The Books in the Times Changing

(Český Krumlov 23.-26. 10. 2014) Organizing institution: Faculty of Arts, South Bohemian University in České Budějovice)
krumlov-kasparova-mV. International Interdisciplinary Conference "The books in the Times Changing" took place in the South Bohemian town Český Krumlov on October 23-26 with participants from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Italy and France. The conference was hosted by South Bohemian University in České Budějovice. The members of the National Museum Library (J. Kašparová, P. Mašek, R. Šípek, M. Vaculínová) introduced the issues of the partial provenance research in the frame of PROVENIO project. J. Kašparová and R. Šípek also introduced general concept of the project PROVENIO and the online provenance database.     
The conference was a continuation of a series of meetings of Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian and Swiss scientists involved in the research of book provenience and the history of book culture.
The conference program



Humanistischer Wissenstransfer zwischen der Schweiz und Ostmitteleuropa in der frühen Neuzeit
(Zurich, 14–18 April 2013)

Organisers: Universität Zürich and Zentralbibliothek Zürich


curych m 267x205The conference was a continuation of a series of meetings of Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian and Swiss scientists involved in the research of book provenience and the history of book culture.

The papers Die Sammlung der Geleniana in der Bibliothek des Nationalmuseums Prag (M. Vaculínová) and Bücher des Schweizer Pfarrers Jacob Ryter in der Prager Nostitzbibliothek und in der Universitätsbibliothek Basel (R. Šípek) were closely based on the treatment of provenance records in the PROVENIO project and presented its tangible results. Besides the fates of particular book collections, the two papers also provided information on the methodological work related to the treatment of book provenance and on the steps taken by the National Museum Library to this end.

Both papers will be published in the proceedings of this conference at the beginning of the next year.


37th Seminar for the Librarians of the CAMG(Ústí nad Labem, 3–5 September 2013)

Organiser: Czech Association of Museums and Galleries (Librarianship Board)


At the meeting of museum and gallery librarians, provenance records in modern collections and Libraries of Important Figures and their treatment were presented by Jana Konečná and Pavla Kubošová in their paper PROVENIO: Libraries of Important Figures in the Collections of the National Museum Library, who thus complemented the picture of the provenance structure of the collections in the National Library Museum.


25th Annual Meeting of Academia Europaea – Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe (Wrocław, 15–18 September 2013)

Organisers: Academia Europaea and Uniwersytet Wrocławski


wroclaw m 279x177At the invitation of the organising institutions, Richard Šípek as a keynote speaker of the Humanities section gave the speech PROVENIO: The Provenance Research Project in the National Museum Library. An interesting moment for all the participants was the opportunity to watch a virtual reconstruction of early modern aristocratic and bourgeois libraries from the Wrocław region, where the conference was held, which had been scattered in several European libraries for more than 400 years and now virtually reunited in the PROVENIO database.


Databases in Early Modern Research – Tracing People, Books and Letters(Prague, 20 September 2013)

Organiser: Institute of Philosophy of the AS CR


On a short, one-day workshop, we consulted the possibilities of connecting the PROVENIO database with the database of early modern humanist and Baroque correspondence on the level of synthesis of prosopographical information within the project Cultures of Knowledge with the representatives of the University of Oxford Miranda Lewis and James Brown as well as the employees of the Institute of Philosophy of the AS CR. Also at this meeting, Richard Šípek presented the results of the PROVENIO project.


CERL Annual Seminar 2013 – Stop Thief! Preventing and Investigating Theft from Collections in the Digital Age(Warsaw, 29 October 2013)

Organiser: Consortium of European Research Libraries and Biblioteka Uniwersytecka we Wrocławiu


warszawa m 293x190We had been invited to the annual seminar of the CERL based on the discussions in 2012 on the future of the PROVENIO project and the methodology of provenance cataloguing with the CERL secretary Cristina Dondi in Oxford to present the project plan and its results until then. The seminar in 2013 was devoted to the issues of theft in historical book collections. The presentation PROVENIO: Book Provenance Database – Provenance Record as an Identification Mark emphasised the identification aspect of provenance records in the detection of stolen historical books and maps with respect to the experience of the National Museum Library with the criminality of this type and the possibilities of the PROVENIO database in the search for and mainly conclusive identification of stolen books.

The PROVENIO database and its online presentation aroused lively interest among the participants. Shortly after returning from the conference, upon a direct invitation from CERL representatives, we sent the first test batch of authority records to the CERL Thesaurus, to which we will soon begin to contribute.

Bibliotheca Antiqua(Olomouc, 30–31 October 2013)

Organiser: Research Library in Olomouc and SDRUK


olom marta m 302x201The Research Library in Olomouc and the Czech Republic Library Association (SDRUK) organised the 22nd annual conference on the theme of historical book collections, Bibliotheca Antiqua, in the Archdiocesan Museum in Olomouc on 30–31 October 2013. Some themes of the conference had been set, with the papers concerning the issues of bookbinding (typology, decoration, restoration etc.) and book provenances.

The proceedings have been published as Bibliotheca Antiqua. Sborník z 22. Konference 30.-31. října 2013 [Bibliotheca Antiqua. Proceedings from the 22nd Conference on 30–31 October 2013]. Ed. Rostislav Krušinský, Tereza Vintrová. Olomouc: Vědecká knihovna; Ostrava: Sdružení knihoven České republiky, 2013.

olom jarka m 294x195

 The National Museum Library was represented at the conference by Marta Vaculínová with her paper Knihy se supralibros rodu Zástřizlů ve sbírkách Vědecké knihovny v Olomouci [Books with the Supralibros of the Zástřizl Family in the Collections of the Research Library in Olomouc] and by Jaroslava Kašparová with her speech Po stopách knižní sbírky Františka Eusebia hraběte z Pöttingu a Persingu (1626–1678). „PROVENIO“ a možnosti rekonstrukce rozptýlených knihoven [In the Footsteps of the Book Collection of Franz Eusebius, Count of Pötting and Persing (1626–1678)]. ‘PROVENIO’ and the Possibilities of the Reconstruction of Scattered Libraries).

 A Seminar for the Libraries of the Memory Institutions in the Zlín Region
(Zlín, 7 November 2013)

Organiser: František Bartoš Regional Library Zlín

buchlov m 288x219


At the seminar, Petr Mašek delivered a paper by Marta Vaculínová Výzkum vlastnických proveniencí v hradní knihovně na Buchlově [Research into Ownership Provenances in the Buchlov Castle Library]. In 2013, Marta Vaculínová conducted comprehensive provenance research of this castle library in order to find relics of the library of the humanist scholar Theodore Beza, which allegedly became part of the Buchlov collections after it was purchased by the Czech nobleman Jiří Zikmund of Zástřizl.

Oxford (June 20-22)
We prepared the methodology of provenance records in cooperation with institutions abroad. We consulted the essential concept and in particular the form of a controlled thesaurus, providing the terminological background for provenance description, in Oxford with the CERL representatives Cristina Dondi and Sarah Wheale, who had given us a nice welcome and with whom we agreed on the basic outlines of the future cooperation within the PROVENIO project.
Lyon (September 2-5)
We demonstrated the concept of the project, the structure of the cataloguing record as well as the web presentation of the outcomes of the project to Monique Hulvey from the Bibliothèque municipale in Lyon, the library that stood at the very beginning of the modern research and systematic treatment of provenance marks in Europe. Hulvey inspired us especially with the surprising possibilities and methods for popularising the results of provenance research. We were leaving also Lyon with the promise of future cooperation, even on the planned collection thematically focused on ownership marks in books.






Warsaw (October 14-19)

From a visit to the Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego (Gabinet Starych Druków) focused on the exchange of experience in the field of the processing of ownership book provenances of early printed books – in particular when determining Czech or on the contrary Polish provenances in books.

IMG 1492-1Cooperation is emerging also in terms of the development of special databases of provenances. Isabela Wienczek acquainted us with the research project of the treatment of book ownership provenances of monastic libraries, in which the Gabinet takes part and which is planned for 2012–2015. The Gabinet starych druków BUW is one of the investigators of this project (the treatment of the ownership book provenances of ca 10,000 books coming from monastic libraries in Poland and the preparation of a functional pilot database). The database is called ‘Hic liber meus’. To a great extent, it is inspired by the experience gained in the cataloguing of book provenances of the Bibliothèque municipale in Lyon, where I. Wienczek was on her study visit. More information on the project is available here.

Berlin (October 31)

In the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, we discussed the issues of the MARC 21 cataloguing structure when entering the data on the owners and the structure of bibliographic records in connection with the treatment of the respective ownership inscriptions, notes and marks in detail with Michaela Scheibe, who is in charge of the methodology of the treatment of provenance records there. It should be added that this meeting moved our work a great deal forward.



Paris (November 15-26)

J. Kašparová visited Mazarin’s Library (Bibliothèque Mazarine) to consult the treatment of provenance marks in the library collections with Isabelle de Conihout, Curator of Rare Books and an expert on the description of bookbinding). She also visited the Bibliothèque de l´Institut de France and attended two presentations of special databases which are being built by the library: the Seal Database and the Book Provenance Database. Mainly the presentation of book provenances was very useful, because the methodology according to which the database is being developed is very similar to the principles governing also the provenance research within the PROVENIO project (the library takes advantage of the considerable experience of Monique de Hulvey with the ‘Provenances’ database in the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon). The Department of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books established cooperation with Béatrice Delestre, Curator of Rare Books.

IMG 2154-1

The Library of the National Institute in Paris were founded in 1795. The library has accumulated various collections (books from the royal academies closed by the Convent, books from literary depositories in Versailles and Paris, diverse confiscated items, all of this with different ownership provenances). In 1797, it was joined by the library of the City of Paris (la Commune de Paris with ca 24,000 prints and 2,000 manuscripts). The library comprises approximately 60,000 books, including 40,000 early printed books before 1810 and 188 incunabula, and 6,500 early newspapers. It further contains a collection of manuscripts (ca 8,500 manuscripts in the general collection). Chronologically, these are mainly collections from the 18th and 19th centuries and closed book collections of the personal libraries of scientists and intellectuals. The library has in its holdings also museum exhibits – 1,293 medals and other works of art, including 2,500 sheets with engravings.