Digital processing of Milada Blekastad’s correspondence began in 2018 as the first phase of the research activity “Digitalization and Presentation of the Legacy of Milada Blekastad-Topičová”, carried out at the Philosophical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and financed as part of the research program Memory in the Digital Age, in the program framework of the AV21 Strategy.
The current goal is not only to digitize the extensive scientific and cultural correspondence of translator, comeniologist, and literary historian (Bohemist) Milada Blekastad-Topičová (1917-2003), but also to make it accessible and present it to a wider professional and lay public. During the first year, files of correspondence with German comeniologist Klaus Schaller, with Czech comenologists, philosophers, literary historians, and classical philologists Bohumil Ryba, Vlasta Taťjana Miškovská-Kozáková, Antonín Škarka, Jan Blahoslav Čapek, Dagmar Čapková, Mirjam Bohatcová, and others, or with the writer Ludvík Vaculík and his family (about 10,000 scanned pages) were digitized.
Digitalization continues, as well as the creation of structured metadata, which serves as the basis for a web database (about 2000 records for individual letters). The project team, consisting of PhDr. Vladimír Urbánek, Ph.D. (project expert guarantee) and Mgr. Miloslav Caňek (digitalization and metadata creation), builds on the experience gained by the Department of Comeniology and Intellectual History of the Early Modern Period of the Philosophical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in previous years when incorporating the correspondence of J. A. Comenius into the Oxford Early Modern Letters Online database.
The current research activity is also continuously consulted with colleagues from Oxford, particularly with Professor Howard Hotson. The project also builds on the exhibition “Invisible Bridge“. Since summer 2018, the researchers have been participating in the creation of the website “Historical Correspondence Online” (HIKO), created at the Czech Academy of Sciences Library and in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and the Czech Academy of Sciences Archive.
Correspondence Catalogue: https://historicka-korespondence.cz/en/projects/milada-blekastad/correspondence-catalogue/