A Guide for Visitors

Everyone can make use of the records kept in the National Archives with respect to the valid legal norms. It is possible through the following ways:

  • directly — by studying records, their copies, or finding aids in the research room of the archives;
  • indirectly — on the basis of a written application for a search, extract or copy of a record;
  • in the way of exhibitions, lectures or educational activities;

Studying records in the research room

research room chodovec

Studying records in the research room is given by Regulation No. 645/2004 Coll. and the so called Research Rules derived from it. What to do? Everyone interested in studying has to look up according to the topic in the Guide to the Archives or in the Inventory of Fonds the archival fonds concerned. If needed, a member of staff will give you advice or may ask a custodian of the collection for consultation. You should fill in a search sheet and show your identity card at each visit of the archives. Archival fonds have their finding aids, a result of the record processing, where you can find information about the contents of the records and their originator. On the basis of the finding aid, a researcher can choose concrete records or their groups and fills in an order (information how to do it can be given by a person in charge of the research room). After that, an archival material is prepared in the research room, though not immediately, the preparation requires longer time due to the range and placement of archival documents. Studying is possible only on the spot, records must not be taken away from the research room. Apart from the ordered records, a reference library is available in the research room. In accordance with the valid rules you can obtain reproductions of the archival material, it is a paid service. Records of the NA may be presented in the research rooms of regional state archives or district state archives, chosen by the researcher, but the transport of the material should be arranged with the archives in question by a researcher, as the NA does not provide any. There are two research rooms in the NA, equipped with a thematic reference library, where you can find dictionaries, encyclopaedias, bibligraphies, lists of monuments, annuals, collections of laws from 1850 to present, key works of Czechoslovak and general history, fundamental editions of sources to the Czech history, and professional Czech archival journals. You may study from the reference library only on the spot.

Usage of records on condition of sending written application for a search, extraxt or copy of archival document

This way of record usage (indirect) is common in official communication i.e. a written order of a legal or natural person (including bodies of state administration and records originators) is sent to the archives. Copies of the records, if any, made in correspondence with the order, are accompanied with an authenticated clause (confirmation of accordance with an original). Copies as well as verifications are provided free of charge for the originators of the records or their legal successors, and for state bodies. The NA answers different written requests of applicants, and makes professional thematic searches in case of having relevant archival documents in its holdings. Orders for a genealogical search are to be addressed to the regional archives in question, where registers of births, marriages and deaths are deposited (according to the former regions). The NA takes care only of genealogical data of Jewish people and the former aristocratic houses. When applying for a genealogical search, you have to give the full name, date of birth, place of death or place of marriage of the persons in question. Otherwise it is impossible to do the search. There is a charge for all search services. Prices at present vary 250 CZK per hour, depending on the difficulty of the search and time devoted. You may apply in the research rooms, registry, or send an order by mail.

Important notice

The archives may only confirm and give data directly found in the preserved records administered by the NA, or may help to contact another archives or institution. The archives is not a decision-making authority, it only administers pieces of information. As the settlement of requests and searches often desires collaboration of several members of the staff of the departments of archives, and/or research in archival documents which are not fully arranged, it may even take months to settle requests and searches in more complicated instances.

Research Rules of the National Archives

List of Service and Copying Fees Applicable in Public Archives (PDF, 51 kB)

Research Sheet (PDF, 27 kB)

Application for Consent to the Use of Own Reproduction Device (PDF, 7 kB)

Document on Submitted and Returned Archival Record (PDF, 16 kB)

Research Rules of the National Archive (PDF, 52 kB)

Benutzenordnung des Nationalarchivs

Preisliste der Dienste und Reproduktionsgebühren in den öffentlichen Archiven (PDF, 49 kB)

Benutzerblatt (PDF, 27 kB)

Antrag auf Zustimmung zur Verwendung eines eigenen Reproduktionsgeräts (PDF, 7 kB)

Nachweis über die vorgelegten und zurückgegebenen Archivalien (PDF, 16 kB)

Benutzerordnung des Nationalarchivs (PDF, 64 kB)