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Václav Havel Prize awarded to Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kalesnikava  27/09/21

The ninth Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – which honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights – has been awarded to Belarusian opposition leader and activist Maria Kalesnikava, the PACE press service reported. The 60,000-euro prize was presented at a special ceremony on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. Maria Kalesnikava is one of the opposition leaders in Belarus and a member of the Co-ordination Council. She was the head of the campaign headquarters of former presidential nominee Viktar Babaryka, and has become one of the three female symbols of the Belarusian opposition and the struggle of the people of Belarus for civil and political liberties and fundamental rights. Accepting the award on her behalf, Maria’s sister Tatsiana Khomich thanked the award committee and said her sister would want to dedicate her win to all those in Belarus fighting for their rights: “This award is a sign of solidarity of the entire democratic world with the people of Belarus. It is also a sign to us, Belarusians, that the international community supports us, and that we are on the right track.”

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Three candidates shortlisted for the 2021 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize  31/08/21

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which rewards outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond, has today announced the shortlist for the 2021 Prize. More

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Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Prize to be presented to Václav Havel in memoriam  14/06/21

The Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Prize, which goes to a personality who has contributed greatly to freedom and democracy in Central European, will be presented to VáclavHavel in memoriam in Bratislava on 15.6. The award, jointly bestowed by the organisations Jagello 2000 and GLOBSEC,will be collected at a gala evening of the GLOBSEC 2021 conference by the director of the Václav Havel Library, Michael Žantovský.  More

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Václav Havel European Dialogues 2021 – recording available now  15/05/21

Did you miss out on our conference entitled The Other Europe, which was held on 11 and 12 May 2021? Are you interested to know what His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Youtuber Karel “Kovy” Kovář talked about? What the former Polish president Lech Walesa appealed for? What the current president of the Slovak Republic, Zuzana Čaputová, spoke about? Would you like to listen to the thoughts of Timothy Garton Ash, Marianne Kneuer, Olga Richterová and other prominent European intellectuals and politicians? Simply sign in or register at www.othereurope2021.com and view a recording of the conference. It will be available until 31 May 2021, after which your personal data will be deleted.

Program for September 2018<>

The Needs of Endangered Children

The Needs of Endangered Children

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 3, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion focused on the current status of endangered children in the Czech Republic in the context of ongoing changes in social and family policy. It will also explore the fulfilment of the Czech Republic’s international legal commitments as regards the protection of human rights. The invited guests include experts committed to high standards and dignified conditions in care for endangered children, including subsequent support during adolescence and early adulthood.

The debate will outline the situation at present, including the recommendations that the Czech Republic regularly receives in this area from international human rights organisations (Council of Europe, United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, European Court of Human Rights). Another theme will be the introduction of functioning, high-quality services that not only help individual children but are also part of systematic changes that should contribute to the protection of endangered children and their families in the future.

Speakers: Marie Oktábcová (Nadace J&T), Jana Luhanová (Routa), Alexandra Tichánková (Děti patří domů), Klára Chábová (Mimo domov), Tereza Jandová (Dětský domov Korkyně), Radek Laci (Vteřina poté) a Terezie Pemová (NIDAR). Chaired by Tibor A. Brečka.

Debate organised by the National Institute for Children and the Family, the 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and the Václav Havel Library in connection with the 22nd world congress of ISPCAN (the International Society for Prevention Child Abuse and Neglect). 

August 1968 in Liberec

August 1968 in Liberec

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 6, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion centred on the tragic events of August 1968 in Liberec, where Warsaw Pact troops killed nine people and injured dozens in the initial days of the invasion. The then resistance included broadcasts by the radio station in Liberec involving Václav Havel and Jan Tříska. 

Speakers will include architect Miroslav Masák, historian Markéta Lhotová and a number of others.

Moderated by Tomáš Černý.

Organised in cooperation with the Museum of North Bohemia in Liberec.

NaVýchod Magazine: Martin C. Putna and Radko Mokryk – What is Central Europe?

NaVýchod Magazine: Martin C. Putna and Radko Mokryk – What is Central Europe?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 10, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

The states that more than a quarter-century ago emerged from the so-called “socialist camp” are today looking for their own identities. What is Central Europe? What kind of future awaits Poland and Hungary? What events on Europe’s eastern borders influence goings-on on the continent? And where does Czechia actually belong?

The literary historian and professor Martin C. Putna, who this year published Obrazy z kulturních dějin Střední Evropy (Pictures from the Cultural History of Central Europe) via the Vyšehrad imprint and has travelled around the countries of the former Hapsburg empire, from Vienna to Galicia and the Balkans, will discuss Central and Eastern Europe. The debate will be accompanied by a presentation of the latest issue of the magazine NaVýchod.

Radko Mokryk of the Department of Eastern European Studies at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, and an editor at NaVýchod, will speak with Martin C. Putna. 

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 11, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion with Respekt editors and their guests on a topical issue. More information will be posted at least one week before the event at www.vaclavhavel-library.org

Tereza Boučková: The Race Against Time

Tereza Boučková: The Race Against Time

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 12, 2018, 20:00 – 22:00

“I selected texts that I think are timeless and good and simply stand up as literature. I left out singularly political texts, as they get old very quickly. But even still the book reflects the time in which we live. I write about it with sadness and disenchantment – and above all with humour and irony!”

Tereza Boučková’s new book Závod s časem (99 nejrychlejších fejetonů) (The Race Against Time (The 99 Fastest Essays)) will be welcomed by Pavel Kohout, Jiří Bouček, Vincenc Bouček and the editor-in-chief of Odeon, Jindřich Jůzl.

Mišpacha will bid the collection mazel tov. 

T. G. Masaryk – Overrated or Underrated?

T. G. Masaryk – Overrated or Underrated?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 13, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

The Masaryk phenomenon and its significance today

Film evening with a guest.

Do we idealise the “president liberator” as a national idol? Or do we, by contrast, overlook him and fail to devote due attention to his legacy?

A documentary with fictional elements from Věra Chytilová and unique period footage from the National Film Archive will help shine a light on the personality of T.G.M.

Associate Professor Michal Stehlík, the deputy director of the National Museum and creator of the exhibition The Masaryk Phenomenon, will speak. Czech Radio journalist Magdaléna Trusinová will chair the first of three evenings on the theme of “Famous Evangelists: Masaryk, Horáková, Palach” taking place in connection with the centenary of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.

Contemporary Vietnam

Contemporary Vietnam

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 14, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

What do we actually know about it? In recent years the political situation in Vietnam has become more difficult. Almost 200 activists are in prison and free journalism and engaged literature are only possible underground. What does Me Nam have to say about it? What environmental themes are dissident bloggers exploring? How do bloggers operate and how are their families protected? What is the situation regarding women’s rights in Vietnam?

The evening will be moderated by Kateřina Procházková, a journalist, project Sinopsis.cz.

Guests to be announced. 

Vladimír Dzuro: The Civil War in the Balkans and War Crimes

Vladimír Dzuro: The Civil War in the Balkans and War Crimes

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 17, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Vladimír Dzuro was the first, and for a long time only, Czech who investigated war crimes in the Balkans for the office of the chief prosecutor at the International Tribunal in the Hague. Dzuro uncovered mass graves and questioned and arrested those responsible for suffering and genocide. He took part in the first arrest of a war criminal since the Nuremberg trials. He got to the bottom of a massacre at the Ovčara farm near Vukovar. As an investigator he was involved in many such cases. The one-time Prague detective spent over nine years as part of a team tasked with investigating war crimes committed by Serbs in Croatia and Western Bosnia. He now heads the Office of Internal Affairs at the United Nations in New York. He has laid down his testimony in his new book, entitled Vyšetřovatel – Démoni balkánské války a světská spravedlnost (The Investigator – Justice and Demons of the Balkan War).

Discussion moderator: David Šťáhlavský (journalist and presenter, head of the Journalism Creative Group at Czech Radio).

Guest will include: Michael Žantovský (director, Václav Havel Library), Anna Richterová (state attorney; in 1999–2008 deputy prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia), Jan Pelikán (historian, Department of South Slavonic and Balkan Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University) and Martin Ježek (commentator on events in the Balkans).

Pavel Fiala: A Roundabout Route to Victory

Pavel Fiala: A Roundabout Route to Victory

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 18, 2018, 20:00 – 21:00

The Communists locked my dad up when I was nine. Then the Communists locked my mother up. I was 10 and the Communists caused me to become the winner of the Czechoslovak derby, because I wanted to study and become a veterinarian and they banned me from doing it.”

Presentation of the authorised biography of the legendary jockey Miloslava Hermansdorferová Schulzová. It is a story filled with different levels, detours, obstacles, pure blooded stallions and good people. A phenomenal rider who like Věra Čáslavská won international acclaim for Czechoslovak sport, she always refused to kowtow to bigwigs. Whether winning the toughest races or being banned and forced to shovel manure, she never stopped associating with whomever she chose, including Charter signatories, and was always headstrong and plain spoken.

The author of Obloukem k vítězství (A Roundabout Route to Victory), Pavel Fiala will speak with Miloslava Hermansdorferová Schulzová. Ludmila Vlášková will read from the book and Jiří Kadlec will provide guitar accompaniment. 

Jacques Rupnik Reflects on Central Europe in New Collection

Jacques Rupnik Reflects on Central Europe in New Collection

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 18, 2018, 17:00 – 19:00

Střední Evropa Je Jako Pták S Očima Vzadu (Central Europe is Like a Bird With Eyes in the Back of its Head) offers Jacques Rupnik’s view of Czech history and politics and more than anything a careful analysis and monitoring of the causes and results of various events, ranging from the creation of Czechoslovakia to contemporary positions on migration and the European Union.

The book is a selection of his most important reflections. Most of the texts are appearing in Czech for the first time and a number of his lectures are now published in full. Rupnik follows the domestic scene in the Central European and European context with an outsider’s distance but also an extensive familiarity with internal matters, with an interest in and understanding of the country in which he grew up. Thanks to his overview, the analyst, recognised both in the Czech Republic and internationally, explores a number of deep-rooted stereotypes and narratives. He also places in the appropriate context several myths, beginning with the fateful years ending in the number eight in Czechoslovak history, to which he devotes the book’s foreword.

Karel Hvížďala and Jiřina Šiklová will discuss the essay collection with Jacques Rupnik while Michael Žantovský will moderate the debate.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with publishers Novela bohemica.

Why Aren’t the Senate Elections about the Senate?

Why Aren’t the Senate Elections about the Senate?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 19, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

An exploration of the Senate’s position today, what it can influence and why elections to the upper chamber are frequently a different version of municipal elections.

The debate will be chaired by Jaroslav Poláček, an analyst with the TOPAZ political institute.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with TOPAZ.

Karel Hvížďala and Jiří Přibáň: Looking for History

Karel Hvížďala and Jiří Přibáň: Looking for History

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 20, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Dialogue between the famously curious journalist Karel Hvížďala and Jiří Přibáň, a legal philosopher based in the UK’s Cardiff, on the key points in our history in the broad context of the period ranging from the ninth to the 21st century. 

The book Hledání dějin o české státnosti a identitě (Looking for History – On Czech Statehood and Identity) will be presented by Lenka Bradáčová, Jan Kuklík and Petr Zelenka, while Jitka Molavcová will sing and recite.

Petr Fischer will compere the evening.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Karolinum publishing house.

The VH Library at the Book World Plzeň Trade Fair

The VH Library at the Book World Plzeň Trade Fair

  • Where: DEPO2015, Presslova 14, Plzeň
  • When: September 21, 2018, 19:00 – September 22, 2018, 21:00

A stand presenting books published by the Václav Havel Library and an accompanying programme in the form of the launch of the new title Mé vzpomínky (My Memoirs) by Václav M. Havel.

On Saturday 22 September at 3 p.m. we cordially invite visitors to the presentation of the memoirs of Václav Maria Havel, a remarkable figure whose entrepreneurial spirit was naturally married to social responsibility. The book can also be read as a monumental fresco of the early days of modern Czech history.

Guests: Ivan M. Havel, Michael Žantovský, Pavel Hájek.

How does the Czech Republic stand on drug policy?

How does the Czech Republic stand on drug policy?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 24, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Is our drug policy high-quality and effective? What challenges or threats does it face? Can a rational political debate on the issue of drugs take place at the legislative level? The panel will discuss the issue of the effectiveness of drug policy in the Czech Republic and its impact on the public, users and experts.

Confirmed guests: Jindřich Vobořil (former anti-drug policy coordinator), Viktor Mravčík (head of the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction), Robert Veverka (chairman of Legalizace.cz), Jan Horák (therapist with Renarkorn and representative of the Platform for a Complex Approach to Drug Use and Addiction).

Nine Hundred Pages of the Havel Family

Nine Hundred Pages of the Havel Family

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 25, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Ceremonial presentation of Václav M. Havel’s book Mé vzpomínky (My Memoirs)

The memoirs of Václav Maria Havel, father of President Václav Havel and the scientist Ivan M. Havel can be read in several ways. As a self-portrait of a personality whose entrepreneurial spirit was naturally married to social responsibility. As a chronicle of one of the most prominent families in early 20th century Prague. Or as a monumental fresco of the beginnings of modern Czech history. After all, it was Václav M. Havel who stood at the head of key student and civic activities in the First Republic, who built the Lucerna Palace, who founded the new Prague district of Barrandov…

The book is coming out in the original form conceived by the author and contains more than 300 period photographs and archival documents, the majority of which were previously unpublished.

Ivan M. Havel and the editors Jana Čechurová, Jan M. Heller and Pavel Hájek will discuss the title.

The memoirs of Václav Maria Havel, father of President Václav Havel and the scientist Ivan M. Havel can be read in several ways. As a self-portrait of a personality whose entrepreneurial spirit was naturally married to social responsibility. As a chronicle of one of the most prominent families in early 20th century Prague. Or as a monumental fresco of the beginnings of modern Czech history. After all, it was Václav M. Havel who stood at the head of key student and civic activities in the First Republic, who built the Lucerna Palace, who founded the new Prague district of Barrandov…

The book is coming out in the original form conceived by the author and contains more than 300 period photographs and archival documents, the majority of which were previously unpublished.

Ivan M. Havel and the editors Jana Čechurová, Jan M. Heller and Pavel Hájek will discuss the title.

Hollywood on the Vltava, or the VHL at the Festival of Good Publishers

Hollywood on the Vltava, or the VHL at the Festival of Good Publishers

  • Where: Tábor, Czech Republic
  • When: September 28, 2018, 10:30 – September 29, 2018, 21:00

As part of the festival there will be an introduction to titles published by the VH Library and a presentation of Václav Maria Havel’s autobiography Mé vzpomínky (My Memoirs). Ivan M. Havel will be in attendance.

Havel Channel

Havel Channel je audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla, jehož cílem je šířit myšlenkový, literární a politický odkaz Václava Havla, bez ohledu na vzdálenost, zeměpisné hranice či nouzové stavy. Jeho páteř tvoří debaty, vzdělávací projekty a rozhovory. Velký prostor je věnován též konferencím, autorským čtením, záznamům divadelních inscenací a koncertům. Audiovizuální projekt Knihovny Václava Havla Havel Channel se uskutečňuje díky laskavé podpoře Karel Komárek Family Foundation.

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Publications / E-shop

The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.

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Conferences

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Václav Havel European Dialogues

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.

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Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

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Václav Havel

Václav Havel
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova

1936
Foto
Václav Havel grew up
in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial
and intellectual family.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel completed primary schooling. Because
of his "bourgeois" background, options for
higher education were limited.
1951
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a chemical laboratory technician
while attending evening classes at a high school
from which he graduated in 1954.
1955
Foto
Václav Havel studied at the
Economics Faculty of the Czech
Technical University in Prague.
1960
Foto
Václav Havel began working at Prague's Theatre on
the Balustrade, first as a stagehand and later as
an assistant director and literary manager.
1963
Foto
Havel´s first play The Garden
Party was staged at Prague's
Theatre on the Balustrade.
1964
Foto
Václav Havel
married Olga
Splichalova.
1966
Foto
VH finished studies at at the
Theatre Faculty of the Academy of
Performing Arts in Prague .
1968
Foto
Václav Havel played an active role in
democratization and renewal of culture during the
era of reforms, known as Prague Spring.
1969
Foto
Havel's work were banned in Czechoslovakia. He
moved from Prague to the country, continued
his activities against the Communist regime.
1974
Foto
Václav Havel worked as a manual laborer
at a local brewery near Hrádeček in
the north of the Czech Republic.
1975
Foto
Václav Havel wrote an open
letter to President Gustav Husak,
criticizing the government.
1977
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded the Charter 77
human rights initiative and was one
of its first spokesmen.
1978
Foto
Václav Havel co-founded The
Committee for the Defense
of the Unjustly Prosecuted.
1979
Foto
Václav Havel was imprisoned several times
for his beliefs, his longest prison
term lasting from 1979 to 1983.
1989
Foto
Václav Havel emerged as one of the
leaders of the November opposition movement, also
known as the Velvet Revolution.
1990
Foto
Václav Havel is elected
President of Czechoslovakia on
December 29.
1993
Foto
Václav Havel is elected, after the
dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first President
of the Czech Republic.
1996
Foto
On January
27, Olga
Havlova died.
1997
Foto
Václav Havel married Dagmar Veskrnova,
a popular and acclaimed Czech theatrical,
television and movie actress.
1999
Foto
Václav Havel enabled the entry of
the Czech Republic into the North
Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO).
2003
Foto
Václav Havel left office after
his second term as Czech
president ended on 2 February 2003.
2004
Foto
Foundation of Václav
Havel Library in
Prague.
2004
Foto
The Czech Republic became the 35th
member State of the Council of
Europe on 30 June 1993.
2010
Foto
Václav Havel directed
a film adaptation of
his play Leaving.
2011
Foto
Václav Havel died at his
summer house Hrádeček in the
north of the Czech Republic.
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Educational projects

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Man of inspiration

This six-part series of educational videos introduces young viewers to the most important events in Czechoslovak history in the second half of the 20th century, with an accent on the human rights struggle. It is presented by singer and TV moderator Emma Smetana and choreographer and producer Yemi. The presenters of the English versions are native speakers.

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Year of Revolution

The year of the Velvet Revolution from the perspective of young YouTubers. A series of seven video lessons aimed at elementary and secondary schools mapping the revolutionary year from January to December 1989 and introducing viewers to key moments in totalitarian Czechoslovakia’s transformation into a democratic country.

Illustration

Read Havel

A collection of short videos in which well-known young people in Czech public life present iconic and lesser-known texts by Václav Havel.

Illustration

Václav Havel here and now

A travelling series of discussions about VH and more with Michael Žantovský, intended for secondary school students, libraries and arts centres.

Illustration

Best Student Essay Competition

One of the key genres of Václav Havel’s work is essays – on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual topics. His essays, such as the The Power of the Powerless and A Word About Words, have become classic texts of Czech literature; they have been translated into tens of languages, and are among the few truly world-famous works of Czech culture. This is also why it is necessary to keep cultivating the essay genre in the Czech language – not in the sense of imitating Václav Havel’s writing, but in the spirit of his courage to name unpleasant problems and search for unconventional solutions to them. For this reason, the Václav Havel Library is announcing the next year of the literary competition for secondary students: the Václav Havel Library Prize for Best Student Essay.

Illustration

Václav Havel´s Bookshelves

The Václav Havel Little Libraries are a key new Václav Havel Library project aimed at establishing a nationwide network of elementary and secondary schools that, with the support of the VHL, will spread the legacy of Václav Havel among their pupils and students. The aim of the Little Libraries is to create in schools (on the model of the existing Václav Havel’s Places) book shelves on which the schools will gather both texts by Václav Havel and texts closely linked to him. They may also contain other written materials, audio and video recordings and photographs.

Illustration

Lets rock!

Are your students (whether at elementary, arts-focused elementary or secondary schools) interested in history? Do you have a theatre or film club at your school, or are you teaching young people who “just” like to act? If so, we cordially invite you to join the Václav Havel Library in celebrating in a creative manner the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia with the theatre-education project Tomorrow!

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Václav Havel – a Czech myth, or Havel in a Nutshell

This interactive workshop lasting for about 180 minutes takes place in the “Havel in a Nutshell” exhibition hall. Primary and secondary school students are divided into groups within which they deal with various “research” projects. Students work with selected texts and are provided with particular books. The workshop is related not only to the teaching of Czech history, but also to personal, literary, artistic and media training, and increasing student’s democratic consciousness as citizens.

Illustration

Workshop: The Audience

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for secondary school’s students deals with Havel´s well known play The Audience.

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Workshop: The Life Story of Vaclav Havel

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for primary school pupils (6 – 12 years) brings the ideas and work of Václav Havel on human rights and civil society to children through Havel´s book for children Pizh'duks.

Exhibitions

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Havel in a nutshell

The virtual exhibition Václav Havel in a Nutshell places the life story of Václav Havel in the broader cultural and historic context in four chronologically distinct chapters with rich visual accompaniment. The exhibition is supplemented by the interactive map Flying the World with Václav Havel, which captures in physical form Havel’s global “footprint”.

Illustration

Oldřich Škácha – Occupation 1968

A collection of photographs by Oldřich Škácha from the Václav Havel Library’s collection.

Illustration

The Faces of Resistance

Pavel Hroch’s online photographic exhibition captures the stories of those who, across several decades of Czechoslovak history, stood up to evil, inhumanity, oppression and coarseness and who at certain moments displayed courage, will to freedom, love of those around them and common sense.

Illustration

Via the East to the West

In autumn 1989, Prague was flooded with citizens from the German Democratic Republic. For them, the Czechoslovak capital was to be a transfer station on the journey to freedom, to the western part of their country, whose division was symbolised by the Berlin Wall. One of the main reasons for the sudden growth in the number of refugees was the fear that the GDR would close its borders with Czechoslovakia, the only country East German citizens could enter without a visa, ahead of 40th anniversary celebrations of its foundation.

Illustration

With a Passion for Freedom

Pavel Hroch’s photographs capture the revolutionary period springing from November 1989 as well as the era of transformation, the start of the 1990s, when things happened in Czechoslovakia that had previously been impossible and unimaginable, a period of joy and carnivalesque festivity, a period of visions, hopes and a great and perhaps somewhat naïve belief in the future. Twenty-five years later, the photographs hold a mirror up to the manner in which those dreams and visions have been realised and to where we find ourselves today.

Illustration

Leaving

Story of Václav Havel’s final play and first film (1988–2011)

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August invasion of Hrádeček

A meeting of the children of dissidents and others who shared recollections of Václav Havel. The exhibition is a colourful collage of photographs, audio recordings – from talks by individual participants on the subject “My life with Václav Havel”, to a concert by Monika Načeva and Michal Pavlíček – and unique archival materials.

Depository

Za dobu svého trvání Knihovna Václava Havla připravila a uspořádala desítky výstav. Část z nich – přibližující nejen život a dílo Václava Havla, ale též nejrůznější kulturní, historické a společenské fenomény českých zemí 2. poloviny 20. století – se stala součástí jejího archivu. Nyní bychom je rádi prostřednictvím tohoto digitálního depozitáře nabídli dalším vzdělávacím a kulturním institucím (školám, knihovnám, klubům…) k bezplatnému využití.  

  • 30/11/21 – 05/01/22
  • 27/11/21 – 16/01/22Chvalský zámek
  • 01/11/21 – 31/12/21
  • 01/11/21 – 30/01/22
  • 25/10/21 – 30/11/21Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless
  • 15/10/21 – 30/11/21Hradec Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 05/10/21 – 05/11/21
  • 01/10/21 – 31/12/21
  • 01/10/21 – 22/12/21
  • 30/09/21 – 10/10/21Cieszyński Ośrodek Kultury Dom Narodowy, Rynek 12, Cieszyn
  • 30/09/21 – 30/10/21
  • 28/09/21 – 30/09/21Nádvoří Žerotínského zámku, Nový Jičín
  • 01/09/21 – 15/10/21Střední škola gastronomická a hotelová, Praha
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Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

The exhibition is a composition by the Italian authors Ubaldo Casotto and Francesco Magni, who...

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Zpět na začátek

Archive / Documentation centre / Research projects

Dokumentační centrum

The Václav Havel Library is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel.

  • 54011 records in total
  • 15309 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2099 of photos 
  • 346of videos
  • 565of audios
  • 6545of letters
  • 14938of texts about VH
  • 7499 of books
  • 30347of bibliography records

Access to the database of the VHL’s archives is free and possible after registering as a user. Accessing archival materials that exist in an unreadable form is only possible at the reading room of the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Prague 1, every Tuesday (except state holidays) from 9:00 to 17:00, or by prior appointment.

We will be glad to answer your queries at archiv@vaclavhavel-library.org.

Illustration

Havel in a nutshell

The virtual exhibition Václav Havel in a Nutshell places the life story of Václav Havel in the broader cultural and historic context in four chronologically distinct chapters with rich visual accompaniment. The exhibition is supplemented by the interactive map Flying the World with Václav Havel, which captures in physical form Havel’s global “footprint”.

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Vladimir Hanzel's revolution

Collage of recollections, images and sound recordings from Vladimír Hanzel, President Václav Havel’s personal secretary, bringing the feverish atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution to life.

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Václav Havel Interviews

A database of all accessible interviews given to print media outlets by the dramatist, writer and political activist Václav Havel between the 1960s and 1989. The resulting collection documents the extraordinary life story of an individual, as well as capturing a specific picture of modern Czechoslovak history at a time when being a free-thinker was more likely to lead to jail than an official public post.

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Pavel Juráček Archive

The Pavel Juráček Archive arose in February 2014 when his son Marek Juráček handed over six banana boxes and a typewriter case from his father’s estate to the Václav Havel Library. Thousands of pages of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, documents and personal and official correspondence are gradually being classified and digitalised. The result of this work should be not only to map the life and work of one of the key figures of the New Wave of Czechoslovak film in the 1960s, but also to make his literary works accessible in the book series The Works of Pavel Juráček.

The aim of the Václav Havel Library is to ensure that Pavel Juráček finds a place in the broader cultural consciousness and to notionally build on the deep friendship he shared with Václav Havel. Soon after Juráček’s death in 1989 Havel said of him: “Pavel was a friend of mine whom I liked very much. He was one of the most sensitive and gentle people I have known – that’s why I cannot write more about him.”  

Zpět na začátek

All about Library

The Václav Havel Library collects, researches, disseminates, promotes and advocates the spiritual, literary and political legacy of a great figure of modern Czech history - the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czechoslovak and Czech president. It also focuses on people, events and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the present.

From August 2014, the Václav Havel Library is located at the address Ostrovní 13, Prague 1. The building’s ground-floor spaces is dedicated to an exhibition "Václav Havel or Havel in a nutshell" and used for VHL club events – all kinds of seminars, readings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts and theatre performances. The Library’s offices, archive, constantly expanding library, and reading room are located on the first floor.

The main aims of the Václav Havel Library include

  • Organizing archival, archival-research, documentary, museum and library activities focused on the work of Vaclav Havel and documents or objects related to his activities, and carries out professional analysis of their influence on the life and self-reflection of society
  • Serving, in a suitable manner, such as through exhibitions, the purpose of education and popularisation functions, thus presenting to the public the historical significance of the fight for human rights and freedoms in the totalitarian period and the formation of civil society during the establishment of democracy
  • Organizing scientific research and publication activities in its areas of interest
Zpět na začátek

Staňte se členy Klubu přátel Knihovny Václava Havla

„Domnívám se, že se nám daří naplňovat vizi Václava Havla, jenž při založení Knihovny prohlásil, že má smysl jedině jako živoucí organismus, který zaujímá své nepřehlédnutelné místo v celku veřejného a politického života. Vnímáme to jako závazek a inspiraci do budoucna. Rádi bychom využili záznamů ze stovek našich akcí ve vlastním kanálu internetové televize, rozšířili publikační program, připravili další e-learningové série, začali pořádat workshopy pro učitele… To vše si však vyžádá nemalé finanční prostředky. Proto jsme se rozhodli obrátit na naše návštěvníky a příznivce s prosbou o podporu.“ – Michael Žantovský

Pomozte nám inspirovat své okolí i Vy!
Přijdete se k nám a staňte se členem Klubu přátel Knihovny VH!

 

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Support us

Financial donations

If you would like to support the work of the Václav Havel Library or its specific activities or projects by means of a financial donation you can do so via the VHL’s PayPal account

Or by bank transfer to:

ČSOB a. s., Na Poříčí 24, 115 20 Praha 1

  • Crown account number 7077 7077 / 0300 CZK
  • Euro account number 7755 7755 / 0300 EUR
  • Dollar account number 7747 7747 / 0300 USD

If an individual makes a donation of over CZK 1,000, or if a company makes a donation of over CZK 2,000, in one calendar year we will create for you a donation contract confirming the amount of the donation involved; the donor can use this to reduce their tax base in compliance with the law on taxation. For more information, contact us.

Donors with US citizenship can support us through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation New York.

Donations and loans to the VHL archive

The Václav Havel Library administers an archive of written materials, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Václav Havel. The archive is predominantly digital in form. If you or somebody close to you is the owner of original texts, photographs, speeches or other works produced by Václav Havel we would appreciate it greatly if you contacted us. We will oversee the digitalisation of these documents and place them in our digital archive. If you would like to keep possession of such documents or items, we will return them in perfect condition.  

If a copy or original is donated to the Václav Havel Library, the terms of donation and use will in all cases be agreed with the owner. The names of all donors or owners will be listed alongside the documentary materials in question.

Internships

We offer short and long-term internships at the Václav Havel Library to Czech and foreign students. Interns are particularly welcomed in the fields of library studies and archival science, arts management, journalism, Czech Studies and other areas of the humanities.

We welcome knowledge of English (German and French are also a plus), while knowledge of Czech is an advantage for foreign interns.

Internships range in duration from six weeks to one year, while it is possible to agree on individual duration depending on the requirements of schools. On completion of the internship, the participant receives a certificate with an appraisal. Internships take place on the basis of prior agreement with applicants and dates must be agreed around two months in advance. Václav Havel Library internships are unpaid and we do not cover transport or accommodation costs.

If you are interested in an internship at the Václav Havel Library, contact us at the email address:

Media and promotion cooperation with the VHL

The Václav Havel Library welcomes the mutual exchange of links and the publication of our banners and information about our events. For more information, contact us directly.

Volunteers

The Václav Havel Library welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in our work.  

Bakala PhilanthropyRockefeller Brothers FundJan BartaAsiana GroupMoneta Money BankThe Vaclav Havel Library FoundationNadace Charty 77Sekyra FoudationVŠEMRicohP3chemTechsoup ČRNewton MediaHlavní město PrahaMinisterstvo kultury ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČRUS EmbassyStátní fond kultury