Author(s): Šárka Navrátilová (2019) – last update: 2019-07-10
The Moravský zemský archiv v Brně / Moravian Provincial Archive in Brno takes care of the collections related to the history of Moravia. Its funds are composed of the documents of the Moravian land and municipal authorities; political, financial and court administrations; churches; enterprises; and other associations.
As the archive was founded in 1839, it was tasked with the mission to collect and protect written and printed sources connected to Moravia from the Middle Ages to the present. Since 2003, 15 additional archives of South Moravian, Vysočina and Zlín regions have joined the organization, many of which have remained in their districts (mostly in the former district towns). Between 2007 to 2009 the archive’s main office moved into a modern building next to the new university campus on the south-eastern suburbs of Brno.
Moravský zemský archiv v Brně
Palachovo náměstí 723/1
625 00 Brno
Information / contact to the personal of the reading room:
Telephone + 420 533 317 224, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
From September to June:
Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-18:00
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-16:00
July and August (summer holiday):
Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00-18:00
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays closed
(Unfortunately, the website is available only in Czech.)
How to find the Archive sites
You can find the Moravian Provincial Archive on the south-eastern suburbs of the Brno city.
Please note that the archive does not offer any parking places for the visitors; if you decide to arrive by car, you can use the car park of the near shopping centre “Campus Square”. (You need to pay a parking fee if you leave your car there for longer than three hours.)
Using public transport is a very comfortable way to get to the archive from the city centre in 20-25 minutes. From the main station, you can take bus 40, 50, 61 or 69 heading towards the university campus and get off at the station “Nemocnice Bohunice”. Then, you need to cross the street to the shopping centre. Walk through the “Campus Square” shopping centre. You will find the archive in the modern glass building behind the centre.
For planning your journey by public transportation, you can use this online database: https://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/brno/spojeni (available in English).
How to plan and to prepare a visit
For your first orientation to the archive collections, you can use the overview on its website. You can contact the staff of a particular fund that you are interested in (http://www.mza.cz/fondy-pomucky). You also have the option to search the sources in an online archival database from the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic: https://aplikace.mvcr.cz/archivni-fondy-cr/default.aspx?lang=en. Depending on the collections you want to work with, you may be able to find digitalised inventories of the fonds.
It is better to communicate with the staff of the collection or the personal of the reading room well in advance of your visit, which documents you want to see. The time necessary for the preparation of the archival materials varies.
During your first visit, you will need to fill out a registration form in the reading room. You will be asked for basic personal data. You must bring your ID card or passport with you so that staff can verify your credentials. You will also be asked to write a brief description of your research project (topic, institution, etc.).
The reading room is situated on the second floor of the building. The receptionist can give you directions.
Reading Room rules and regulations
The research rules for working in the Moravian Provincial Archive in Brno are accessible online: http://www.mza.cz/sites/default/files/verejnost/badatelsky_rad.pdf.
Since they are available only in Czech, below are the most important points translated:
- All visitors are obligated to register at reception upon entering the building. At the reception, you will receive a key for a locker in the cloakroom (located on the first and second floor). You will be asked to leave there any coats, bags etc.
- Into the reading room, you can take your notes, pencils (no pens), camera and other electronic devices (e. g. laptop, tablet) so long as they are not in cases.
- Each time you enter the reading room, you must write your name and purpose of study on the guest list. If this is your first visit to the reading room, you need to fill out the registration form at the front desk. If this is not your first visit, you can simply go to the desk at the other end of the room where you can pick up requested materials.
- Please follow the instruction of the staff in the reading room. They may determine a working place for you, remind you to write notes with a pencil only, etc.
- You can order archival material via phone or e-mail. For one day, you can request only five items.
- If you want to take a photo of the documents (only without flash), do not forget to fill out the photography request form and submit it before leaving the reading room. In case you want to use photos of the archival materials in your publication, you must request permission to the director of the archive as well as respect the copyright regulations.
- You can also order the copies of the documents you have studied for a fee (prices listed on http://www.mza.cz/sites/default/files/verejnost/cenik_sluzeb.pdf).
Archive Database & Online finding aids
Descriptions of the collections and the archival finding aids can be found on the archive’s website: http://www.mza.cz/fondy-pomucky
The following web portals are additional useful search engines of funds:
- Online archival database of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic: https://aplikace.mvcr.cz/archivni-fondy-cr/default.aspx?lang=en
- Portal of archival collections and fonds of the Czech Republic: http://www.badatelna.eu/
- The staff speaks English and German. However, knowledge of Czech is essential for working with most of the finding aids and useful in orientating yourself with the archive in general.
- In the archive, you can find break rooms with a coffee machine. Close to the site, you can choose from several cafés and restaurants.
- There are power sockets in the reading room, but internet access for visitors is not available.
- The opening hours are usually restricted during the summer holiday (July, August).