Department for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts

Vedoucí: Mgr. Ondřej Vodička, Ph.D.
  • +420 286 010 567

The Department for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts is the only purely codicological establishment and research centre in the Czech Republic. The Commission for the Cataloguing and Study of Manuscripts, made up of leading external experts, is authorized to carry out methodological supervision of its activities. The Department's area of research covers manuscripts of a non-official nature, which are
examined in their entirety, i.e. not just their content, but also their external characteristics. Since 1969 a key task at the Department has been its General Catalogue of Manuscripts Housed on the Territory of the Czech Republic and Manuscript Bohemica from Abroad. This also includes methodological issues; one important milestone has been the publication of Manuscript Description Principles (Zásady pro popis rukopisů). Another achievement has been the compilation of the Guide to Manuscript Fonds in the Czech Republic (Průvodce po rukopisných fondech v ČR), aiming to record the entire manuscript heritage of this country in the form of primary entries. An electronic database was chosen as the primary form for the General Catalogue of Manuscripts, the openness of which allows new manuscripts to be catalogued and changes in the existing descriptions to be recorded. The Catalogue also includes special and fonds listings of manuscripts compiled by Department staff; at the same time as work is performed on domestic collections, research is also undertaken abroad and grants are utilized systematically for these tasks. At present the Department is undertaking a long-term Czech Science Foundation research project A Corpus of Codicological Sources. Since 1962 the Department has published a Manuscript Studies, the only specialist Czech codicological periodical. Since the second year a permanent feature has been a bibliographical Czech Codicological Literature supplement. For more extensive texts the Monographia Series was launched in the mid-1990s. The Department works together with other research establishments, institutes of higher education and institutes administering manuscript collections.

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