The Archives of the Chamber of Deputies are specialised archives, historically building on the First-Republic and post-war Archives of the National Assembly as well as on the Archives of the Federal Assembly and the Archives of the Czech National Council. Although they have been operating under their current name since 1993, they have been managing sources since the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918 following the logic of continuity of their institutional predecessors.
All events in the development of our modern state can thus be observed through a parliamentary lens in their archival holdings, which also contain documents resulting from the activities of the First-Republic Senate – the current Senate has had its own archives since 1996.
The treasures of the Archives of the Chamber of Deputies consist of sixty archival collections, which together form approximately one kilometre of archival material. They comprise not only documents but also more than 15,000 historical photographs.
The typical archival material mainly includes documents from:
- plenary sessions
- committee and commission meetings
- parliamentary prints
- resolutions and interpellations
- as well as, for example, the written agenda of the Speaker’s Secretariat
- commissions of inquiry
- the personal files of deputies
- and materials related to parliamentary buildings
The extant evidence of parliamentary activity and existence further includes various artefacts, such as the historic bells used by the Speaker during plenary sessions, the pen utilised by the President-Elect of the Republic to sign the oath prescribed by the Constitution, and remarkable artistic and architectural elements which used to co-create the parliamentary environment and which it is desirable to preserve as witnesses to the past.