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“It was a time of continuous and glorious surprises, a time of great improvisation, a time of collective imagination. Suddenly people were once again able to be together” Václav Havel, November 17, 1994

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Club / News / Program


Have We Learned Any Lessons? An article written by Martin Palouš and David J. Kramer  25/02/20

Thirty years ago, on February 21, 1990, the new president of Czechoslovakia addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. Less than four months before, in a remarkable contrast to the position he had assumed as leader of his country, Vaclav Havel had been under arrest as a “subversive element” in his country under a Communist regime that was soon to come to a spectacular end. Continue reading here.


Conference Global Challenges to Liberal Thought  28/01/20

Dear guests, Due to organisational reasons on the side of our partner, we are obliged to postpone the conference "Global Challenges to Liberal Thought" on 31 January and 1 February to which you have registered. We will inform you about the new date in advance. We apologize for any inconvenience and we are looking forward to seeing you at some other event at our premises. Václav Havel Library Team


Support Hong Kong with 5 fingers raised!  10/12/19

On 10 December 2019, Human Rights Day, the Vaclav Havel Library is launching a Facebook happening to support the protesters in Hong Kong. We call upon everyone to upload their photographs with their 5 fingers raised under this Facebook event. More


It’s here again – the Velvet Weekend is coming!  06/11/19

Do you recall that time of euphoria? Thirty years ago when the Czech and Slovak nation united and said a clear NO to the Communist government? Let’s celebrate this round anniversary together and remember Václav Havel, the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia after 1989. More

Program for September 2020<>

We and Solidarity

We and Solidarity

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 1, 2020, 17:00 – 19:00

The Solidarity independent trade union was established on 31 August 1980 on the basis of a deal to end a strike at a shipyard in the Polish city of Gdansk. The Eastern Bloc’s first independent union immediately became a nationwide movement that rocked the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. From its inception, Solidarity also emphasized the international aspect of its mission, which was eventually seen in its Appeal to Workers in Eastern Europe, directed towards people elsewhere in the bloc.

How were developments in Poland viewed by Czechoslovak society? How did they influence the Czech dissent? To what extent were Solidarity’s experiences applicable to the reality of normalisation Czechoslovakia?

Taking part in the discussion will be Petr Pospíchal and Alexandr Vondra (tbc), former dissidents who were involved in the establishment of Polish-Czechoslovak Solidarity, and the Polish historian Łukasz Kamiński.

Michael Žantovský will moderate the evening.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Polish Institute Prague.

The debate will take place in Polish and Czech, with interpretation provided.

Housing for the City and a City for Housing

Housing for the City and a City for Housing

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 3, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

A lack of apartments has been holding back the capital for some time. Protracted and inadequate construction work, particularly in recent years, has led to a sharp rise in property prices and rents. The development of the shared economy is pushing private housing out of the city centre. Alongside apartments in commercial projects beyond the price range of the average young family and the limited range of social housing set aside for the most disadvantaged, there is a crying need for the development of apartment projects for the middle-income group on the cooperative principle and with municipal support. Could this help lead to more affordable flats becoming available? Is the city prepared to support such projects? Can some use be made of the sharp fall in demand for short-term rentals sparked by the Covid-19 crisis, bringing Praguers back to apartments in the downtown area, if nothing else?

These and more questions will be discussed by Hana Marvanová, Prague City Hall councillor for legislation, public administration and housing support, Tomáš Lapáček, director of the Strategy Department at the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, and economist and journalist Miroslav Zámečník.

Michael Žantovský will moderate.

The Václav Havel Library at Knihex

The Václav Havel Library at Knihex

  • Where: Kasárna Karlín, Prague 8
  • When: September 5, 2020, 10:00 – 20:00

At this traditional meeting under one roof of publishers and readers, we will offer you an invigorating cocktail of titles, both new and tried and tested.

Vladimír Merta: The Dustbin Novel

Vladimír Merta: The Dustbin Novel

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 7, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

In terms of content, style and overall impression, Popelnicový roman (The Dustbin Novel) is a unique achievement in contemporary Czech prose. Genuinely post-modern, it draws on countless references, allusion, persiflage and pastiche and represents a devastating grimace over the pre-1989, immediately post-1989 and contemporary Czech periods. Just like Jaroslav Hašek with his Švejk, with this novel Vladimír Merta abandons psychology and the realistic description of characters. For him they are mere figurines in a game serving to highlight that which is nonsensical, embarrassing, ridiculous – and at the same time nightmarish. Merta’s chief narrative devices are humour, jokes, hyperbole, irony and sarcasm. This is not a book to be read once but a prose volcano that threatens to bury the reader in carefully targeted, chilling humour.

Introduced by Michael Žantovský.

The book’s editor Jan Šulc will host a chat with author Vladimír Merta.

Jiří Dědeček will be guest of honour.

The evening will include readings of particularly witty passages of the novel.

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

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 8, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion with editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests on a topical issue. More information and the names of guests will be published prior to the event at

The VH Library at BRaK

The VH Library at BRaK

  • Where: Nová Cvernovka, Račianska 78, Bratislava
  • When: September 11, 2020, 10:00 – September 13, 2020, 18:00

The Václav Havel Library will have a stand at the Bratislava book festival for the first time, introducing its publishing programme, including hot new titles. For more information visit

Evening with Guerilla and Vladimír Drápal

Evening with Guerilla and Vladimír Drápal

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 14, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Guerilla Records is an independent music label based in Louny that for virtually 20 years has been working at the coalface of music and poetry rooted in the so-called underground. It traces the work, and frequently also the lives, of artists active in the here and now, showing that in every era and every system there are many artists whose workflows from their own convictions and internal tensions.

Guerilla is connected to dozens of bands and releases CDs by legends such as Aktuál, the Plastic People and DG 307, as well as the lesser known Bratři Karamazovi, Odvážní bobříci and Furt rovně. It also brings out the work of names such as Dáša Vokatá, Jaroslav Erik Frič, Vratislav Brabenec and Libor Krejcar.

Despite an abundance of activities – including holding literary readings, concerts and festivals – Guerilla maintains a clear personal dimension and remains the label of one man, Vladimír Drápal, known by the nickname “Lábus”.

Jáchym Topol will introduce the event and discuss Vladimír’s life, outlook, publishing activities and current political journey.

J. H. Krchovský will read his own classic and latest poems, accompanied by violinist Tomáš Schilla.

Jan Novák: Kundera: His Czech Life and Times

Jan Novák: Kundera: His Czech Life and Times

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 15, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

The leading contemporary Czech writer Jan Novák detonated a bomb on the domestic literary scene in June, with his monograph simply entitled Kundera setting off an avalanche or responses, from negative to highly enthusiastic. It has been the most discussed book in this country in many years, if not ever.

Passions have calmed in the meantime and Jan Novák has returned from a grant-aided stay in Berlin, so the time has come for him to introduce the book to Czech readers.

Petr Onufer will moderate the evening, which alongside the author will also feature the book’s editor Michael Špirit.

We Were Just Passing

We Were Just Passing

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 17, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

What role does the individual play in society? And what is the value of personal courage in a time of repression? Why is it important today to remember extraordinary lives? Attempting to answer those questions is the book Jen jsme šli kolem (We Were Just Passing) (CPress, Albatros media, 2020) by journalist and head of the organisation Elpida Jiří Hrabě – and guests at this discussion evening will also thrash them out.

The book is a collection of interviews with extraordinary figures that have appeared over almost 15 years in Vital, an intergenerational magazine published by Elpida.

The book presentation will be attended by the authors of the interviews – journalist Jan H. Vitvar, photographer Jan Bartoš and director and producer Hana Třeštíková, as well as the personalities that have given them: painter and book illustrator Věra Nováková, radio reporter Karel Tejkal, author of a book about priest Josef Toufar Miloš Doležal and architect and writer Michael Třeštík.

Radio Wave presenter Bára Šichanová will moderate the evening.

Václav Havel: Vision 2000

Václav Havel: Vision 2000

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 18, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

A screening of a documentary by Juraj Herz that is virtually unknown in this country. It features President Václav Havel in conversation with the Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell about his vision for the millennium, which remains pertinent to this day.

The actor and the politician are also connected by the fact at the time Havel was barred from leaving Czechoslovakia Schell read his acceptance speech at the presentation of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in Frankfurt in October 1989.

Tereza Herz Pokorná will moderate the evening.

A Quarter-Century with Lukashenko – What Next?

A Quarter-Century with Lukashenko – What Next?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 21, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Though Belarus is on the eastern border of the European Union, it remains an unknown country to the bloc’s citizens. It only makes the newspapers when its authoritarian leader decides to ignore a pandemic or plays at elections that are in fact nothing of the sort. The regime responds hysterically, censorship is in full effect and opposition names are struck off electoral lists in advance or end up in jail before they have even tried to protest.

Guests: Kryścina Šyjanok, Petr Hlaváček, Ondřej Soukup.

Petruška Šustrová will chair the discussion.

T. G. Masaryk in Science and Art

T. G. Masaryk in Science and Art

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 22, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Subjects related to T.G. Masaryk have undergone numerous changes since 1989. The anniversaries of 2017–2020 (80 years since TGM’s death in October 2018, the 170th anniversary of his birth in March 2020) have boosted interest once again and sparked the creation of many popularizing, commercial and academic works on Masaryk. His image and legacy have been brought up to date via texts, films and artworks. Efforts at authenticity and originality of approach have frequently been accompanied by a search for new forms and alternative presentations.

The debate will focus on themes linked to the possibility of “eternal” inspiration by major historical figures across fields and genres and on questions about artists’ motivation to update historical subjects.

Confirmed guests include Zdeněk LežákPavel Kosatík, Paulina Skavová, Maxim Velčovský and Vratislav Doubek will chair the discussion.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and the Archive of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Monika Zgustová: Dressed for Dancing in the Snow

Monika Zgustová: Dressed for Dancing in the Snow

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 23, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Monika Zgustová, a Czech writer and translator into Spanish and Catalan (she has translated over 50 works by leading Czech authors) living in Barcelona since the 1980s, will introduce one of her most recent works at the point where the novel and non-fiction overlap, Oblečené k tanci na sněhu (Dressed for Dancing in the Snow). It offers an authentic account of nine “strong, astute and brave” women who came into conflict with one of the most terrifying totalitarian regimes in human history but were unbroken and succeeded in returning to at least partially normal Soviet life.

Zgustová’s heroines describe not just petrifying experiences in the world of Stalin’s labour camps but also a challenging “return to civilian life” that was frequently just as hard as their stays in places scarcely compatible with normal human life.

All of them agree that they survived mainly thanks to the fact that they held literature and poetry close and found beauty even in the most inhumane conditions, and that their time in the camps helped them to realise which values are actually important. Despite the poignant subject matter, the book is a celebration of life and has a positive ring in the sense that even such drastic experiences can be survived.

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

Life After Returning From the Streets

Life After Returning From the Streets

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 24, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

They have no homes yet wish to contribute to society. What links the organisations Kuchařky bez domova (The Homeless Cooks), Pragulic (Prague Street) and Přestupní stanice (Transfer Station)? They are places that transform lives, providing people without homes with jobs and support. Come and learn about the origins of these innovative projects that bring those with nowhere to live back into society, highlight the issue of homelessness, combat prejudice and bring those without and with homes together.

Guests: Eva Dudová, founder of Přestupní stanice, Magdalena Hrdličková from the projects Jako doma (Help Yourself) and Jídelnu Kuchařek bez domova (Homeless Cooks Canteen), and Roman, a guide with the Pragulic organisation.

The evening will begin with a presentation of the results of a nationwide census of the homeless by Petr Holpuch, a sociologist with the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs.

Martin Churavý will moderate.

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

The Short Poem

The Short Poem

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 29, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

From Karel Havlíček Borovský to Václav Havel.

Alongside rhyme-based poetry and free verse, experts and fans recognise the short poem as a third subterranean river.

The anthology Krátká báseň (The Short Poem) contains classics of the genre as well as texts by the likes of Egon Bondy, Ivan M. Jirous, Viola Fischerová and an experimental Václav Havel.

Jiří Macháček, editor in chief of the Protimluv publishing house, will get the evening underway. Professor Jiří Trávníček will discuss the book. Jana Franková and Hynek Chmelař will read poems and Irena and Vojtěch Havel (cello, viol) will provide musical accompaniment.

Jáchym Topol will introduce the event.

Editor and poet Zdeněk Volf will be on hand to share and debate the short poem.

A “bow to the book” ceremony in the presence of participating authors will conclude the evening.

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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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.


Workshop: The Audience

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


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.



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.  

  • 30/11/21 – 05/01/22
  • 01/11/21 – 30/01/22
  • 12/11/20 – 01/12/20
  • 02/11/20 – 02/12/202.11. – 2. 12. 2020
  • 01/11/20 – 31/12/20
  • 01/09/20 – 31/10/20Městská knihovna Ústí nad Orlicí
  • 01/11/19 – 31/12/20České centrum v Sofii, Bulharsko










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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.

  • 52988 records in total
  • 15303 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2086 of photos 
  • 281of videos
  • 558of audios
  • 6523of letters
  • 14722of texts about VH
  • 6697 of books
  • 27441of 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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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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Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s vývojem vzdělávacích miniserií, audivizuálních projektů, přípravou mezinárodních konferencí...

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