The Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences (LCAS) is the direct successor of the Main Library of the Academy of Science of Czechoslovakia (ML), which was established concurrently with the foundation of the Academy of Science of Czechoslovakia, on 17 November 1952. the original collection of the Main Library (ML) was composed of the permanent collections of literature from the libraries of the Royal Czech Society of Science, the Czech Academy of Science and Arts, and the Masaryk Academy of Work. Thanks to this solid base even at its inception the ML was the second most valuable library in Prague for its general science collection, and the third oldest Czech scientific library. At present it administers around 1 million volumes including an interesting collection of archival documents, manuscripts, incunabula, and old prints (around 25,000 volumes).

Of the oldest collections of the ML, and still belonging to LCAS, are those of the Royal Czech Society of Science (RCSS), which in 1784 was recognized by Emperor Josef II as the first scientific institute in the whole of the Austrian Empire. In spite of the initial difficulties with financing for the library, when members of the society used the collection of the university library, the library of the Prague planetarium, and the library of Strahov monastery, the collection of RCSS expanded by 1836 to 13 thousand volumes and by 1939 to over 93 thousand volumes. During the transfer of the collection to the ML, the RCSS library had 100 thousand volumes. Another important contribution to the ML were the collections of the libraries of the Czech Academy of Science and Arts (CASA), the compilation of which was begun at the beginning of 1891. Within two years, CASA was sending and exchanging publications with 55 institutes. Throughout it existence it continuously faced a shortage of space for the storage of its collection. Before the foundation of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science (CAS), there were 75,927 volumes in this collection.

The third book collection that was placed into the coronet of the ML was the library of the Masaryk Academy of Work (MAW), which was established in 1920 and whose collections consisted of mainly technical, scientific and economic literature. By the end of 1952, the library contained 30 thousand volumes, most of which had been obtained through donation.

The CAS main library opened its doors on 1 January 1953 on the premises of the former Czech Academy of Science and Art at Národní třída in Prague. the first director of the institute was PhDr. František Horák, who was responsible for the considerable growth of the ML collection, especially in its historical collections and its increase in publication exchanges with foreign institutes. From 1963-1995, the library also obtained the stipulating legal deposit duty.

For the optimal solution to the establishment of a network of academic libraries and science information centres, the Governing Body of Scientific Information was established in 1961. In 1967 the Main Library of the Academy of Science and the Governing Body of Scientific Information was consolidated into the newly formed Main Library – Centre of Scientific Information of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science (ML-CSI).

In 1967 ML-CSI was incorporated into what was called a joint workplace and consolidated into the ranks of scientific research tasks, both institutional and departmental. In 1967-1992 the director of ML-CSI was PhDr. Jiří Zahradil. There was an increase in the attention devoted to the co-ordination of collection stocking in the Scientific Information System (SIS) and the libraries of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science (CAS). There was significant development in acquisitions and an increase in the exchange of international periodicals. Seminar series and supplemental training courses were organized for the libraries of SIS. On 31 December 1992, in accordance with a change in a national legal regulation based on Law ČNR no. 283/1992 Coll., the foundation of the Czech Academy of Sciences and simultaneously the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences (LCAS) went into effect.

The Czech Academy of Science and the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences (LCAS) were formed as of 31 December 1992 in connection with the amendment to the constitutional organisation in accordance with Czech National Council Act 283/1992 Sb. In 1992, PhDr. Ivana Kadlecová became its director. During her time as director, the electronic cataloguing of documents in the ISIS system began, and in 2004 the ALEPH system was implemented, allowing users of the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences on-line access to their reader’s account over a web interface. Intensive attention also began to be devoted to the matter of obtaining financial means for the purchase of electronic sources of information by means of grant programmes. the most important of these information sources is the bibliographic and citation database Web of Knowledge, to which access was obtained through programmes of the Ministry of Education, and which is made available in the Czech Republic thanks to a national multi-licence project which has been organised by the Academy of Sciences Library since the year 2000.

Intensive care has been devoted since 1993 to the collection of information on the publication activity of members of staff of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Every year, these records have been transferred to the RIP (Register of Information on Publications of the Board for Research and Development), and later to the RIR (Register of Information on Results), this in the entire range of both publication and non-publication results. the system was at first operated locally in the ISIS program; at the present time it is operated in the ARL (Advanced Rapid Library) system, enhanced with live statistics.

Following the floods of 2002, the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences built a drying and disinfecting line at its depository in Jenštejn, which has been used by more than 20 libraries whose collections were damaged by the flooding. a Digitalisation Centre, which also provides services to institutions other than the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences, was built in 2004.

In 2007–2017, the position of the director of the ASC was held by Ing. Martin Lhoták.

Since 1 January 2007, the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences has been a public research institution.

Since 1 August 2017, the Director of the Library has been Ing. Magdaléna Vecková.


More information

on the history of the Library of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the building in which it is based can be found here:

Articles in journals (only in Czech):


Monographs (only in Czech):

  • Kolektiv autorů za vedení a redakce Pavla Vlčka. Umělecké památky Prahy. Staré Město, Josefov. 1. Praha : Academia, 1996. 639 s. ISBN 80-200-0538-2 (soubor:váz.) 80-200-0563-3(váz.). (The book is in the collection of the ASL.)
  • SEDLÁKOVÁ, Radomíra. Pražské interiéry. Praha : Slovart, 2001. 95 s. ISBN 80-7209-340-1. (The book is in the collection of the ASL.)
  • POCHE, Emanuel. Prahou krok za krokem : uměleckohistorický průvodce městem. 3. vyd. Praha; Litomyšl : Paseka, 2001. 533 s. ISBN 80-7185-373-9 (váz.). (The book is in the collection of the ASL.)
  • ŠKODA, Eduard. Pražský chodec vypráví… 2. 1. Praha : Academia, 2001. 275 s. ISBN 80-200-0864-0. (The book is in the collection of the ASL.)
  • HRUBEŠ, Josef; HRUBEŠOVÁ, Eva. Pražské domy vyprávějí… 6. 2. vyd., v nakl. Academia 1. Praha : Academia, 2000. 252 s. ISBN 80-200-0823-3. (The book is in the collection of the ASL.)