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Marta Vaculínová

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to show the situation of the National Museum Library (NML) in the period of 1939–1945 based on archival documents. Central changes made by the Nazis affected people as well as their work in the NML. It was not possible to continue as before – some employees had been arrested or executed by the Gestapo. Nevertheless, the number of the NML staff increased as a result of the transfer of officials from the closed Ministry of War and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two employees of German nationality joined the NML based on the new rules concerning the relations between Czechs and Germans in public services. The operation of the library came under the supervision of Professor Carl Wehmer, who planned a cataloguing reform, was in charge of the book collections and ensured their later evacuation. The plans for a new NML exhibition were cancelled and replaced by propagandistic exhibitions imported from Germany, such as Deutsche Größe. The Nazi ideologists planned to return the National Museum and its library to the original idea of the land museum. Also Emil Franzel, a former leading member of the German Social Democracy in Czechoslovakia, a later member of the Sudeten German Party and in 1940–1941 an official in the NML, followed the idea of a land museum in his book History of the National Museum Library (Prague 1942), the first monograph on the history of the NML.

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Helma Schaefer

Abstract

In her article, the author discusses the merits of the German craft bookbinder Paul Kersten (1865-1943) in the development of modern decorative papers as an expression of artistic individuality in the field of applied arts. From the Middle Ages, decorative paper had been used in decoration and bookbinding. Bookbinding workshops had traditionally made starched marbled paper. The interest of Paul Kersten, coming from a bookbinding family, in these papers had already dated from his youth. During his travels abroad, he was aware of the poor state of the bookbinding craft, which was affected by the mass production of books and book bindings as well as the industrialisation of paper production at the end of the 19th century. Kersten helped to introduce Art Nouveau into the design of German bookbinding and the methods of the modern production of decorative papers. At first, he worked as a manager in German paper manufactures and then as a teacher of bookbinding. His work was later oriented towards Symbolic Expressionism and he also tried to cope with the style of Art Deco.

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Miloš Zelenka

Abstract

The paper evaluates the importance of the French-written Histoire de la littérature tchèque I–III [The History of Czech Literature] (1930–1935) by Hanuš Jelínek (1878–1944), a leading expert and authority on French–Czech cultural relations. His synthetic work destined for French readers and completed outside the modern methodological context of the 1930s draws on Ernest Denis’ concept of Czech literary development as the ‘literature of struggle’ against the German element, while its composition is inspired by Arne Novák’s history written in German, and his expository method follows in the footsteps of his mentor Jaroslav Vlček. Therefore, Jelínek conceives literary development as a continual motion of ideas within an aesthetic form, as a subject-stratified, multi-layered story unified by the central outlook enabling him on the one hand to emphasise the nationally defensive aspect of Czech literature, and, on the other hand, to present it through parallels and illustrative examples within the European perspective. Jelínek’s Histoire, supplemented with a number of his own translations of Czech authors, is a particular narrative–historical genre – the epitome of the young Czech nation’s cultural policy and an archetype of cordial relations between the Czechoslovak and French cultures.

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Petr Mašek

Abstract

The core of the Višňová castle library was formed already in the 17th century, probably in Paderborn. Afew volumes come from the property of the archbishop of Cologne, Ferdinand August von Spiegel (1774–1835), but most of the items were collected by his brother Franz Wilhelm (1752–1815), a minister of the Electorate of Cologne, chief construction officer and the president of the Academic Council in Cologne. A significant group is formed by philosophical works: Franz Wilhelm’s collection comprised works by J. G. Herder, I. Kant, M. Mendelsohn as well as H. de Saint-Simon and J. von Sonnenfels. Another group consisted of historical works, e.g. by E. Gibbon; likewise his interest in the history of Christianity is noticeable. The library contains a total of more than 6,200 volumes, including 40 manuscripts, 3 incunabula and 15 printed books from 16th century; more than a half of the collection is formed by early printed books until the end of the 18th century. The other volumes come from the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Volumes from the 17th century include especially Latin printed books on law, and one can perceive interest in collecting books on philosophy. There are many publications devoted to Westphalia; in addition, the library contains a number of binder’s volumes of legal dissertations from the end of the 17th century and the entire 18th century published in diverse German university towns. Further disciplines widely represented in the library are economics and especially agriculture, with the publications coming from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Open access

Marta Vaculínová

Abstract

In 1582, the first printed collection of Czech proverbs by Jakub Srnec of Varvažov, Dicteria seu proverbia Bohemica, was printed. It became the basic source of the material for later collections of this kind by J. A. Comenius, J. Dobrovsky and others. It was inspired by the Adagiorum chiliades by Erasmus of Rotterdam. Based on them, it was divided into centuria and decades. Unlike other early modern collections of proverbs, it does not contain only the Latin translation of the mentioned proverbs - its Latin explanatory component is much richer. This is connected with the fact that the collection was originally conceived as a teaching aid for Srnec’s private school for pupils from noble families. Each proverb is accompanied by a number of related, explanatory or antithetical sentences, which resembles the genre of the collections of sentences. The authors of the sentences are given in the margins. There is a large share of ancient classics, medieval anonymous proverbs and biblical quotations. Less than one-third are quotations from early modern authors. Logically, Erasmus is the most represented among them, followed by relatively unknown Christoph Aulaeus, a professor at the university of Erfurt, with his collection of moralistic distichs. The third in terms of the number of quoted statements is the popular early modern educationist Juan Luis Vives. Based on other quoted Humanists and their works, it is possible to infer when the core of the work originated. Most frequently, Srnec used quotations from educational and moralistic handbooks, more rarely also from theatre plays with religious themes. The main aim of the publication of the collection was to prove that Czech proverbs could match not only Latin and Greek ones but also those in other living languages that had already been published for a rather long time. Unlike some educational Lutheran collections of proverbs, Srnec’s collection was not only to enlighten but also to entertain and to make the subject matter taught more pleasant for the students. Not only in that but also in the title chosen and the graphic design, it could have been inspired by the contemporary German collection of proverbs Proverbialia dicteria by Andreas Gartner. The circumstances of the collection’s origin are explained by the author in an extensive preface, in which he deliberately quotes a wide range of proverbs taken from Erasmus’s Adagia. A Czech translation of selected passages of the preface is attached to the article.