About us

The Department of Historical Bibliography at the CR Academy of Sciences Library

The main task of the department is the heuristic and bibliographical processing of primary sources to provide a survey of foreign-language Bohemical output from Bohemian, Moravian and foreign printworks from the 16th to 18th centuries. To date, information has been collected on some 47,000 Bohemical publications on the basis of an examination of domestic and foreign historical book collections and specialist literature. of those, approximately 25,000 have been bibliographically described in detail using the de visu method, with the rest consisting only of brief entries taken from literature or catalogues. The Bibliography of Foreign-Language Printed Bohemica up to (BFPB) has been created from existing card indices as well as newly described publications. the results of the bibliographical research into foreign-language Bohemica have been used by department staff to compile thematic bibliographies and to study the history of Czech book printing and libraries, and at the same time they have served as a basis for providing relevant information to other researchers. the history of books, book printing and libraries in the Czech lands up to the mid-19th century is the focus of the journal Knihy a dějiny, which has been published by the department since 1994 (in Czech with a foreign-language summary). There is also a database of specialist bibliographical literature with the same subject matter, compiled by the department in parallel with the bibliographical research into printed Bohemica.

The Department of Historical Bibliography also administers the ASL’s oldest historical book collection (around 25,000 volumes of manuscripts, incunabula and early printed books). Its rarest book is a Latin manuscript bible called the Martinice Bible, dating back approximately to the 1430s, with a unique illustration of the burning of Master John Huss.