Historical Correspondence Online aims to provide a central gathering place for information about projects – especially digitization projects – concerning medieval, early modern and modern correspondence which was sent to and from the Bohemian lands or written by people with Bohemian connections.

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Projects

The Milada Blekastad Papers

The aim of the project is to digitize the extensive scientific and cultural correspondence of the Czech-Norwegian Comeniologist, translator and literary historian Milada Blekastad-Topičová (1917–2003).

T. G. Masaryk’s International Correspondence Networks and the Establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918

The objective of this project is to provide access to Masaryk’s correspondence, using the tools of the current digital era, to Czech and foreign researchers as well as to the general public, with an emphasis on foreign correspondents from the intellectual and political sphere.

Alois Musil and the beginnings of Oriental Studies in Czechoslovakia

The project is oriented towards the development of open source software HIKO intended to capture historical correspondence.The software developed will be applied to the unique historical source material and the correspondence network of the outstanding figure in Oriental Studies in interwar Czechoslovakia, the arabist, orientalist and biblical scholar Alois Musil.

Correspondence in the Jan Patočka Archive and his Collected Works

The nucleus of the Jan Patočka Archive is Patočka’s handwritten legacy (approximately 10,000 manuscript pages). These papers, which are accessible to researchers, are gradually being edited and published as part of the Collected Works of Jan Patočka.

International co-operation

The main strategic international partner of the portal Historical Correspondence Online is the interdisciplinary research project Cultures of Knowledge at the University of Oxford funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project uses digital methods with the aim of gathering and interpreting Early Modern Period correspondence of predominantly scholarly provenance. For this purpose it has been building the extensive database Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO), which is continually expanding and currently (February 2021) includes more than 164,000 letters.

Databases

This section brings together the online databases of various correspondence collections. These databases are listed by period: medieval, early modern, 19th century and 20th century. Although we do not currently have the capacity to produce an exhaustive list, our goal is to provide a list that is at least representative. We rely here, however, on our colleagues, particularly specialists in different historical periods. We are always grateful to hear about any databases that could be added to this list.

Edition

This section aims to make references to printed and digital editions of correspondence related to the Bohemian lands and correspondence inventories accessible in one place. Although an exhaustive list is beyond our powers, we would be happy if the list could be at least representative. For this however we have to rely on our colleagues, especially on specialists in various historical periods. We would be delighted if you could alert us to editions and inventories that ought to be included here.

Visualisation

Below we highlight the most popular open source platforms for visualizing metadata from historical correspondence. These platforms are suitable even for researchers without IT experience. We are aware that several lists of visualization tools can be found online, however not all these platforms are easily accessible and usable for researchers. The four tools below are those with which we have some experience.

Knihovna AV ČR Akademie věd ČR Strategie AV21 Masyrykův ústav a archiv AV ČR Filozofický ústav AV ČR