Sources on History of Natural Sciences Vyhledej


The database summarizing sources on the history of the natural sciences stored in the archives and several other institutions in the Czech Republic derives from the four published volumes of the inventory of these sources in the Práce z dějin přírodních věd [Studies from the History of Natural Sciences] series (Volumes 8, 9, 10 and 21, published in Prague 1976–1987). The assignment for these volumes was conceived broadly (to also include sources for applied technical fields, the history of factories and other manufacturing enterprises). Printed reference works are nowadays less widely available in general and those already published are clearly only available to a very limited extent. Moreover, many changes have taken place in the twenty or thirty years that have passed since their publication. Not only has much documentation material been added and much has been processed and revalued, but after the changes at the turn of the decade, some fonds were delimited. That is also why the work collected in these four volumes needs to be supplemented.

Hence the ASCR Archive has decided to accommodate science historians and other interested parties and to provide on-line access to the basic data on archive documentation on the history of natural sciences in the Czech lands.

The database in which the collected findings are currently stored provides enquirers with the following information:

1. The name of the institution where the fonds is housed; this can be not only an archive, but also a museum, library or gallery.
2. What is known as the National Archive Heritage Registration Card Number; this can be used to search individual archives, because it has a serial number under which the fonds in any particular archive is held.
3. The fonds name (with an English version beside the primarily Czech text, to facilitate searches), which is closely associated with the name or title of its creator.
4. Information on two time periods:

  • on birth and death dates for a personal fonds or the lifespan timeframe for an institution,
  • on the dating and chronological timeframe of preserved documents.

5. To facilitate subject searches, the Universal Decimal Classification is given of the field to which the fonds relates.
6. Information on the amount of material preserved in linear metres.
7. Information on how this material is physically stored and its type (besides archive boxes, e.g. maps, books, films and the like).
8. Information on whether this is a separate fonds or a part of one.
9. Information on the accessibility of the fonds, i.e. if it has been processed and made available by some type of archive aid. It should be added that even unprocessed fonds may be offered to researchers for study.
10. A brief description of the fonds contents, which may be preceded (particularly in the case of personal fonds) by a profile of its creator.

The electronic database offers not only convenient searching for the enquirer, but also ongoing enhancement and supplementation. The authors anticipate that they will continually add not only new fonds, which the archives and other institutions obtain, but they will also progressively add some items for which they do not yet have sufficient data; a further prospect is the addition of not only the natural sciences, but also the social sciences and a broader range of technical and other applied fields, including healthcare.

© Masaryk's Institute and the Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences