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Regional Archives

The seven regional archives are the repositories for most pre-1900 parish books and, therefore, are the archives of primary importance to Czech genealogical researchers. In addition to early parish books, the regional archives house an enormous amount of important material including early cadastral records, maps, architectural plans, historical documents, court records, administrative papers, etc. The archives maintain extensive catalogs of their holdings, which are slowly being made available online.

Czech Republic - Regions

Parish Books: The early parish books are an important resource for genealogists. These books record the births, marriages & deaths of our ancestors. In order to successfully navigate the parish books, you will need to know the village where your ancestors lived. For ancestors who lived in larger cities, an exact date of birth or marriage, and/or an exact address, are usually necessary to ensure a successful search. Knowing the religious affiliation of your ancestors can also help cut down on your search time.

If you know the specific village where your ancestors lived, you're ready to begin your search in the regional archives. A map of the regions and a list of the districts served by each regional archive can be found below.

The first order of business upon arriving at the regional archive (after filling out a 'Badatelský List') is to look in the index of communities (Rejstrik Obci) served by that specific archive. Every town and village in that region is listed alphabetically in the Rejstrik Obci, followed by a list of all the parish books which contain entries for that town or village. The list of parish books is in the form of catalog numbers. Copy these numbers into a notebook for each town or village in which you anticipate doing research.

Once you've copied the catalog numbers, you'll need to look in a district index in order to determine specific information corresponding to the catalog numbers. There is one district index for each district in the region (a region has from 8 to 13 districts) and it lists all of the existing parish books in that district. The parish books are grouped by parish and listed chronologically within a parish. Each listing gives specific information about a parish book including: villages & towns included, years of coverage, and whether it records births, marriages, or deaths (or a combination of the three).

The parish books have been assigned sequential catalog numbers based on the organizational scheme used in the district indexes. The catalog numbers for a district begin where the previous district's catalog numbers ended, thereby providing each parish book with a unique catalog number. Therefore once you collect the complete list of pertinent catalog numbers (from the Rejstrik Obci) for parish books pertaining to a certain village, you will be able to quickly locate them in the corresponding, sequentially numbered district index.

After you've identified the specific parish books that you're interested in viewing, you must submit a request to have the archive personnel retrieve the microfilm and/or books from storage. The catalog number is the only information they will need to locate the material. It usually takes 15 or 20 minutes for an archivist to retrieve the requested materials.

Although no archival materials are allowed to leave the premises, cabinets are provided for storage of research materials while you're away from the archive. Most of the regional archives now strictly limit patrons to handle no more than five books per day. i.e. It's not possible to order five parish books in the morning, return them all by noon and then order five more books for the afternoon.

Most of the parish books have been copied to microfilm or digitized.

Administrivia: Requests to borrow archival materials (e.g. parish books) must be submitted well before closing time; the cutoff is typically two or three hours prior to closing. Requests submitted after the cutoff time won't be retrieved until the following morning.

Copying services vary widely between regional archives. The archive in Opava, for example, forbids the copying of any documents in it's care. The archive in Brno, on the other hand, offers an extensive selection of high-quality reproduction options, including: black & white and color photocopies, microfilm, black & white and color photographs, and black & white and color diapositives. A special form for requesting the reproduction of archival materials (in the archives which allow document reproduction) must be filled out each time you want to have copies made. The copies are usually ready within about 14 days and must be paid for when you pick them up.

Each regional archive has approximately 20 to 30 desks for use by researchers. In some archives (e.g. Brno) this is not a problem and a researcher can safely assume that an unoccupied desk will be available at any time during normal business hours. Other archives (e.g. Zamrsk, Prague, Trebon) are almost always full and you will most likely be turned away at the door if you have not made reservations well in advance.

The archive personnel are generally overworked and grossly underpaid, so don't expect them to do your genealogy research for you. Their main task is to help you locate the appropriate parish books (and other documents). If you need help deciphering a particularly illegible entry, ask the person seated next to you for help. Genealogists are usually eager to lend a hand.

 

The Central Bohemian Region is served by the State Regional Archive in Prague

Comprises the following districts:

Benešov, Beroun, Kladno, Kolín, Kutná Hora, Mělník, Mladá Boleslav, Nymburk, Prague-east, Prague-west, Příbram, and Rakovník

Open Monday & Wednesday 9:00am to 6:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Online digital records can be found at: http://actapublica.eu/

State Regional Archive in Prague

Archivni 4/2257

149 00 Prague 4 - Chodovec

 

The Southern Bohemian Region is served by the State Regional Archive in Třeboň

Comprises the following districts:

České Budějovice, Český Krumlov, Jindřichův Hradec, Pelhřimov, Písek, Prachatice, Strakonice, and Tábor

Open Monday & Wednesday, 8:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00am to 3:00pm.

Seats in the study room must be reserved at least one week in advance.

Online digital records can be found at: http://digi.ceskearchivy.cz/DA?lang=en

State Regional Archive in Třeboň

Třeboň Zámek

379 11 Treboň

 

The Western Bohemian Region is served by the State Regional Archive in Plzeň

Comprises the following districts:

Domažlice, Cheb, Karlovy Vary, Klatovy, Plzeň-north, Plzeň-south, Rokycany, Sokolov, and Tachov

Open Monday & Wednesday, 8:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00 to 4:00pm.

Online digital records can be found at: http://actapublica.eu/

State Regional Archive in Plzeň

Sedláčkova 44, p.p.312

306 12 Plzeň

 

The Northern Bohemian Region is served by the State Regional Archive in Litoměřice

Comprises the following districts:

Česká Lípa, Děčín, Chomutov, Jablonec nad Nisou, Liberec, Litoměřice, Louny, Most, and Teplice

Open Monday & Wednesday, 8:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday, 8:00am to 3:00pm.

Online digital records can be found at: http://matriky.soalitomerice.cz/

State Regional Archive in Litoměřice

Krajská 1

412 74 Litoměřice

 

The Eastern Bohemian Region is served by the State Regional Archive in Zámrsk

Comprises the following districts:

Havlíčkův Brod, Hradec Králové, Chrudim, Jičín, Náchod, Pardubice, Rychnov nad Kněžnou, Semily, Svitavy, Trutnov, and Ústí nad Orlicí

Open Monday & Wednesday, 8:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00am to 3:00pm.

A list of parishes that have already been digitized can be found at: http://www.archivzamrsk.cz/sbirkamatrik/digimatriky.pdf

Links to scanned parish books can be found in the following PDF: http://www.archivzamrsk.cz/sbirkamatrik/inventar.pdf

Copy the link for a specific parish book to your browser in order to download the entire book.

State Regional Archive in Zámrsk

Zámek

565 43 Zámrsk

 

The Southern Moravian Region is served by the Moravian Land Archive in Brno

Comprises the following districts:

Blansko, Brno-venkov, Břeclav, Hodonín, Jihlava, Kroměříz, Prostějov, Třebíč, Uherské Hradiště, Vyškov, Zlín, Znojmo, and Žďár nad Sázavou

Open Monday & Wednesday - 9:00am to 6:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday - 9:00am to 4:00pm. Closed during the month of July.

Online digital records can be found at: http://actapublica.eu/

Moravian Land Archive in Brno

Palachovo náměstí 1

PO Box 51

625 00 Brno

 

The Northern Moravian Region is served by the Land Archive in Opava

Comprises the following districts:

Bruntál, Frýdek-Místek, Jeseník, Karviná, Nový Jičín, Olomouc, Opava, Přerov, Šumperk, and Vsetín

Open Monday & Wednesday, 8:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00am to 3:00pm.

It's recommended to reserve a seat in the study room well in advance.

Online digital records can be be found at: http://www.archives.cz/zao/digitalni_archiv/index.html

Land Archive in Opava

Sněmovní 1

746 22 Opava

Land Archive in Opava

Olomouc Branch (has records for the Olomouc district and parts of the surrounding districts)

u Husova Sboru 10

771 11 Olomouc

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