Department of Personal and Historical Fonds
Some of the archival fonds in the care of the department were created by the activities of older scientific societies, institutions and professional associations, which existed generally until the establishment of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1952 (38 in total; the most important being the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Czechoslovak National Research Council, the Masaryk Academy of Labour, the State Observatory in Prague, Svatobor, the Gesellschaft zur Förderung deutscher Wissenschaft, Kunst und Literatur in Böhmen, the Sudetendeutsche Anstalt für Landes- und Volksforschung in Reichenberg). Another part is represented by the personal archival holdings of important scientific personalities (e.g. Karel Domin, Jaroslav Heyrovský, Bedřich Hrozný, Arnold Jirásek, Ivan Málek, Zdeněk Nejedlý, Bohumil Němec, Milada Paulová, Jaroslav Průšek, Otto Wichterle) and collections (especially the Medal Collection and the Art Collection). The entrusted archival materials are gradually processed and made accessible (archival inventories, catalogues, editions, studies). The department provides information and research on the fonds and collections, participates in the scientific, publishing and popularization activities of the Institute. The permanent task of the department is to search for acquisitions of scientists’ personal fonds and to acquire sources for oral history (expansion of the collection of memoir interviews). The staff in charge of these personal and historical fonds are involved in archival methodology and theory and participate in the Institute’s research activities, including grant projects. In recent years, the organization of the extensive personal collection of Zdeněk Nejedlý has progressed.
Archives of the T. G. Masaryk Institute
Another part of the archival collections is connected with the activities of the T.G. Masaryk Institute. Masaryk’s personal archives became part of it in 1932. Gradually, it was to be supplemented by the papers of Masaryk’s family and associates. The content of the personal archives was defined by Masaryk himself at the time of the establishment of the T. G. Masaryk Institute. According to him, it is a collection of materials of scientific, philosophical and political character, documenting his writing, teaching and political activities. It consists of manuscripts, correspondence, notes and documents from the pre-war, war and post-war periods. The whole collection is an organic and indivisible whole.
The archives and library of the T.G. Masaryk Institute are administered under contract by the Masaryk Institute and the Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Also significant are the documents of the T.G. Masaryk Institute, an institution that has been studying the life and work of T.G. Masaryk since its foundation in 1932. After its activities were interrupted in 1954, it returned to its original task in 1990. The archive is also a primary source of sources for the publication of the series “Spisy T. G. Masaryka”, “Korespondence TGM” and others. An unmissable result of the work of the department is the inventory of the personal fond of Edvard Beneš published in books.