The Prague Burgher Library of J. D. Arbeiter in the Cultural and Social Context of the Time

Pages 114–120
DOI 10.2478/amnpsc-2018-0015
Keywords Jan Dobromil Arbeiter (1794–1870) – burgher libraries – National Revival –Bohemia – 19th century – Kajetán Theatre
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 2018/63/3-4

The library preserved in the collections of the Hussite Museum in Tábor is a reflection of the life of the Prague burgher and pharmacist Jan Dobromil Arbeiter (1794–1870). In the context of three quarters of the 19th century, it testifies to the emergence of the National Revival, the renewed interest in the Czech language and the related development of Czech theatre. J. D. Arbeiter was an important Prague burgher and patriot actively involved in social and political events. His versatile interests and the support of patriotism led him to the foundation and expansion of his personal library. He was a member of many associations, including Stálci, established by Amerling. Its members regularly purchased Czech books and thus supported the development of Czech, in particular scientific, literature. Arbeiter was also a generous patron. Among other things, he supported the education of poor students. He played an important role in the establishment of the Realgymnasium grammar school in Tábor, to which he donated his library. He had developed it for his entire life; originally, it comprised an impressive number of 3,000 volumes. The library of J. D. Arbeiter is not only an example of one of a few extant burgher libraries of the 19th century. Thanks to the breadth of Arbeiter’s interests, it also provides a selective overview of Czech book production at the time.

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