Transfer Begins of Milan Kundera’s Archive From Paris To The Moravian Library
Two years ago, Milan and Věra Kundera decided that the writer’s archive and library would become part of the collection of the Moravian Library in Brno. Two years of planning and delays followed, forced by the pandemic situation. Now, the first part of the donation can finally be moved from Paris. The Czech Centre in Paris is also cooperating in its transfer. Photo credit: Moravian Library
Brno, June 23 (BD) – The contents of this first part to be transferred are the documentary archive of Milan Kundera, including correspondence with publishers and reviews of the author’s books from publishers, which are valuable materials for research on the reception of Kundera’s work. The transfer will also include dozens of literary prizes won by Kundera, such as the Jerusalem Prize, a rich collection of photographs, and other materials that will take at least a year of work to sort and categorise. After this process, all the materials will be digitised and made available to researchers and readers.
A special part of the transported collection is made up of Vera Kundera’s radio and television programs, which she filmed in the 1960s when working for Czech Television, or reports for Czech Radio from the early 1990s, through which she and Tomáš Sedláček guided listeners through France. This collection also includes Věra Kundera’s personal diary, also in voice form, recorded by Milan Kundera after his wife returned from a visit home in the early 1970s, which took place under the supervision of the secret police.
The second part of the collection, Kundera’s library, is scheduled to be transferred in September this year. The entire set will become part of the newly built Milan Kundera Library, which was designed by architect Martin Hrdina and should be open to the public at the end of this year. The library will not just be a room where the books will be stored and a digitised archive, but a cultural institution with its own program, in which the Moravian Library will discuss European cultural issues in debates with prominent Czech and foreign intellectual personalities.