Workers' colonies. Housing for workers in the changes of time
A web portal dedicated to the professional treatment and popularization of workers' colonies and social housing in the Czech lands.
The thematic web portal Worker's Colonies is a platform for the expert elaboration and popularization of worker's colonies and other forms of social housing in the Czech lands, which were built in the manufactory and industrial era by the state, the authorities, enterprises, municipalities, cooperatives or individuals for workers in production.
Workers' colonies owe their origins to the Industrial Revolution and the historical processes of industrialisation, urbanisation and labour migration that rewrote the settlement map of the Czech lands and gave rise to hundreds of workers' settlements. The high level of industrialization of the Czech lands corresponds with the spread of workers' colonies essentially throughout the country, led by large and industrial cities and industrial agglomerations.
The web portal Workers' Colonies maps and presents log cabins, workers' colonies, emergency colonies and social housing for workers as specific urban, architectural, demographic, social or cultural entities. It pays attention to their specific living conditions and their representation of local and regional working-class culture. At the center of the web portal is an interactive map of workers' colonies in the Czech Republic, which aims to place domestic examples of social housing for workers on the map of the industrialized world. Indeed, workers' colonies did not only emerge in the industrial regions of Europe and North America, but everywhere where work, housing, and human everyday life were reshaped by the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of industrial society.
The individual localities are presented in their geographical, spatial, urban, architectural, population, social and cultural coordinates, which correspond to the structure of the specific local history entries. An important part of the web portal is the period and contemporary image documentation, which captures the historical and current appearance of the described localities.
The authors of the entries are researchers with knowledge of regional history, industrial history, social history, urban history and housing history. However, the web portal is intended for all those interested in history, especially the history of cities, workers, everyday life and working class culture in (post)industrial society. Therefore, authors of entries from the informed and interested public are welcome.
The first version of the web portal of the Workers' Colony was launched in May 2022. The web portal is implemented by the research programme of the CAS Strategy AV21 - The City as a Laboratory of Change (Buildings, Cultural Heritage and Environment for a Safe and Valuable Life), on the premises of the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS, in cooperation with the Institute of Ethnology of the CAS, v. v. i., and other partners.