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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 October 2020<>

Petr Fischer: Was That a Crisis?

Petr Fischer: Was That a Crisis?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 1, 2020, 16:00 – 18:00

What did Czech society, and the entire world, go through in the initial months of the Covid-19 threat? What did we learn about ourselves?

Petr Fischer, one of the few Czech journalists capable of precisely and quickly identifying events and revealing the meaning of gestures and speeches, closely monitored and interpreted government measures, politicians’ moves and the response of citizens from the moment that virtually all states stepped on the brakes.
His book Byla tohle krize? (Was That a Crisis?) is a collection of dazzling essays in notional dialogue with philosophers from Derrida to Žižek, with politicians from Hamáček to Merkel, from Camus to Houellebecq, that capture a change that impacted each one of us and sparked debate over what should and can we do as mankind.
What is correct? What is normal? What is moral? Not only have these questions not gone away – they have become more pressing.
The sociologist Tereza Stöckelová and the computing expert and social media analyst Josef Šlerka will discuss the social, political and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic with writer Petr Fischer. The author of the book’s foreword, the legal philosopher and sociologist Jiří Přibáň, has also promised to attend, if circumstances allow him to travel from the UK to the Czech Republic.
Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Novela bohemica publishing house.
Karel Pecka: Prison Notes to a Missing Man

Karel Pecka: Prison Notes to a Missing Man

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 1, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

After 30 years a key work by Karel Pecka is coming out as a book and audiobook.

Motáky Nezvěstnému (Prison Notes to a Missing Man), a gripping novel about 20-year-old 1950s political prisoner Vilém Svoboda, describes the brutal but real situation in Czechoslovak concentration camps, specifically at uranium mines at Jáchymov. It is simultaneously a parable about an innocent man’s search for moral strength and inner freedom amid a murderous system.

This groundbreaking book and its author will be discussed by sociologist Jiřina Šiklová, publisher Daniel Pagáč and other guests.

Researcher Jiří Padevět will moderate the debate.

Introduced by Jáchym Topol.

The Václav Havel Library at Tabook

The Václav Havel Library at Tabook

  • Where: Tábor, Czech Republic
  • When: October 2, 2020, 10:00 – October 3, 2020, 19:00

We will introduce both new and tried and tested titles produced by the VHL at this traditional gathering of small publishers and readers, which takes place annually in Tábor, South Bohemia.

On the Romance Novel with Jan Němec and Marta Dzido

On the Romance Novel with Jan Němec and Marta Dzido

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 6, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

How does one write a romance novel today? In their prose, Jan Němec and Marta Dzido search for a language for love, passion and erotic attraction while also skilfully avoiding the tropes of both romantic potboilers and pornography. Her Frajda and his Možnosti milostného románu (The Possibilities of the Romance Novel) play with the reader, words and the romance genre. You’ve got to love them!

Marta Dzido (1981) is a writer, journalist and director. Her novel Frajda (2018) earned the European Union Prize for Literature and was issued in Czech in 2019 (translation Anna Plasová, Dokořán). Her documentaries Solidarity According to Women and Women Power have also been presented in the Czech Republic.

Jan Němec (1981) is a writer, editor and literary critic who publishes his books in the magazine Host and under the publishing imprint of the same name. His debut novel Dějiny světla (The History of Light) (2013) also received the EU Prize for Literature. The Possibilities of the Romance Novel was published in 2019 and was nominated for the Magnesia Litera prize.

Klára Fleyberková will moderate the evening.

Co-organised as part of the Polish-Czech Literary Autumn by the Czech Literary Centre, Instytut Książki, the Václav Havel Library and Book World.

I Hid it Somewhere

I Hid it Somewhere

  • Where:
  • When: October 7, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of the most recently discovered work by Václav Havel.

Three years ago the Václav Havel Library issued a one-off publication under the title The Case of Charter 77: The First Assault, a fragment of a more substantial text in which Havel describes the weeks and months of persecution that followed the publication of Charter 77 at the start of 1977. The fragment, in which factual descriptions of events displaying Havel’s typical attention to detail alternate with equally characteristic reflections on absurd aspects of the whole situation, was hidden by Havel to ensure the StB couldn’t find it – and then he forgot where. It was only in 2016 that it was discovered in the estate of Havel’s close friend Zdeněk Urbánek by his grandson David Dušek. As has now become clear, it was just a small part of a more comprehensive text that is both unique period testimony and work of literature.

The new Havel discovery will be presented by Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library, and David Dušek.

Jáchym Topol will read excerpts.

Václav Havel Symposium on Human Rights China: A Human Rights Conundrum

Václav Havel Symposium on Human Rights China: A Human Rights Conundrum

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 12, 2020, 17:00 – 17:45

In cooperation with Václav Havel Library and Information Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in China.


Being a communist dictatorship since 1949, the human rights record of the People's Republic of China has always been dark. However, with the economic opening after 1978, the subsequent economic success and the rise of the middle class, hopes emerged about a gradual improvement in the field of human rights as well. Any expectations in this regard, however, have been quashed after President Xi Jinping assumed power. Disregard to international obligations, systematic efforts at forced ethnic and cultural assimilation, and modern concentration camps, combined with thorough digital surveillance, are the realities of today's „People's Republic“. What is the perspective for human rights in China? 


Tomáš Vrba, Chairman, Board of Directors, Forum 2000 Foundation, Czechia 


Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong, Central Tibetan Administration, Tibet 

Nury A. Turkel, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom , USA/China 

Loretta Lau, Artist, Hong Kong

Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 13, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Discussion featuring editors from the weekly Respekt and their hosts on a topical issue. Chaired by Silvie Lauder. More information and the names of guests will be available before the event on www.Vá

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

Festival of Democracy at the Václav Havel Library

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 13, 2020, 16:00 – October 15, 2020, 15:00

The Festival of Democracy will take its lead in terms of theme from the 24th Forum 2000 conference, which this year will be held purely online under the title “New world on the horizon? How to revive responsibility and solidarity.” Guests in discussions and lectures will focus on finding a path to the renewal of responsibility and solidarity in a radically changing world.

13. 10. | 16.00 – 17.30
The Role of Human Rights in the 21st Century

When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was approved in 1948 the world was rather a different place. Wars lasting several years and the horrors of the Holocaust left their mark on a major part of society. In 2018 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the approval of the UDHR as well as the 65th anniversary of the existence of the European Convention on Human Rights. Both key documents are undergoing a stress test in the form of a transformation of the political milieu, a rise of illiberal regimes and climate change. Further challenges include digitalisation, artificial intelligence and issues surrounding the right to privacy and free speech in the online sphere. The world is changing – and the democratic systems of the entire world have got to make an adequate and timely response.

The Other Europe

The Other Europe

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 13, 2020, 17:30 – 17:45

Jacques Rupnik, the author of the film document The Other Europe shot in 1987-88 in Central Europe, will present the international project of digitalisation of the interviews from the film document. Moderated by Ian Willoughby. More information about the project:
In cooperation with Forum 2000.

Václav Havel Human Rights Dialogues: Women's Rights in the Times of Crisis

Václav Havel Human Rights Dialogues: Women's Rights in the Times of Crisis

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 14, 2020, 16:00 – 19:00

You can watch the discussion live on

The international Dialogue on Women’s Rights in a Time of Crisis will take place from 16.00–16.45. Madeleine Albright, Karolina Wigura and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya have confirmed their participation. 

Following this at 16:45 will be online interviews with leading figures in the field of women’s rights: Najia Nasim (director of Women for Afghan Women, an organisation that was among the three finalists for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize in 2015) and Hülya Gülbahar (Turkish lawyer focused on human rights, speaker at the VH Human Rights Prize conference in 2018).

The Dialogues are being held with the kind support of the Sekyra Foundation.

We are holding this meeting in cooperation with Forum 2000. 

This year the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize may not be conferred on the usual date as our partner, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is only sitting virtually in autumn. The prize should be awarded on the occasion of its January session and the Václav Havel Library will be prepared to accompany it with another conference event. 

If you would like to pose questions, please register at

European Poets Live

European Poets Live

  • Where:
  • When: October 15, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

A Poem For Me: A traditional reading of Czech and foreign poets as part of the Stranou festival – European poets live and concert by cellist Petr Hejný.

Guests: Nataša Burger (SLO–CZ) / Petr Hruška (CZ) / Dora Kaprálová (DE–CZ) / Nina Medved (SLO) / Andraž Polič (SLO–CZ) / Ivo Stropnik (SLO)

We’ve Got an Eye-Witness at School – But Can They Be Believed?

We’ve Got an Eye-Witness at School – But Can They Be Believed?

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 25, 2020, 17:00 – 19:00

The case of Věra Sosnarová sparked a discussion among both historians and teachers last year. For many years she visited schools, saying she had been imprisoned in the Gulag. However, historian Adam Hradilek discovered that her claims were at complete odds with facts in the archives.

How did teachers respond to the fact that Sosnarová’s dramatic stories didn’t hold up? And what do they have to consider when inviting eye-witnesses to schools now? Will they be more cautious and start checking up in the archives on the pasts of those they invite to speak to students? Or is it more important for them to present somebody with a dramatic story?

Guests: Pavel Martinovský, chairman of the Czech Association of History Teachers; Jaroslav Pinkas, teacher and instructor from the education department at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes; Magdalena Benešová, head of the Stories of Our Neighbours educational projects.

Moderator: Irena Kalhousová, political scientist, head of the Herzl Centre of Israeli Studies at Charles University.

Donbas – A Report from Ukraine’s Conflict

Donbas – A Report from Ukraine’s Conflict

  • Where: on-line
  • When: October 29, 2020, 19:00 – 20:00

The work of Slovak reporter Tomáš Forró centres on crisis zones and military conflicts around the world. He will present the Czech translation of his new book Donbas (Paseka, 2020), in which he describes his reporting assignment inside the war in Ukraine, at the Václav Havel Library.

What surprised him most? What dangerous situations did he find himself in? What kind of people did he encounter and how did he go about getting their personal testimonies?

A discussion evening with the author and other journalists focused on events in Ukraine.

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

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
  • 17/11/20 – 22/12/20
  • 12/11/20 – 01/12/20
  • 02/11/20 – 02/12/202.11. – 2. 12. 2020
  • 01/11/20 – 31/12/20
  • 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.

  • 52990 records in total
  • 15303 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2086 of photos 
  • 281of videos
  • 559of audios
  • 6524of letters
  • 14722of texts about VH
  • 6699 of books
  • 27471of 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!


Podpořte nás


200 KČ / měsíc

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s organizací pravidelných akcí pro veřejnost.


1200 KČ / měsíc

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže rozvíjet náš ediční plán a publikační činnost


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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