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Ethnographic Collection in the Concept of Contemporary Czech Museology
The submitted treatise provides an overview of current state of the concept of ethnographic collection in Czech museology, and it points to a certain mutual imbalance between the two spheres. Especially in the content-semantic realm it finds ambiguities in the basic cornerstones of the discipline - in the current terminology of the discipline and the lacking definition of the term “ethnographic collection”, which would simultaneously reflect the present-day conditions of the legislation and discipline as well as social needs. The little interest in resolving these shortcomings is illustrated with the very limited number of current professional publications which deal mainly with the theoretical basis and which would outline the conception of the further development of ethnographic museology in the Czech Republic, especially if we compare the production of similar literature from the second half of the twentieth century. The study offers a clear definition of the term “ethnographic collection”, it presents the basic terminology and reflects on possible solutions to several problematic factors. It can be seen as the first step for the mutual exchange of opinions on the further development and creation of a new theoretical and practical platform for ethnographic museology in the Czech Republic in the third millennium.
Major Trends in the Conception of Ethnographic Museum Materials in the Works of Czech Ethnologists and Museologists before 1989
Ethnographic material, as a research topic, appeared in Czech museums as early as at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as a direct result of the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition (Prague 1895). However, it was more intensively reflected only after 1918, especially in connection with the support to regional research into folk culture (e.g. D. Stránská, A. Václavík) and with the promotion of general museological principles (L. Lábek, J. F. Svoboda). The phenomenon was, however, grasped in a more comprehensive way only with the onset of Communist rule. The specific environment of that time created suitable conditions for unique concepts which sought to closely interconnect theory and practice and which were thematically focussed on collection-creating, presentation and educational activities of museums. The research interest was divided into two main lines. The first one featured efforts to analyse authentic movable material (L. Kunz, H. Johnová, R. Suk); the second stream worked with a broader concept of the ethnographic collection object in which it included building and natural elements, while it strongly emphasised intangible cultural heritage (J. Langer, J. Štika). The work of Josef Beneš, who attempted to create a coherent system, called ethnographic museology, based on existing knowledge had a special position.
Traditional Handcraft Techniques as Part of Documentation Accompanying the Museum Ethnographic Collection
The paper offers an overview of the most relevant events in the history of collecting of the Serbian oral tradition, starting with the medieval mentions and records, through the recording of folk songs in the modern times in various regions inhabited by the Serbs, up to the systematic fieldwork collection The study deals with defining the documentation of traditional techniques within the ethnographic collection. It addresses the question of supplementing the museum thesaurus with fully functional techniques. Attention is paid to real possibilities of preserving practical skills in relation to ethnographical deposited. The theoretical introduction focussing on the principles of creating museum thesauri is followed by an analysis of experimental approaches to and eventualities of reconstructions of extinct traditional techniques. Defining the dependence of the preservation of traditional handicraft technologies directly in museum institutions on specific bearers of these skills is an important section of the study. The potential of experiments and reconstructions to expand and deepen the documentation of ethnographic collections is demonstrated by three specific examples of implementations carried out in the Wallachian Open-Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and the Centre of Traditional Techniques in Příbor. In the conclusion, the author points out the main difficulties of anchoring the repositories with traditional skills in the structure of museums.
Recovered Territories in Source Materials of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas: Selected Examples of Socio-Cultural Change in Post-Migration Areas
After the Second World War, significant territorial changes took place in Poland. As a result of the decisions at Yalta and Potsdam, Silesia, the Lubusz lands, Western and Eastern Pomerania, Warmia, and Masuria were granted to Poland, while the so-called Eastern Borderlands were taken away from Poland. This resulted in the forced migration of several million citizens. The displaced German population was replaced by Polish settlers from the regions which ended up outside the country's eastern border after the war, as well as from other parts of the country. It was a voluntary migration resulting from a desire to improve own material situation, and a forced migration based on political decisions adopted by the then government. The new settlers faced different natural and cultural conditions in the new place. Despite war damage, western villages and towns made a great impression on the new arrivals. The civilisation development was most surprising. Contact with a different social environment often caused a culture shock. This situation forced those displaced and those newly resettled to test their own standards and values. Materials collected within the "Polish Ethnographic Atlas" project can contribute to the research on strategies for building a new identity in post-migration areas, as well as strategies related to the memory of the place of origin. These materials represent an interesting and still little recognised source of knowledge. The interviewers' personal data and records, concerning mainly the processes of spreading selected cultural elements, are most notable.
The Conception and Form of Folk Song Collections from Bohemia in the Period of Preparations for the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition 1895
Zdeněk Vejvoda – Věra Thorová
The study summarizes circumstances and results of collecting Bohemian folk songs within the period of preparations for the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition held in Prague in 1895. It presents the history of preparations for the exhibition, the organisation and input of prominent persons, and the problems of the collaborators in particular regions. It assesses the scholarly conception and methodological materials relating to musical folklore. Regarding the collector's way of work at that time, it notes the prevailing romanticising approach and the aesthetic point of view. The lack of methodological guidance of collectors was reflected, in addition to melographic mistakes, in the selection of genres and in the preference for older song layers; the self-censorship of informants is obvious as well. In total, 148 rural collectors collected 120 manuscript collections in Bohemia. The archival fond includes 5214 complete song notations, other 4910 lyrics without melodies, 75 instrumental records, and 67 folk music scores. The study describes the fate of the collections after the end of the Exhibition. Many of them were returned to those who provided them, while some were gradually transferred to institutional collections, archives, museums, and special departments. Several manuscripts were also lost. Only a fragment of the records was published.