24th Annual Conference on Professional Information Resources

May 29-30, 2018, Prague

Paper details

Špalíček – a Digital Library of Printed Broadsides (


Matěj Měřička
National Museum Library - Book Culture Department

Documents to download


Dear people,
listen to these incredible things
about a Chapbook of Printed Broadsides,
digitised and described in the National Museum Library
and freely accessible at

Printed broadsides are unique literary sources on the life of ‘ordinary people’ in the 17–19th centuries. Historians often use them e.g. in the analyses of the contemporary response to ‘big’ events and of contemporary thought. For regional historians, they are an almost irreplaceable source of information. Nevertheless, they are also used by ethnologists and Bohemists. Last but not least, they can also be employed by teachers to enrich the instruction of history, Czech, and media education at schools.

The Špalíček Digital Library makes it possible to view and browse almost 4,000 small printed items and chapbooks – home-bound books of broadside ballads, prayers, and other printed books from the 17–19th centuries. It is an outcome of a grant project of the National Museum Library in 2008–2011. The NML now builds on the project by adding further documents from partner institutions and creating the conditions for the processing, digitisation and presentation of printed broadsides all over the Czech Republic (the development and administration of authority databases, the best practices for the digitisation, cataloguing and full-text creation, etc.).

About author

Curator of the broadside ballads collection.

Scientific focus:

  • The broadside ballads in the 17th-19th century.
  • The book provenance.
  • The mentality of the Czech middle class society in the 19th century.

Education: Faculty of Arts of the Charles University, field of study – history, studies completed in 2013 by Master´s thesis defence: We hoped we will be better. The life of Czech teacher in the second half of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century.

Other activities:

  • Since 2012 collaboration on the project: GAP406/12/0691 – Karel Havlíček´s Co­rrespondence (2012–2016, GA0/GA).
  • Since 2014 collaboration on the project: NAKI Ministry of Culture ČR – DF12P01OVV023 – PROVENIO: The Method of the Book Provenance Research (2012–2015).


  • Matěj Měřička, National Museum Library - Book Culture Department
  • Iva Bydžovská, National Museum Library - Book Culture Department
  • Olga Čiperová, AiP Beroun s.r.o.


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