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Club / News / Program


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Program for October 2021<>

Between Boštík, Horáček and Havel

Between Boštík, Horáček and Havel

  • Where: Litomyšl
  • When: October 3, 2021, 14:00 – October 4, 2021, 14:30

The Václav Havel Library’s second excursion beyond the cafes of Prague, this time bringing together the lives of private farmer Jan Boštík, publisher Ladislav Horáček and Václav Havel.

NEDĚLE 3. října 2021
14.00 Vaulted Hall, Chateau Brewery
Ladislav Horáček: Václav Havel’s Presidential Speeches
A conversation with Anna Freimanová, editor of the first collection of Václav Havel’s presidential speeches
15.00 Vaulted Hall, Chateau Brewery
Jan Boštík: The Mladočov Jericho
Ceremonial presentation of the publication in book form of an idiosyncratic chronicle of collectivisation in one village in the Litomyšl district
16.30 Exhibition Hall, Chateau Brewery
Ondřej Němec: Václav Havel 1976–2011
Opening of an exhibition of photographs by Ondřej Němec
17.30 Riding Hall, Chateau Hill
Václav Havel – Architecture and Urbanism
Debate between Michael Žantovský and his guests on the habitable world (of Václav Havel)
19.30 Riding Hall, Chateau Hill
Václav Havel: Protest
Performance of Václav Havel’s one-act play by the legendary Divadla na tahu company
21.30 University Library, Piarists Dormitory
Jáchym Topol: The Thorn Girl – Stone Age horror and humour
A solid selection from South American Indian and Eskimo folklore
PONDĚLÍ 4. října 2021
10.00 Exhibition Hall, Chateau Brewery
Havel’s not boring!
Workshop on human rights, civic society and Václav Havel helmed by Bára Grečnerová, head of the Václav Havel Library’s educational programmes.
The workshop is primarily aimed at secondary school students.
13.00 Riding Hall, Chateau Hill
Václav Havel Here and Now
Debate with Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library
The Václav Havel Library book stand on Náměstí Václava Havla will offer not just titles produced by the VHL but also readings from his works by Michael Žantovský, Jáchym Topol and others. (In case of inclement weather it will be moved to beneath the eaves of the Chateau Brewery).
Photography Exhibition Václav Havel 1976–2011
Exhibition of photographs by Ondřej Němec, one of the main photographers of the Czech underground and dissent, which present Václav Havel in a fresh and personal light.
Face to Face with Contemporary China

Face to Face with Contemporary China

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 4, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

When Tomáš Etzler landed in Beijing in October 2006 he was barely familiar with China. In the following years, however, he worked on hundreds of reports and experienced numerous powerful stories. What is life like for ordinary people in the world’s most populous state? What do journalists reporting on events the Communist government would prefer to keep hidden face in totalitarian China? The book Novinářem v Číně (A Journalist in China) delivers piercing insights into Chinese reality, showing it, in the raw colours of personal experience, as an ambitious power that lays claim to the lives of its citizens.

The debate is organized by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with publishers Vyšehrad.
Jáchym Topol will helm the discussion with Tomáš Etzler.
Václav Havel’s Stage: Unveiling

Václav Havel’s Stage: Unveiling

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 6, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

Věra has an apartment. Michal did it up. Won’t Bedřich commit some faux pas when he visits? A “Vaněk play” from 1975 performed by the Kašpar Independent Theatre Company.

Director Lukáš Jůza, dramaturge Lenka Bočková, set designer Petra Krčmářová

Featuring: Jitka Nerudová, Miroslava Tichá and Jan Zadražil

Václav Havel’s Stage. Theatre of the Absurd as a reflection of our world. This series of performances of Václav Havel’s plays by contemporary theatre groups commemorates the 85 th anniversary of the author’s birth.

The Search for Roots – Ruthenes in the Czech Republic

The Search for Roots – Ruthenes in the Czech Republic

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 7, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

During an evening dedicated to the literature and culture of Ruthenes in the CR, three female authors with Ruthene roots will present their work: the poet and teacher Barbora Zavadilová, the writer and psychologist Irina Malinová and the lyricist, singer and actress Jana Šteflíčková. Part of the event will be given over to a moderated discussion about their lives and relationship to their Ruthenian ethnicity and Ruthenian culture. There will also be a debate with authors of school papers and bachelor’s and master’s theses exploring the culture and history of Subcarpathian Ruthenia.

Introduced by Jáchym Topol.

Jáchym Topol and Monika Načeva: Keep Your Fridge Full

Jáchym Topol and Monika Načeva: Keep Your Fridge Full

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 11, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

Dozens of song lyrics by Jáchym Topol from the years 1979 to 2020 have hitherto never been edited and published together in book form. This difficult editorial task was taken on by Petr Ferenc, who assembled all of Topol’s lyrics, sorted them, put them together, annotated them and supplemented them with a complete discography under the title Udržuj svou ledničku plnou (Keep Your Fridge Full). Topol’s lyrics – for among others the groups Národní třída and Psí vojáci and solo artists Monika Načeva and David Koller – meet all the criteria of poems intended to be read, differing from them only slightly. Indeed, this collection may be regarded as a fully-fledged collection of Topol’s poetry. Wildness, rich imagery, social and intimate themes – all these combine into a highly compelling and revealing collection in and of itself.

Mene Tekel: But Even Worse Awaited Me

Mene Tekel: But Even Worse Awaited Me

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 14, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

A Czechoslovak secret police operation against selected social groups in documents and recollections.

Immediately after seizing power the Communist regime began to settle accounts with its enemies and social groups it regarded as a threat. The church, private farmers, organizations like the Junák scouts and Sokol and many others became the target of large-scale, systematic repression.
This documentary-based evening with excerpts from memoires, investigators’ reports and other period documents has been prepared by the Museum of the 20 th Century. The debate will take place within the 15 th edition of the Mene Tekel festival against totalitarianism in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library.
Guests: Jan Kalous, Petr Blažek, David Svoboda, Veronika Bendová
Ondřej Fibich: Journeys to Šumava

Ondřej Fibich: Journeys to Šumava

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 18, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

Šumava is revered and admired for its rich history. However, it is also a flashpoint of political interests and environmental clashes. Ondřej Fibich’s
book Cesty k Šumavě (Journeys to Šumava) begins in 1980 when, through his friendship with the political prisoner, poet and Strašín-based priest F.D. Merth, he enters into dialogue with a Šumava then behind barbed wire. Gradually its far from straightforward face revealed itself, and it became necessary to approach it via a variety of means. Using essays, legends, fairy tales, philosophy and mysticism, the work comes across as orchestral, examining dark stories with understanding and drawing a clear message. Šumava’s expelled inhabitants and their traditions must be integrated into history and thought. Only in this way will it be possible for today’s residents and visitors to prosper and not treat the countryside and local history as mere prey.

Anna Fauknerová will “baptise” the book.
Discussing the book will be Ondřej Fibich, Martin Patřičný, Petr Vopelka and Vladimír Just.
Debate with Respekt

Debate with Respekt

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 19, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

Discussion with editors from the weekly Respekt and their guests on a current issue. Silvie Lauder will moderate. For more information and the names of guests, visit prior to the event.

A Musical Evening: Miroslav Kemel and Vladimír Javorský

A Musical Evening: Miroslav Kemel and Vladimír Javorský

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 20, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

The guest at October’s musical evening will be the longstanding leading Czech newspaper cartoonist Miroslav Kemel, who is also a songwriter. Indeed he has been composing songs since the second half of the 1980s and his work takes in numerous genres, from ballads and chansons to blues songs and pub singalongs. He places great emphasis on the lyrics, which for the most part are inspired by real events, and brings an extra dimension to seemingly simple stories. He has released three studio albums: Krajem šel anděl (An Angel Walked the Land) (2011), Nic víc (Nothing More) (2014) and Ryby a raci (Fish and Crayfish) (2018). Kemel will perform at the Library as a duo with actor Vladimír Javorský.

The evening will be hosted by Hana Slívová, editor of the Czech Radio show Vizitka.

The Underground and Czechoslovakia, 1981–1986

The Underground and Czechoslovakia, 1981–1986

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 21, 2021, 10:00 – 17:00

As in previous editions, the years in focus in the sixth international conference on the Czech underground were not selected arbitrarily. A new phase of escalation in the Cold War was reflected in intensified repression against the domestic opposition. Following the trial of the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted, the Communist regime began a second wave of crackdowns on the underground, culminating in a strike against the magazine Vokno in November 1981. In parallel with the harassment of the dissent the nationwide operation Asanace (Clearance), which forced many connected with the underground and Charter 77 into exile, reached a climax. The State Security’s documents stated that there were around 60 dissidents in the country. The extent of the repression led the opposition to seriously consider halting the work of Charter 77, though fortunately that did not come to pass. While the previous decade represented the underground’s peak, integrating phase, the first half of the 1980s saw its disintegration, the creation of local centres and the organisation of culture independent of the normalisation regime. What’s more, the youth produced a new subculture, the punk movement, which soon found itself in the crosshairs of the security apparatus.

This year’s conference will focus on the above as well as many other, frequently unjustly overlooked, aspects of the period in question. Leading domestic and international experts on the subject of the underground will once again speak.
The conference is organised by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the Václav Havel Library.
From Time to Time #6: On Street Work with Jan Desenský

From Time to Time #6: On Street Work with Jan Desenský

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 25, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

The “housing first” approach has now arrived in the Czech Republic. What have been the initial experiences and outcomes? Does providing housing to people from the street pay off? And what roles do professional assistance and civic society play in returning the socially excluded to society? We will discuss these questions with Jan Desenský, director of the Salvation Army’s Karl Larsson House.

Hosted by Radio Wave presenter Adéla Paulík Lichková.

Another event in the discussion series From Time to Time organised by the Czech Street Work Association in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library.

Evenings with Reporters: What Is the Cost of Your T-Shirt?

Evenings with Reporters: What Is the Cost of Your T-Shirt?

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 26, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

The 2013 collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, which left over 1,000 dead, did not shake the world of fast, cheap fashion. The Polish reporter Marek Rabij, who covers Southern Asia as well as globalisation and its influence on our everyday lives, has visited Bangladesh several times. He uncovered how designer label t-shirts and jeans, as well as cheap clothing, are made, what local people are paid and how these things relate to prices in European shops. His book of journalism Life Made to Measure has just come out in Czech on the Absynt imprint.

The discussion will be chaired by its Czech translator Michala Benešová and take place in Polish, interpreted into Czech.
Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with Prague’s Polish Institute.
Echo From the Library

Echo From the Library

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: October 27, 2021, 19:00 – 20:00

Debate series with editors from the weekly Echo 24 and their guests. For more information and the names of guests, visit prior to the event.

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!


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


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.  

  • 18/12/21Holešov
  • 30/11/21 – 05/01/22
  • 27/11/21 – 16/01/22Chvalský zámek
  • 01/11/21 – 31/12/21
  • 01/11/21 – 30/01/22
  • 01/11/21 – 20/12/21
  • 01/11/21 – 20/12/21
  • 01/11/21 – 20/12/21
  • 25/10/21 – 30/11/21Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless
  • 20/10/21 – 20/12/21
  • 15/10/21 – 30/11/21Hradec Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 05/10/21 – 05/11/21
  • 01/10/21 – 31/12/21
  • 01/10/21 – 22/12/21
  • 30/09/21 – 30/10/21












Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

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


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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.

  • 54060 records in total
  • 15309 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2099 of photos 
  • 347of videos
  • 565of audios
  • 6545of letters
  • 14938of texts about VH
  • 7516 of books
  • 30495of 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


Havel in a nutshell

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


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