciences, its predecessors and the history of science and scientists in the Czech Republic and in the wider Central European area. The third area is codicological research, which focuses in particular on the inventory and study of bohemian manuscripts in the Czech Republic and abroad and is the only workplace of its kind in the Czech Republic.
The archival departments of the MÚA collect and process the records of the Academy of Sciences, the archival holdings of older scientific institutions and the personal holdings of scientists working in the territory of our country. The Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS is also responsible for pre-archival care and shredding supervision within the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. It provides information from its holdings to the bodies and departments of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and to state administration authorities and makes archival holdings and collections accessible to the research public. The archival part of the MÚA also manages the personal archival holdings of T. G. Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and their associates and family members. The research activities of the MÚA archive section are focused on the history of scientific institutions, the life and work of scientific personalities and their community, especially in the Czech environment, the life and work of T. G. Masaryk and E. Benes, and in particular the access to sources related to their activities.
The Department of Administration and Public Services comprises sections for the individual agendas (Secretariat of the Director, Technical and Economic Administration, Library, Publishing).
The Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS publishes three peer-reviewed journals: “Centre. Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies of Central Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries”, “Studie o rukopisech” [Manuscript Studies] and “Práce z dějin Akademie věd” [Studies in the History of the Academy of Sciences]. In addition to the journals, the Institute publishes editorial series such as “Spisy T. G. Masaryka”; “Korespondence TGM”; “Ego. Paměti, deníky, korespondence” (in cooperation with Lidové noviny Publishing House) and “Česká moderní historie” (in cooperation with Academia Publishing House). The Institute’s staff also publishes the results of their work in prestigious journals and book publishers in the Czech Republic, Europe and overseas.
Masaryk Institute of the CAS
The Masaryk Institute of the CAS was established on 1 April 1995. In its activities it followed the T. G. Masaryk Institute, founded by Tomáš G. Masaryk on 23 July 1932 as a foundation whose task was to manage and supplement the library and archives of TGM, to continue editing and publishing Masaryk’s writings, to enable external study of scientists and to publish or contribute to the publication of the results of their work.
As a material basis, T. G. Masaryk donated his private library and archive, a private museum and valuable papers (worth a total of approximately Kč 10 million) to the Foundation. This basic fund was to be the starting point for the study of the areas in which Masaryk was engaged. The first seat of the Institute was Prague Castle, and in 1938 it moved to its own building in Bubeneč. During the war it was deposited in Klementinum, as the Institute’s building was taken over by the Gestapo. As part of the post-war reconstruction, the Institute got its building back, but its premises were no longer sufficient, so in 1948 it moved to Kramář’s villa in Hradčany and then to a building on Národní třída 3. In 1954 the Masaryk Institute was closed down as part of the campaign against Masaryk. On 4 January 1990, President Václav Havel decided, on the basis of a proposal by the Masaryk Society Committee, to reinstate the T. G. Masaryk Institute. In 1995, the Masaryk Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic was established alongside the foundation, which took over the administration of the archives and library and, as an independent department of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, gave space to Masaryk research in a broader context. Since 2006, the Masaryk Institute of the CAS has been part of the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS.
Archives of the CAS
The Archives of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS) began its activities on 1 January 1953 as a public institution included in the system of Czechoslovak archives. In 1956 it became a special archive, in 1974 an archive of special importance. Its main tasks included and still include the collection and processing of material from the activities of former scientific societies and associations, institutes and organisational units of the CSAS, or the CAS, and the remains of our leading scientists. Since 1955, the Commission for the Inventory and Study of Manuscripts has become part of the activities of the archive. As of 1 January 1966, it was decided to make the archive internal to the CSAS and the department changed its name to the Central Archives of the CSAS.
The first fonds managed were the records of the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Masaryk Academy of Labour and the Czechoslovak National Research Council. In addition to receiving funds, the archive established photographic and art collections and also carried out independent scientific tasks concerning the history of scientific institutions, Czech science, archival science and the inventory and study of manuscripts. The first guide to the holdings, published in 1962, contained 48 holdings and collections. From the late 1960s onwards, specialist working sections were formed – of the predecessors of the CSAS, of written remains and of the CSAS collections. Thanks to the increase in the number of staff, pre-archival care was improved, the first official model filing and shredding regulations for the CSAS workplaces were issued in 1972, and the periodical “Archivní zprávy ČSAV” [Reports from the CSAS Archives] (1970–1985) began to be published. From the mid-1980s, the historical work of the archive became more oriented towards the history of science, and “Práce z dějin Československé akademie věd” [Studies in the history of the CSAS] were published. Significant changes have taken place in the past twenty years. Since 1991, it has been using premises in Prague 8 – Bohnice and Prague 8 – Libeň (the former Prometheus printing house), while the offices of the Manuscript Inventory and Study Department were located in Husova Street in the Old Town of Prague. In connection with the establishment of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic on 31 December 1992, the department began to use the name of the Archives of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (from 1 January 1993). In 2005, a new building was opened in Gabčíkova Street in Prague 8, designed specifically for archival purposes. In 2006, the Masaryk Institute of the CAS was added to the Archives of the CAS and the institution was renamed the Masaryk Institute – Archives of the CAS, later the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS. During 2007, the archive fulfilled the requirements of accreditation for so-called specialised archives.