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If I consider myself to be a European, it does not mean at all I cease being a Czech. It is really the other way round. As a Czech, I am also a European. Somewhat poetically I say that Europe is the mother of all fatherlands Václav Havel, A Speech to the European Parliament, November 11, 2009

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Club / News / Program


Open Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi  03/06/19

Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Please allow me to express my joy at your current visit  in your official capacity to the Czech Republic. I hope your talks in Prague will be enjoyable and productive. I am particularly pleased with your moving gesture to pay homage to Václav Havel, a long time supporter and admirer of yours, at his gravesite today. On a personal note, I will much enjoy the opportunity to renew, albeit briefly, our acquaintance after our meeting during the memorial evening in honour of Václav Havel at Naypyidaw in November 2016. More



Today, on Monday 8 October, 2018, Oyub Titiev was ceremonially announced as laureate of the 2018 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The award is presented by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation. For more information about the Prize visit us here.


The Unbearable Lightness of Evil – registration open!  30/08/18

Dear friends, please allow us to inform you that we have just launched registration for the sixth annual conference in honour of the laureate of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, which is entitled The Unbearable Lightness of Evil, and the subsequent concert A Tribute to the Brave. You will find more information here.


Three candidates shortlisted for the 2018 Václav Havel Prize  28/08/18

The selection panel of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, comprising independent figures from the world of human rights and chaired by the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Liliane Maury Pasquier, drew up the shortlist of candidatures in Prague today. The shortlisted nominees, in alphabetical order, are: More

Program for December 2018<>

When the War Comes: Why do Czech Nationalists Love Russia?

When the War Comes: Why do Czech Nationalists Love Russia?

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

Screening of the documentary When the War Comes by Jan Gebert (CR, Croatia, 76 min., 2018) followed by a debate involving journalist Josef Pazderka, and journalist Ivana Svobodová (Respekt weekly), who will moderate the evening.

The debate is intended to highlight the similarity in the worldviews of Central European nationalists and the regimes that inspire them – Novorossiya and Russia. Are organisations such as the Slovak Recruits similar to paramilitary units in Donbas? What is the appeal of Putin’s model of government to Central European nationalists? Does Russia provide ideological or even material support to Central European nationalists?

When the War Comes: At first glance, Petr’s life resembles that of a regular European teenager. He lives with his parents, has a girlfriend and has won a place at university. But his real life is elsewhere – at the head of the militia group Slovak Recruits, who include 200 young people and have branches throughout Slovakia. In mountain forests they are subjected to strict rules and punishments more reminiscent of playing at dictatorship than military training. The militia’s leader believes his model of organisation has a future. He is prepared to set aside his uniform one day and share his vision with the entire society – by becoming a major politician.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with PINK, BontonFilm and KineDok.

Ilona Ferková: Same Again, Lída!

Ilona Ferková: Same Again, Lída!

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: December 4, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

KHER, a publishing house focused on Roma literature, will present the long-anticipated new novel by Ilona Ferková entitled De Mek Jekh, Lido! (Same Again, Lída!). It’s about the eternally luckless Kaštánek, who lives on the streets and tells the Romany regulars stories in exchange for beer at the gaming bar on the square. A tough life can be lit up by stories and even homeless people and gambling addicts have their pride.

Ilona Ferková’s reading will be illustrated in real time by artist Martin Zach, while Marek Miko of Bengas will provide musical accompaniment. KHER founder Lukáš Houdek will speak on behalf of the publishers and Karolína Ryvolová will compere the evening.

A slightly unorthodox book launch with traditional Romany hospitality and a great deal of solidarity.

Doctors of Humanity: American Assistance to Czechoslovakia After World War One

Doctors of Humanity: American Assistance to Czechoslovakia After World War One

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: December 5, 2018, 13:30 – 17:00

In connection with the centenary of Czechoslovakia and the establishment of modernday Czech-American relations, it is worth remembering the humanitarian and development aid the US provided to the newly established Czechoslovak state in its first years of existence.

The aim of two discussion panels is to foster a debate on the significance of the presence of US non-profit, volunteer and aid organisations in Czechoslovakia, evaluate their legacy within the broader concept of the “Americanisation” of Czechoslovakia and discuss the political background to their work. They will also focus on how cooperation between the Czechoslovaks and Americans functioned and what values, ideas and know-how were brought by, for instance, Hoover’s food aid, the Christian organisations YMCA and YWCA, the American Red Cross and others, as well as how this highly organised human(itarian)ism helped Czechoslovakia materially and left its mark on the civic sector. International and Czech experts will take part in the debate.

If interested, please register here

The event will be translated into Czech and English.   

The event takes place with kind financial support of the US Embassy in Prague


13.30 Registration

13.45 – 14.00  
Welcome reception at the Library: Michael Žantovský
Introduction: Stephen B. King, the US Ambassador to the Czech Republic

14.00 – 15.30
Panel 1: “The Great Rescue Work”: Hoover’s Food Aid for Europe and Czechoslovakia

Panellists: Bertrand Patenaude (Hoover Institution – Stanford University), Halina Parafianowicz (Institute for History and Political Sciences at the University of Białystok)

Moderator: Michael Žantovský

15.30 – 15.45 Coffee break

15.45 – 17.15
Panel 2: “America in Czechoslovakia”: American non-profit organisations and development of the civil sector in Czechoslovakia after World War One

Panellists: Milada Polišenská (Anglo-American University in Prague), Petr Chlápek (a YMCA representative), Růžena Zaoralová – Roman Zaoral (Higher Medicinal School – FHS UK), Marek Skovajsa (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, FHS UK)

Moderator: Jana Čechurová

17.15 – 17.30 A glass of wine


JANA CECHUROVA is a lecturer at the Institute for Czech History of the Faculty of Arts at Charles University, where she is also the vice-director. She focuses on the history of political and social elites and elite associations, right-wing policy and politicalculture, especially during the so-called First Republic. Besides this, she does editorial work on personal sources, the latest of which being the autobiographical book by Vaclav Havel entitled My Memoirs.

PETR CHLÁPEK is a Protestant priest and a primary school teacher in the Krkonose Mountains. He did a degree in Protestant Theology at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague. His thesis, The YMCA and Its Importance for Czech Society (2004), deals with the history and work of the YMCA from the establishment of Czechoslovakia to the present day.

HALINA PARAFIANOWICZ is a professor at the University in Białystok, Poland where she specialises mainly in the interwar history of Central and Eastern Europe and also the new history of the USA, especially with regard to their diplomatic relations to Central European countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia. She has published a number of works on this topic, including Czechoslovakia in the US Policy in 1918–1933Poland in the European Policy of the USA During the Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover and the recent political biography of Herbert C. Hoover The Often Forgotten President.

BERTRAND M. PATENAUDE is a historian teaching at Stanford University, where he lectures on modern history and international relations and is also an expert at the Hoover Institute. He is the author and editor of many books on Russian and Soviet history, the most well-known being The Big Show in Bololand (2002) which describes Hoover’s American mission in the famine-struck Russia in 1921. His book Trotsky: Downfall of a Revolutionary has been published in Czech (Paseka 2011).

MILADA POLISENSKA is a professor of history and international relations at the Anglo-American University in Prague. She specialises in the modern and contemporary history of Central and Eastern Europe, as part of which focuses on diplomacy and the history of nationalism. She is known for her monographs “Czechoslovaks in the Gulag and Czechoslovak Diplomacy 1945–1953” or two volumes of “Diplomatic Relations of Czechoslovakia and the USA 1918–1968”.

MAREK SKOVAJSA is a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University and collaborates with the Czech Sociological Review as an editor. His main specialisation is the history of sociology, sociological and political theory, democracy and civil society. His publications include Sociology in the Czech Republic (2017, with Jan Balon), Structures of Meaning (2013) or The Civil Sector. Organised Civic Society in the Czech Republic (2010, editor).

RUZENA ZAORALOVA teaches at the Emanuel Potting Secondary and Higher Medicinal School in Olomouc and has also taught at the Palacky University where she lectured on the history of nursing. She is an expert in the history of medicinal schools during the so-called First Republic. Her articles follow the role played by American workers and their organisations in the development of Czechoslovak healthcare.

ROMAN ZAORAL is a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University and in the past has also worked for the Czech Academy of Sciences, National Museum, Central European University in Budapest and Palacky University in Olomouc. As a historian he is focused on the history of mediaeval economy and as an intern of the Mellon Foundation he worked for the Warburg Institute in London. As an intern of the Ministry or Foreign Affairs, he also assisted in research into the history of Czech expatriates in Canada. He and his wife prepared a study on the activities of the Rockefeller Foundation in connection with the establishment of the Masaryk School of Healthcare and Social Care as a new type of school in Czechoslovakia between the wars.

Republic Café: Lost and Found Post-1918: The Church

Republic Café: Lost and Found Post-1918: The Church

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

The foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic a century ago was accompanied not only by patriotic fervour but also concerns about the future. Minorities, the Catholic Church, the aristocracy and many others were faced with decisions regarding to how to proceed. In the uncertainty with which they were treated by the fresh republic they themselves also had to consider how to respond to the new state.

Chaired by Renata Kalenská.

This debate series marking the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia has been prepared for the 2018–2019 season by the Václav Havel Library and the theatre Divadlo Husa na provázku. Debates will take place in parallel in Prague and Brno once a month.

One Hundred Years Later: The Testimony of a Rediscovered Diary

One Hundred Years Later: The Testimony of a Rediscovered Diary

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: December 11, 2018, 17:00 – 19:00

Nine-thousand and 88 kilometres. That’s the length of the world’s longest railway, the Trans-Siberian Mainline. At the close of WWI Czechoslovak legionnaires took control of this legendary railroad. Exactly a century later, Ina Píšová, the granddaughter of one of them – Jan Kouba – set off in his footsteps, his diary in hand.

Píšová has written the book Transsibiřská odysea (Trans-Siberian Odyssey) about her journey. She will discuss it and more with two Czech Radio editors who have also travelled the Trans-Siberian Mainline, Ivan Studený and David Šťáhlavský; the latter will moderate the evening.

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

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

Discussion with Respekt editors and their guests on a topical issue. For more information go to

Jiří Černý: In the Šafrán Era

Jiří Černý: In the Šafrán Era

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: December 12, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Jiří Černý’s playback session will be dedicated to the phenomenon of the singer-songwriters association Šafrán (1972–1978). Černý, a music journalist, was there when Czech urban folk song writing was born at the end of the 1960s, appearing on stage with Šafrán members and working with them over many years. The evening will focus on his view of the key names in Czech folk and their work.

The event is organised by the Václav Havel Library as an accompanying event to the exhibition From Ear to Ear, or the Šafrán Phenomenon. It is taking place at the Clementinum (15. 11. 2018 – 15. 1. 2019) and has been organised by the Czech National Library and publishers Galén under the auspices of Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová and partners: PEN International – Czech Centre, Václav Havel Library and

The Story of Neratov: From Ruined Church to Brewery

The Story of Neratov: From Ruined Church to Brewery

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

An evacuated, literally depopulated village, a church in ruins with trees growing in it. So begins the story of Neratov as it was first experienced by Josef Suchár, a secretly ordained priest, in his youth. He reached out to two families, who settled permanently in the Orlické Mountains. With other friends they founded a civic association, surrounded themselves with the needy and disabled – and built a new village. The story of a vision fulfilled and today the biggest employer of disabled people in the region.

Taking part in the discussion will be priest Mons. Josef Suchár, special elementary school director Broňa Havlíková and the manager of the Neratov Association, Antonín Nekvinda. The lyricist, writer and cultural anthropologist Michal Horáček will introduce the event and Veronika Sedláčková will moderate.

Organised by the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havlová Foundation in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library.

David Vaughan: Hear My Voice

David Vaughan: Hear My Voice

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

Fake news and the Munich Crisis

International diplomacy has broken down. A new breed of authoritarian ruler has emerged, contemptuous of the rules of diplomacy and collective security, willing to lie and bully to build power and influence. Europe’s democracies are confused and defensive. The year is 1938 and Nazi Germany is tightening the screw on its neighbours.

You are invited to the launch of the English version of David Vaughan’s documentary novel, Hear My Voice. First published in Czech, the book won the Czech Book readers’ prize in 2015. A young man has arrived in Prague. His job is to interpret and translate, but he finds himself literally lost for words, as conflicting versions of the truth fight for the upper hand. “Truth will prevail,” but whose truth will it be?

The author will be reading extracts and talking with writer and poet Alex Went about the book – how it came about, how the Czech and English versions differ and the echoes it has in our own time. The idea of “post- truth” is nothing new.

The event will be in English.

Šafrán in Folk’s Glorious Days

Šafrán in Folk’s Glorious Days

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

Pre-Christmas get-together of Šafrán singer-songwriters (Vladimír Merta, Jaroslav Hutka, Petr Lutka, Dagmar Voňková, Vladimír Veit, Oskar Petr, etc.), who will look back at their beginnings 50 years ago and the greatest era of Czechoslovak folk, as well as playing songs and perhaps fielding questions from the audience.

This gathering of names from the one-time Šafrán association of singer-songwriters at the Václav Havel Library is an accompanying event to the exhibition From Ear to Ear, or the Šafrán Phenomenon. It is taking place at the Clementinum (15. 11. 2018 – 15. 1. 2019) and has been organised by the Czech National Library and publishers Galén under the auspices of Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová and partners: PEN International – Czech Centre, Václav Havel Library and

Ladislav Heryán: At the Mills of God

Ladislav Heryán: At the Mills of God

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: December 18, 2018, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of the book-length interview U Božího Mlýna (At the Mills of God).

Ladislav Heryán is at home among both Salesians and friends from the underground. A timid introvert who is not too shy to perform at rock festivals with a guitar and Bible in his hands. A Catholic priest who believes in a God that transcends our imaginations but who still loves to meet us, regardless of who we are and what we know about Him.

Evening hosted by Josef Beránek, who conducted the interviews in the book.

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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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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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Guided tour – Havel In A Nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition Havel In A Nutshell introduces pupils and students the life of Václav Havel through a collage of photographs and quotations. Touch screens make use of detailed information and sound recordings to place individual chapters – family, theatre, dissent and presidency – in a broad cultural-historical context, while a large interactive map creates a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.


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.



Havel in a nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition brings Václav Havel’s story to life via a collage of photographs and quotations. Touchscreens place individual chapters of his life in the broader cultural and historical context, while a large-scale interactive map allows visitors to gain a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.  


Oldřich Škácha – Occupation 1968

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


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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.  

  • 09/19Štěpánek Netolický House, Třeboň
  • 09/19Opava
  • 30/10/19 – 30/11/19Kinský Château, Valašské Meziříčí
  • 10/19Vysoké Mýto
  • 04/11/19 – 10/01/20Municipal Library, Ústí nad Orlicí










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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.

  • 50587 records in total
  • 15290 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 1784 of photos 
  • 275 of videos
  • 555 of audios
  • 5625 of letters
  • 14718 of texts about VH
  • 5451 of books
  • 15274 of 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


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.


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.


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.”  

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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
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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.


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.


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