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Parliamentary library

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The Parliamentary library is one of the departments of the Office of the Chamber of Deputies.

It serves Members of Parliament and Senators, bodies of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, employees of the Office of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate and selected institutions and users.



From the history

The original Parliamentary library was founded in 1858 under the Austrian monarchy. The Library was created for the National Administrative Committee for the Czech lands but it also served representatives from the Congress of the Czech Crown Lands.
At that time, the state Secretary of the Estates Carl Knauer, retiring from his service in the Land Committee, donated his books on law to the library that was then being established.

In the more than one hundred and sixty years that followed, library underwent a complex development that mirrored the vicissitudes of Czech political history within the Austrian or Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the republican Czechoslovakia and finally the independent Czech Republic.

Karel Sosna, its director and in many respects also its restorer after the change of political and social conditions in 1989, thus aptly described it in one of his texts as a witness to the development of Czech parliamentarism.

After the Czechoslovak Republic achieved independence in 1918, this library with its 13,000 volumes became the Library of the National Assembly.
After the separation of the National Assembly into a Senate and Chamber of Deputies in 1920, the Library moved from the Lesser Town to the building of the Parliament in Rudolphinum, where it resided until the end of the First Czechoslovak Republic.
The library acquired literature through purchace, donation, exchange and since 1935 also legal deposit and quite quickly grew from the original 13,000 in 1919 through more than 86,000 in 1931 to 123,000 volumes in 1939.
After the liberation of Czechoslovakia, the directorate of the library began already in May 1945 to strive for its move back to Prague and its return as a whole (already counting 135,000 volumes, which were moved in 1944 to Zlatá koruna Monastery near Český Krumlov so that they would be protected from the air attacks) to its original function.
After 1948, the importance of the Library of the National Assembly decreased proportionately to the degradation of the significance of the parliament during the Communist regime.
From the creation of the Czechoslovak Federation in 1968 until its division in 1992, it was the Federal Assembly Library.

When an independent Czech Republic was established in 1993, it became the Parliamentary Library of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

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Our collection

Since its inception the Library has collected nearly 220,000 volumes of legal publications, legislation, political science, modern history, philosophy, sociology, economics, culture, encyclopaedias and reference books.
The core of the book collection consists of Czech parliamentary documents and laws from eighteen other foreign parliaments.

In accordance with the Act on the State Preservation of Monuments, the historically most valuable part of the library collection was even proclaimed a cultural monument by the Ministry of Culture in 2000.

The exceptional title from our historic collection part is the only manuscript in the ownership of the Parliamentary library – „Práwa saszká“ (= Das sächs. Stadtrecht, Saxon Law) from 15th century.



Periodicals

We offer more than 300 titles of Czech and foreign periodicals, some of them even from the 19th century.



Contacts

Parliamentary Library

  • pin Sněmovní 176/4, 118 26 Praha 1
  • telefon +420 25717 4513
  • room Room B 217
  • email library@psp.cz
  • Mo - Fr: 8:00 - 16:00

Director

  • Ondřej Tikovský, PhD
  • telefon +420 25717 4501
  • email TikovskyO@psp.cz