Book collections from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century preserved in the NM are among the richest and most interesting book collections of the Czech Republic. Research into personal book collections of the NM within the NAKI project (2012–2015), including besides the historical book collection also books from the 19th and 20th centuries, has provided valuable information on the history of the entire book culture. The PROVENIO database is an important source of information and knowledge in terms of book owners and ownership provenance, library history, bibliophilia and the reception by readers, as well as the history of book binding, book publishing houses and book trade of the given period.
The article points out the uniqueness of the personal book collection of the Czech poet, translator and theatre critic Hanuš Jelínek, one of the most prominent figures in Czech–French cultural relations. Based on the owner’s last will, it has been deposited in the National Library in Prague since 1951, when the book estate was handed over to the National Museum after the death of his wife, Božena Jelínková-Jirásková, an academic painter, and it also contains books that belonged to her. The book collection, which still awaits further research and is hardly known to the wider professional public, is a very valuable source on the life and work of Mr and Mrs Jelínek as well as an important source of information on the history of Czech-French cultural transfers and the cultural history of Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
The National Museum Library contains the personal library of an outstanding Czech critic and modern art theorist, Karel Teige. From the 1920s, he was in touch with the founders and important representatives of modern art movements, mostly from France, whose relations and cooperation are i.a. demonstrated by the books donated to him. The article presents several dedications by André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Le Corbusier and Salvador Dalí.