'Magical Baroque library': Google Arts & Culture features Prague's Clementinum

The virtual collection includes 200 exceptional historical documents, four digital stories, and a Czech National Library 'puzzle party.'

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.04.2024 11:11:00 (updated on 15.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The National Library in Prague has partnered with Google Arts & Culture to allow visitors to access its Baroque spaces virtually via Street View. Users can also access historical documents and view digital exhibitions online.

The project, unveiled on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Slavic Library, aims to make Czech and English content available to a broader audience.

“Thanks to modern imaging methods and virtual tours in Street View, everyone can visit the unique Baroque spaces of one of the most beautiful libraries in the world at any time, no matter where they are,” Tomáš Foltýn, director of the National Library of the Czech Republic, wrote in his introduction to the collaboration on the Google Arts & Culture blog.

The Clementine Library, a part of the National Library, is a remarkable Baroque space that has preserved the legacy of Jesuit culture. The National Library cares for and maintains nearly 8 million volumes, including national cultural monuments and those registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World program.

The virtual collection includes 200 exceptional historical documents, four digital stories, and a Czech National Library puzzle party. Users can also explore significant historical manuscripts usually inaccessible to the public, including the Vyšehrad Codex, one of the most valuable manuscripts preserved in the Czech Republic. Caspar Pflieger’s Star Globe and Sebastian Münster’s Map of the New World offer insights into historical constellations and early cartography.

The National Library has a long-standing partnership with Google, having previously digitized thousands of old prints for public access through Google Books. The collaboration with Google Arts & Culture is the next step in their cooperation.

“Yet again, modern imaging methods and virtual tours brilliantly showcase the living legacy of the National Library’s rich and memorable collections. This new partnership not only gives people a chance to discover engaging stories and exhibits, but it hopefully inspires them to further explore the secrets and stories that Clementinum keeps in its historical books,” adds Foltýn.

The National Library’s treasures on Google Arts & Culture are available in English and Czech on the web and in the app (iOS/Android).

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