The Archives of the Jewish Museum in Prague currently contain more than 580 liner-metres of archival records. The main portion comprises the archives of the individual Jewish religious communities of Bohemia and Moravia. Also kept here are the holdings of certain Jewish associations and organizations, as well as personal papers. The archives also includes a small collection of patents, circulars, ordinances and decrees, a collection of seals and stamps, a collection of sheet music and a collection of miscellaneous items.
The archives also contain documents relating to individual Jewish communities, which contain photographs of synagogues, ghettoes and cemeteries, reports on surveys into these sites and references to literature and other sources on the history of Jewish settlement in specific areas.
The oldest document dates from 1454 (the Charter of Ladislaus the Posthumous). Archival materials that have been preserved in a systematic way, however, date from the mid-eighteenth century onwards.
The archives of individual Jewish communities in Bohemia and Moravia provide a valuable source for the history of the Jews in the Bohemian lands. The most important part of the archives is the Prague Jewish Religious Community collection. The most interesting items in the collection of personal papers are the T. Jakobovits, H. Flesch, S. H. Lieben and E. Kolben papers.
The Reading Room provides access to the archival materials that are kept in the Archives of the Jewish Museum in Prague under the conditions set out in the Rules for Researchers. There is also a small reference library which mainly contains dictionaries, encyclopaedic guides and basic literature on the history of the Jews in the Bohemian lands, including material published by the Jewish Museum. The Reading Room also provides access to a selection of archive and history journals. The complete library collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague is available in the Library Department at its main office.
Research in the Reading Room and consultations can be arranged by email or telephone.
You may use your own recording equipment (digital camera without flash) in the Archives for for making copies for the purposes of personal study. You can also ask staff members to make photocopies or scans of archival materials (see price list).
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed on public and Jewish holidays.
Smíchov Synagogue Building, Stroupežnického 32, 150 00, Prague 5
Metro station and tram stop: Anděl
Documents for researchers
List of collections
List of archival aids
Rules for Researchers
Sample research form (to be filled out in the Reading Room of the Museum's Archives)
Price list of services provided by the Museum´s Archives
History of the Archives
A small collection of valuable older documents acquired through purchases or donations was put together by the Museum before the Second World War. Most of the archival records were transferred to the Museum during the war as part of the wartime shipment of material from the disbanded Jewish communities of Bohemia and Moravia. This is why, apart from individual documents, the Museum has few records from the archives of Jewish communities in the annexed border area. Materials from other communities, too, have not always been sufficiently preserved; in some cases, only fragments of documents have survived. For many years, the archives only contained material from a particular historical period with only a few preserved documents dating from after 1945. It was not until 2006 – having been transferred to a modern air-conditioned depository with ample space capacity – that the archives began to collect more recent material, in particular the extant records of Jewish communities that were re-established after the Second World War.
Information about the collections that are kept in the Archives of the Jewish Museum in Prague is available in the nationwide database of the Archive Groups in the Czech Republic on the Czech Ministry of Interior’s website (in the archives and records section)
- Archival collections in the Czech Republic
- Birth and death registers of Jewish religious communities in the Bohemia lands
- Kramerius (digitized periodicals and monographs)
- Czech Archive Society
- World Cat (a global catalogue of library collections)