Department of Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts
The Department is the only purely codicological workplace and centre of codicological research in the Czech Republic. The Commission for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts, composed of leading external experts, is responsible for the methodological supervision of its activities. The subject of the department’s research are manuscripts of a non-official nature, which are examined as a whole, i.e. not only in terms of content but also in terms of external features. Since 1969, the main task of the department has been the General Catalogue of manuscripts deposited in the territory of the Czech Republic and manuscript bohemics abroad. An important milestone in dealing with methodological issues was the publication of the Principles for the Description of Manuscripts. Another result of the Department’s activity was the publication of the Guide to Manuscript Collections in the Czech Republic, which aims to cover all manuscript collections in the form of basic records. The General Catalogue of Manuscripts is processed in the form of an electronic Database of Manuscripts and Codicological Literature, whose openness allows for the cataloguing of new manuscripts and the recording of changes to existing descriptions. The Department’s activities include work on fonds and special inventories of manuscripts; research abroad is carried out in parallel with work in domestic collections. These tasks are systematically supported by grant projects. Since 1962, the Department has been publishing the journal Studie o rukopisech [Manuscript Studies], the only specialised Czech codicological periodical. Since the second year, the bibliographical supplement Czech Codicological Literature has been a permanent part of the journal, which has been transferred to electronic form within the Database of Manuscripts and Codicological Literature and linked to the manuscripts it contains. In view of the need to publish more extensive texts, the series Studie o rukopisech. Monographia was founded in the mid-1990s. The Department cooperates with other scientific institutes, universities and institutions managing manuscript collections.