Československé dokumentační středisko (ČSDS) / Czechoslovak Documentation Centre

Author(s): Anna Bischof (2018) – last update: 2018-07-05.


The Československé dokumentační středisko (ČSDS) is a non-governmental research and documentation institution concerned with the history of the anti-totalitarian resistance in Czechoslovakia and abroad during the Communist era, 1948–89.

The Centre continues the work of the former Czechoslovak Documentation Centre for Independent Literature, which was located at Schloss Schwarzenberg, Scheinfeld, Germany. It focuses on supoorting and conducting research as well as activities that popularize history or increase historical awareness throughout society. The word ‘Czechoslovak’ in its name indicates the scope of its work, in the sense that both the struggle for intellectual and political freedom within the borders of the Czechoslovak state as it existed during the Communist period as well as the efforts in which the democratic forces of Czech and Slovak society worked closely together.

The Centre collaborates closely with the National Museum in Prague, particularly in cataloguing and making accessible the collections of books and documents which the Centre donated to the Museum. This collection is managed by the Archive of the National Museum as an indivisible unit called the ‘Československé dokumentační středisko 1948–1989’. Since October 2017 the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre has its seat in the New Building of the National Museum.




How to find the archive sites:


How to plan and to prepare a visit

To make an appointment, please send an e-mail message directly to Vilém Prečan, Chairman of the ČSDS Board of Directors, at precan@csds.cz or ring the ČSDS Director, Helena Kašová at tel. +420 257 533 332, +420 602 202 602.

Vilém Prečan is happy to meet with scholars and journalists to discuss questions in the following areas:

  • The history of dissent and the dissidents, opposition, and Czechoslovak exiles since 1945;
  • the international context of Czechoslovak history, 1938–90;
  • the crisis years 1938, 1968, 1989;
  • sources on Czechoslovak history, 1939–90;
  • the Slovak factor in Czechoslovak history, 1918–1992


To register and access the archive you will have to show a valid passport or ID card.

Reading Rooms

The Archive of the National Museum makes the collections of Československé dokumentační středisko accessible in its reading room, located at:

Archiv Národního muzea – studovna (Archive of the National Museum – Reading Room)
Na Zátorách 6
170 00 Praha 7 – Holešovice

Opening hours:
Monday: closed
Tuesday: 8.30-12.00 and 12.30-16.00
Wednesday: 8.30-12.00 and 12.30-18.00
Thursday: 8.30-12.00 and 12.30-16.00
Friday: closed

Reading Room Rules and Regulations:

You can order up to five boxes per day. If you need to access more than five boxes per day you can ask ČSDS staff to make an exception.

Cameras and scanners are not allowed. Copies and photo prints can be ordered for a fee (max. 20 copies per day/400 per year). See http://www.nm.cz/detail.php?str_id=475 for more information.

Archive databases & Online finding aids

Most of ČSDS archival material has not been catalogued yet. However, a project to catalogue the collections is under way. A list of the archival holdings can be found on the ČSDS website: http://www.csds.cz/en/3296-DS.html?branch=1&language=3. Please consult ČSDS Director Helena Kašová (kasova@csds.cz) or Vilém Prečan (precan@csds.cz) for more detailed information.

Citation Suggestion

Bischof, Anna: Československé dokumentační středisko (ČSDS) / Czechoslovak Documentation Centre , 2018 (2018-07-05), http://www.ese-archives.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de/?p=1687.

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