Significant personalities of Plzeň, common people, town buildings and parlours of farmhouses, the rush of everyday life with lots of interesting detail, all these were captured on photographic plates, which form a remarkable part of the ample collections of the Ethnographic Museum of the Plzeň District.
The core of the collection are photographic plates from between 1910 and 1950. The basis of the collection are plates from years before the ethnographic museum was founded between 1915 and 1918. The members of the Kroužek přátel starožitností (Circle of Friends of Antiques), started their photo archive soon after the founding of the circle in 1910. The photographic plates were marked with the abbreviation of the association “KPS”. The preserved archive counts around 800 plates. Approximately around 1912, Ladislav Lábek got a camera and started to take pictures of historical buildings of the town, the busy street life and made portraits of significant people from Plzeň. The Lábek plates are marked “L”. Ladsilav Lábek had worked tightly together with his sisters for his whole life, especially with his sister Marie, who ran the well-known Shop “Sveraz”. After the association for ethnography and monument protection in Plzeň was founded, Marie Lábková became head of the “folk costumes board”, which made efforts to preserve and to document the folk clothes of the inhabitants of the narrower and wider Plzeň district. The photographic plates which were brought together during Marie Labková's research are marked “ML”.
The second private collection which was added to the collection of photographic plates of the Ethnographic Museum of the Plzeň District, is a set of plates gathered by the politician and journalist Jaroslav Schiebl. These negatives are marked with the prefix “Sch”.
The largest part of the photographic plates were taken by the workers of the Ethnographic Museum of the Plzeň District themselves or by the members of the association for ethnography and monument protection in Plzeň with ran the museum. This set of photographic plates is marked with “NMP” and contains currently around 17900 pcs. The collection covers a wide scope of subjects. The plates document everyday life in the city of Plzeň and around 800 places around western Bohemia, also.
The purpose of this database is give the public access to those negatives, which we have been able to digitalise so far. Newly digitalised items are added progressively, as well as information from the electronic record files about the whole collection. Though, not always there will be a digital image to the record file and the other way around in the database. In case you discover inaccuracies in the database, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to search the database?
- By index of toponyms.
- By full text search.
The determination of the places and toponyms depicted on the negatives are based on the original record files. These were often written more than a hundred years before. The toponymal index, therefore, contains variation of toponyms which are no longer in use, currently, or their German equivalents. In order to make orientation within the records easier, we include a toponymal index and an index of names of municipalities from 1890, which you can find here.