Jiřina Šiklová Library
The library was established in 1992 in the flat of the sociologist, dissident, and founder of Charles University Department of Social Work and Gender Studies, Jiřina Šiklová. It first consisted of her private collection of feminist literature sourced from foreign donors such as University of California Santa Cruz, which organized the Books for Prague donation campaign, or the U.S.-based Network of East-West Women. Later, the library also obtained the book collections of the lesbian organizations Promluv, Lambda, and A-klub. At the same time, the library continuously sourced publications of historic significance from individual donors to create an archive. Funds to purchase books were historically provided by foreign foundations such as Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Open Society Fund, Open Society Institute, Network of East-West Women, and Global Fund for Women. The collections have also been growing thanks to project funds, mostly from EU institutions, and private donations.
The Jiřina Šiklová Library (formerly Gender Studies Library) is one of the largest gender studies libraries in Europe. It offers a diverse portfolio of books and journals on the following topics: labour market, reconciling work and private life, gender stereotypes and discrimination, feminism, gender and queer studies, etc. In addition to scholarly literature, there are also poetry, fiction, and comics titles in the collection.
The library serves as an open space for encounters and collaboration, organizes public events, and works to establish international connections. It also holds the Eliška Krásnohorská Archive, a publicly accessible collection of valuable archivalia on the history of the Czech women’s movement (www.zenymohou.cz), and the Women’s Memory Archive of more than 170 oral-historical interviews with women of three generations telling their life stories against the background of the history the 20th history (www.pametzen.cz).