About us

Welcome to Historical Correspondence Online (HIKO), a website created by the staff of the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS and CAS Library. HIKO aims to provide a central gathering place for information about projects—especially digitization projects—concerning historical correspondence which was sent to and from the Bohemian lands or written by people with Bohemian connections. This correspondence spans from the Middle Ages to the second half of the twentieth century. At the same time, the site offers research teams an editorial interface for basic descriptions of historical correspondence and allows them to integrate the metadata into their databases. HIKO is an active project that is constantly being updated and enhanced. We welcome feedback from users and are always looking for opportunities to expand our cooperation with other projects dedicated to historical correspondence. You can reach us at urbanek@flu.cas.cz

The HIKO website is a joint initiative of the staff of the Department of Comenius Studies and Early Modern Intellectual History at the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS and the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS. It was developed by the CAS Library staff. The site continues to expand and evolve. Its concept and technical design were inspired by the CAS Institute of Philosophy’s long-term cooperation with the University of Oxford on two projects: Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO) and Cultures of Knowledge. We consulted our Oxford colleagues during HIKO’s development and paid special attention to its compatibility with the EMLO database and the potential to integrate data into the European infrastructure. Like our Oxford partners, we are convinced that the digital revolution of recent decades has delivered powerful tools to study communication and correspondence networks from the Middle Ages to the modern age.

Collecting large amounts of metadata and standardizing its description and processing are essential steps for our effective future collaboration in this important research field. This will enable the development of new digital tools, scientific methods and up-to-date historiographical information. We are confident that this pioneering project will contribute significantly to digital humanities research across the CAS institutes and provide a platform for our cooperation with other workplaces, teams and projects. HIKO is financed by LINDAT/CLARIAH-cz, Strategie AV21 and NAKI.