Šafařík’s Library – 150 Years in the National Museum Library

Pages 67–72
Keywords Pavel Josef Šafařík (1795–1861) – Šafařík’s stay in Prague in 1833–1861 – professional and library activities – Museum Society Committee – Šafařík’s book collection and literary estate (1863–2013) – National Museum Library – Central Library Department – Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 2013/58/1-2

The article deals with Šafařík’s library and his literary estate, one of the most important wholes of the National Museum Library, which was purchased for twenty thousand Gulden by the Land Committee of the Kingdom of Bohemia on 10 December 1863. After discussions with the Society of the Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Land Committee decided that these two collections would be deposited in the National Museum Library, where they were moved in 1864. They were gradually catalogued and the loaning of the books was governed by Instrukce o užívání knihovny Šafaříkovy a jeho literární pozůstalosti pro správu bibliotéky Musea Království Českého [Instructions on the Use of Šafařík’s Library and Literary Estate for the Administration of the Library of the Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia]. Having been moved to the new building of the National Museum on Wenceslas Square, Šafařík’s library was installed, along with Palacký’s library, in the place of honour in the middle of the depository. The article further provides an overview of the possibilities to study the library at the Central Library Department and at the Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books as well as information on the integrated automated library system KpWin. Attention is drawn to Šafařík’s library activities and his relation to books. Šafařík’s last wish to preserve the integrity of his collection was fulfilled, except for the trans-fer of the literary estate to the Museum of Czech Literature in 1953 and the deposition of maps in the State Map Collection in 1952 (now owned by the Faculty of Science, Charles University). As the historical building is being reconstructed, Šafařík’s library has been temporarily moved to the Zbraslav Chateau. Manuscripts and early printed books have been stored under the administration of the Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in the depository in Terezín. The National Museum Library employees have been taking care of Šafařík’s library and have been making it accessible to researchers for more than 150 years. They are looking forward to its return to its original place after the reconstruction has been completed.

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