Virtual Study represents the culmination of the Theatre Institute’s prior work in the area of digitising and establishing databases of its collections. Virtual Study is founded on two large databases—the Verbis database by the KP-SYS company (used by the Library and Bibliography Department) and the Divadlo database developed for the Information and Documents Department (theatre productions, video library, theatre events, key figures, stage plays). The related databases (photographs, scenography) provide direct access to digitised items.

The electronic processing of our collections received significant support from several grant projects. The most significant achievement in this area was the complete inclusion of information on Czech theatre productions since 1945 and the digitisation of nearly 180,000 images from our documentary collection, performed in 2008-2011 as part of the project ‘Preserving and Presenting the Cultural Heritage of Czech and World Theatre’, which was made possible by a grant from Norway through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.

Virtual Study provides comprehensive access to information and the digitised resources in our databases. These include a library catalogue with a research module and user account administration tool, an extensive bibliographic database of articles linked to the full texts of articles (accessible only via the Institute’s internal network), a video library, a database of Czech theatre productions since 1945, a database of theatre photographs containing 198,202 digitised images, and a database of scenographic items and documentation containing copies of 21,367 stage and costume designs.

In the process of digitising our collections and making them publicly accessible, we made sure to observe the provisions of Act No. 121/2000 on copyright protection. For this reason, some digitised materials cannot be made available via the internet, but are available to registered researchers for study purposes at the offices of the Arts and Theatre Institute. This mainly concerns digitised items published after 1900, some designs in the scenographic collection, and photographs for which we were unable to obtain publishing permission from the copyright holders. These items are labelled accordingly on the internet. Anyone interested in studying these materials may do so in the study rooms of the ATI.

Resources accessible via Virtual Study:

 

Other electronic resources of the Theatre Institute

Project coordinator: Ondřej Svoboda, ondrej.svoboda(at)divadlo.cz, +420 224 809 164

The Arts and Theatre Institute

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