Vědecká knihovna v Olomouci / Research Library in Olomouc

Author(s): Šárka Navrátilová (2019) – last update: 2019-06-27

The Research Library in Olomouc was established as a part of the local Jesuit university in the 16th century and, in the course of its existence, its administration created a unique collection of historical prints, manuscripts, books, newspapers and maps, which serves as a useful source of information for researchers focusing on the history of that region.

The historical documents are some of the oldest and most valuable of their kind in the Czech Republic. The collection includes 1,455 manuscripts, almost 2,000 incunabula and more then 65,000 prints.

Since publishers are obligated to give a copy of all of their published titles to this library (on the grounds of the so-called “legal deposit” law), the collection is quite extensive, especially the attractive fond of bounded newspapers and magazines issued in the region in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Main Building with Reading Rooms and Information Desk
Vědecká knihovna v Olomouci
Bezručova 2
779 11 Olomouc
Czech Republic

Study Room of Bounded Newspapers/Magazines and Research Room of Historical Collections
Bezručova 3
779 11 Olomouc
Czech Republic

Tel.: +420 585 205 300
Email for General Inquiries: is [at] vkol.cz
Email Regarding Historical Collections: hf [at] vkol.cz

Opening Hours:

Reading Rooms: Monday to Friday 8:30-19:00, Saturdays 9:00-13:00
Study Room of Bounded Newspapers/Magazines: Monday to Friday 8:30-19:00 (closed on Saturdays!)
Research Room of Historical Collections: Monday to Friday 8:30-15:30 (however, it is necessary to make an appointment at least one day in advance)



How to find the Archive sites

From the main train station in Olomouc to both buildings of the library, you can take tram 3, 4, 6 and 7 going towards the city centre. The nearest station is called “Náměstí hrdinů”.

When travelling by car, please note that the parking possibilities near the library are very limited; it is recommended to leave your car in the underground car park by the main train station. (It is 80 CZK/ca. 3 EUR to park for 4-12 hours, which the price includes a public transport ticket valid for the first hour after purchase.)

Further information about getting to the archives site can be found on the library’s website: https://www.vkol.cz/en/library-guide/.

How to plan and to prepare a visit

Before your visit to the library, you can search for books, newspapers, historical manuscripts and maps in its collections using the online catalogue at: https://aleph.vkol.cz/F/?&CON_LNG=ENG.

If you want to research bounded newspapers/magazines, please follow the instructions provided by the staff of the study room: https://www.vkol.cz/en/services/study-rooms/study-room-of-bound-newspapers/clanek/study-room-of-bound-newspapers/.

Anyone interested in the historical collections of the library has to schedule access to the research room at least one day in advance (email hf@vkol.cz). Additionally, visitors must follow the library’s rules for handling materials, which can be found online at: https://www.vkol.cz/en/hist–collections/research-rules/.


Although visitors are not required to register for studying materials in the library, each visitor is obligated either to buy a daily ticket (20 CZK/ca. 0,80 EUR) or to pay the annual fee for a reader’s registration card (150 CZK/ca. 5,80 EUR). With this card, the reader has access to all of the services of the library for one year (including the wireless Internet connection) and the possibility to order any catalogued items in advance.

The registration desk is situated on the first floor of the main building at Bezručova 2. You will need to show your ID card or passport for registration to verify your identity.

In case you want to research manuscripts, it is necessary that you provide official confirmation of your research project issued by the organisation that your project is associated with.

Reading Room(s)

The study room of bounded newspapers/magazines as well as the research room of historical collections can be found in the library’s second, newer building (Bezručova 3, opposite the main site). In the study room of bounded newspapers/magazines, visitors can view original large-format newspapers as well as search in the database “Kramerius” of the digitalised documents. The research room of historical collections, visitors can view prints, manuscripts and maps. For better orientation in the library, you can use this virtual guide: https://www.vkol.cz/en/library-guide/.

Reading Room rules and regulations

  • The general rules for working in the Research Library in Olomouc are accessible online (https://www.vkol.cz/cs/dokumenty/knihovni-rad-v-plnem-zneni/aktualni-knihovni-rad/clanek/knihovni-rad-2019) but unfortunately only in the Czech language.
  • All visitors of the library are obligated to leave their coat, bags, etc. in the cloakroom lockers (situated in both buildings near the entrance) before accessing the reading rooms, research rooms and study rooms.
  • After entering the reading room, when you pick up your ordered materials up you need to show your reader’s registration card or confirmation of purchasing a daily ticket.
  • Users are allowed to use their laptops and cameras only after receiving permission from the staff in the study and research rooms.
  • If the materials are already available in the digitalised form, the originals are not accessible to the researchers. It is prohibited to take photos or make copies of the digital records, but the users can ask the library staff to print documents (paid service: 2 CZK/ca. 0,08 EUR per page for A4 black and white printing, 6 CZK/0,24 EUR per page for A3).
  • Users can obtain reproductions of the studied material (paid service).
  • The ordered items are kept in the reading rooms for only one week unless you ask for an extension.
  • Before leaving the study or research room, you are obligated to ask the librarian for permission to take items with you.
  • To use the research room of historical collections, the special set of rules applies: https://www.vkol.cz/en/hist–collections/research-rules/.

Archive Database & Online finding aids

For searching the collections of the library, you can use the online catalogue at: http://aleph.vkol.cz/F/?func=find-b-0&local_base=svk01&CON_LNG=ENG.

Practical advice

  • The staff speaks English. However, it is advantageous to have language skills in Czech.
  • Before the first visit to the library, you can pre-register in the online catalogue of the library and order the items you wish to study, even before you have a reader’s registration card.
  • Inside the library, it is not allowed to eat and drink, but the site is near the city centre, which has many café and restaurants.
  • The opening hours are usually restricted during the summer holidays (July, August).
  • The library accepts credit cards, such as to pay the registration fee or for copy services.
  • The library participates in the programme eBooks on Demand (EOD). A part of its collections can also be accessed digitally or can possibly be digitized for you (in case, the titles are not protected by copyright): https://www.vkol.cz/en/services/e-books-on-demand/.
  • Car parking possibilities near the library are very limited; it is recommended use the underground car park close to the main train station.

Citation Suggestion

Šárka Navrátilová: Vědecká knihovna v Olomouci / Research Library in Olomouc, in: ESE Archives Guide: A Web Guide to East and Southeast European Archives, 2019 (2019-06-27), https://www.ese-archives.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de/?p=2443.