Czech (Bohemian) Assemblies Digital Library
GOAL OF THE PROJECT
The basic goal of this project is to make all available resources related to the history of Bohemian assemblies accessible via the Internet. It will, however, take some time to complete. The project will be completed through the close cooperation with other libraries and archives within the country.
CONTENT OF THE PROJECT
The final shape of the project will be in electronic form. Primary documents concerning the assembly, constitutional and state-law nature will be available in HTML format along with digital pictures. The following historical periods are covered:
- Beginnings of Bohemian assemblies and their development until the start of the 15th century
- Bohemian assemblies during the Hussite period until mid-15th century
- Bohemian assemblies during the estate monarchy until the start of the 17th century
- Bohemian assemblies during the Habsburg absolutism until 1848
TYPES OF DOCUMENTS
The variety of historical documents released is the result of the fact that the nature of assemblies in Bohemian lands in former times was quite different from the modern era, during which synchronous stenographic minutes are taken. In the former periods only the results of the negotiations, resolutions and decisions were recorded. Not all of these have been preserved. The reason for the more general classification of documents is also due to the fact that in historical studies it is very hard to draw a line between the state history and the history of assemblies as such. Both constitute an integral part of the country’s past.
In the early period of the Bohemian state, decrees of counts made at assemblies of the nobility (e.g. Bretislav’s Decree of 1039) fulfilled the role of decisions made by modern assemblies. Even later on the rulers issued decrees, which had the same legal character as laws adopted by the parliament today. However, the assemblies did not approve these decrees at the time. Based on the separation of powers between the ruler and the aristocracy, and later the estates, in the past such decisions were in the exclusive authority of the ruler (e.g. Premysl Otakar II’s Privilege for the Rights of Jews of 1254, Kutna Hora Decree of 1409, but also Ferdinand II’s Restored Land Arrangement of 1627). Some documents were originally draughted by an assembly or leaders of the aristocracy, but are only known from royal edicts (e.g. John of Luxembourg’s Inauguration Diplomas of 1310 and 1311, Vladislas Jagellon’s Electoral Capitulation of 1471 and Ferdinand I’s Electoral Reverses of 1526 and 1545).
ARTICLES (RESOLUTIONS) OF THE BOHEMIAN ASSEMBLY IN THE MANUSCRIPTORIUM
Printed articles of the Bohemian Assembly were digitized within the Czech (Bohemian) Assemblies Project. There were 386 articles from 1522 to 1811 processed altogether. The majority of the articles is in Czech, some of which are both in Czech and German. In the first stage articles from the Parliamentary Library collection were digitized. These were mainly in German. In the next stage it was articles in Czech borrowed from the National Library of the Czech Republic collection that were digitized.
The articles are accessible online not just as images but also they have transliterated full texts added.
All articles are freely available in the Manuscriptorium (a digital library of manuscripts and early printed books and also a virtual catalogue of historical book collections of Czech and European libraries).