Corpus litterarum / Literary vestiges not only in Moravian history

Recently opened permanent exhibition of the Department of history of literature / Moravian Museum

Visits upon phone booking: 0042 515 910 421 and 0042 515 910 422 (8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

The permanent exhibition includes important temporary displays that the Department of history of literature / Moravian Museum prepared - or in which it participated - in the last years. There are exhibitions not staged in Brno or those documenting essential, crucial stages of evolution of Czech literature: the visitor can see parts of the exhibitions Cyril and Methodius. Their time, life and work (2013), Treasures of Moravia (project prepared in co-operation with the National Museum and presented in Prague in 2010-2011) and In spite of normalization - so far the last exhibition of the Department of history of literature that abundantly benefited from the materials of the recently established Centre for cultural history of the 20th century.

The Department of history of literature / Moravian Museum exists and has been working for 55 years and its inception was connected with exhibition  activities. In autumn 1957 the City Museum Brno inaugurated, in the House of the Lord von Kunštát, a large exhibition entitled Brno to Jiří Mahen prepared as a posthumous tribute to the writer on the occasion of his 75th anniversary – and its positive reception together with a large quantity of valuable collected materials initiated the creation of a new museum department. So begins, in 1958, the history of the literary department of the City Museum Brno headed by the young curator PhDr. Jiří Hájek (Hek) (1932-1998). Three year later, after intensive collecting activities and research and popularizing work – and also thanks to growing interest of the public – the department was transferred to the Moravian Museum, an institution with broader sphere of activities: the then orientation to Brno region was extended to the documentation of the evolution of Czech literature from the oldest times to the present with special regard to the territory of historic Moravia. Today, the department holds more than 100 000 items (manuscripts, correspondence, personal documents, photographs, negatives, audio-visual records, pictures, busts,  coins, stamps, personal effects of the authors), it has a reference library containing more than 20 000 volumes (fiction, scientific literature and periodicals) and an extensive archive of newspaper clippings.

In its exhibitions the department has presented the public with eminent personalities of Czech literature, both in its own museum premises and elsewhere in Brno, its staff have prepared numerous smaller exhibitions for Moravian cities including scenarios of permanent exhibitions; important were also exhibitions of the Prague Museum of National Literature –  our staff were authors or hosts of those events. Our exhibitions dealt also with the relation of belles-lettres and plastic art, they complemented historical exhibitions; they are often accompanied by lecture series and literary-musical programmes. 

Currently, essential changes are being implemented under the leadership of PhDr. Zdeněk Drahoš: the department has moved to new premises in Hudcova street where it obtained better conditions for collections (new storerooms and library), researchers (larger study) as well as for its staff. The latter include specialists in literature of the 19th end 20th century, in Czech and German literature, in belles-letters and journalism; a bookbinder´s workshop is part of the department.