Guide to the Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1925-2013 UA.40.05

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee Collection
Creator
University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee.
Collection Number
UA.40.05
Date
1925-2013
Extent
5.0 linear feet (10 boxes)
Language
The language of the material in this collection is primarily English, with some Czech and Slovak.
Abstract
The Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee contains correspondence, photographs, drawings, minutes and publicity relating to the Czechoslovak Room's construction, as well as committee functions subsequent to the room's dedication. After the dedication in 1939, the committee shifted its efforts to the organization of local cultural events and the sponsorship of an annual exchange scholarship. The bulk of the collection dates to the second half of the twentieth century and includes committee correspondence, programs, publicity, essays and other papers relating to its latter role in scholarship and cultural activities. Digital reproductions of all of the photographs are available online.

Preferred Citation

Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1925-2013, UA.40.05, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Czechoslovak Nationality Room was dedicated in 1939 as one of the original 19 Nationality Classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. The Nationality Rooms Committees formed at the invitation of Chancellor John G. Bowman and Program Director Ruth Crawford Mitchell, who envisioned the rooms as apolitical monuments to the cultural roots of Pittsburgh. The completion of the Czechoslovak Room, like all Nationality Rooms, was an international effort. Committees in both Pittsburgh and Prague jointly oversaw the room's design, construction and decoration in a traditional, folk-inspired aesthetic. Ruth Crawford Mitchell spearheaded early construction efforts at the University of Pittsburgh, while Alice Garrigue Masaryk advised affairs in Prague, where she engaged architect Bohumil Slama, artists Karel and Marie Svolinsky, and other contributing artisans. After the dedication of its classroom, the Czechoslovak Room committee continued its role as an arbiter of cultural exchange, both locally and internationally. The committee sponsors one of the annual exchage scholarship provided by the Nationality Rooms program. Members also participate in the organization of local cultural events, such as concerts, lectures, memorials, and community gatherings.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee collection incorporates correspondence, photographs and minutes documenting the room's construction and dedication, as well as administrative materials from World War II to present, after the dedication of the Czechoslovak Room at the Cathedral of Learning in 1939. During the war, the running affairs of the committee primarily included donation and relief efforts for civilians and soldiers overseas. The bulk of the collection covers the second half of the twentieth century, and is concerned with its participatory and organizational roles in the Nationality Rooms international exchange scholarship program and local cultural events. Materials from the collection represent committee meetings, planning of local Czech and Slovak cultural and memorial gatherings, entertaining national and international dignitaries and visitors, maintaining the classroom and support of the committee scholarship. Included are correspondence, programs, invitations, essays, publicity, transcripts of speeches and remarks, as well as as incomplete sets of minutes and committee newsletters.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series according to subject. Series I contains four subseries ordered by genre. Series II contains three subseries arranged by genre.

Series I. Room Construction and Dedication

Series II. Committee Administration

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, July 2013

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Addition of the original records boxes as artifacts within the collection. September 2015

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Cristina Lagnese in June 2013.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Carly Lough in June 2013.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the photographs in the collection are available online.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Genre(s)

  • Architectural drawings (Visual works)
  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Getting, Milan
  • Masaryk, Alice Garrigue, 1879-1966
  • Masaryk, Jan, 1886-1948
  • Masaryk, T. G. (Tomáš Garrigue), 1850-1937
  • Mitchell, Ruth Crawford, 1890-
  • Sláma, Bohumil
  • Svolinský, Karel, 1896-1986

Subject(s)

  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Czech Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Slovak Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1925-2013, UA.40.05, University of Pittsburgh Archives

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Room Construction and Dedication, 1925-1957 

Scope and Content Notes

The bulk of the materials within this series predate the room's construction in 1939, and contain local and international correspondence, architectural renderings and artist's sketches relating to committee and organization and the planning of the rooms. Also included is a subseries of photographs depicting committee members, events and meetings, as well as the Czechoslovak Room and interior details.

Subseries  1. General Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains correspondence and associated papers exchanged by committee members and Nationality Rooms Program officers, such as Ruth Crawford Mitchell, relating to room and committee organization.

  BoxFolder
General Correspondence 1925-1927 11
  Folder
General Correspondence 2
  Folder
General Correspondence 3
  Folder
General Correspondence 1933-1934 4
  Folder
General Correspondence 1935-1936 5
  Folder
Dr. Benes' Visit to the University of Pittsburgh May 13, 1939 6
  Folder
General Correspondence 1937 7
  Folder
General Correspondence 1938 8
  Folder
General Correspondence 1939-1940 9

Subseries  2. Publicity Materials 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains publicity materials relating to the Czechoslovak Room, the Czechoslovak Room Committee, and the Nationality Rooms Program.

  Folder
Publicity Materials 1925-1939 10
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings 1925-1939 11-12

Subseries  3. International and Architectural Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains correspondence between committee organizers Ruth Crawford Mitchell and Alice Garrigue Masaryk, Pittsburgh and Prague committee members, and Prague-based architect Bohumil Slama.

  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1927-1929 13
  BoxFolder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1930 21
  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1931-1932 2
  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1933-1935 3
  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1936 4
  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1937 5
  Folder
International and Architectural Correspondence 1938 6
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Dedication 1939 7

Subseries  4. Photographs and Drawings 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains decorative sketches, architectural renderings, and photographs of the Pittsburgh Czechoslovak committee, its events, the finished classroom and interior details. All of the photos have been scanned and available online as part of the University of Pittsburgh Historic Photographs collection.

  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Committee 8
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Architect and Artist Drawings 9
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Decoration and Interior Details 10
  Folder
Czechoslovak Classroom 11
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Dedication 1939 12
  Folder
Dr. Benes' Visit to the University of Pittsburgh May 13, 1939 13

Subseries  5. Minutes 1927-1939 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains a bound volume of committee minutes and financial statements covering the planning and construction of the Czechoslovak Room.

  BoxVolume
Minutes, 1927-1939 91

Subseries  6. Committee Archives Boxes 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries consists of the four boxes that served as the original enclosures for the records of the Czechoslovak Nationality Room Committee. These ornate containers were likely to be kept within the Nationality Room, but as the room began to collect artifacts for display, there was no longer room for the records and they were transferred to the University Archives.

  BoxVolume
Box for "General Correspondence, Dedication Ceremony and Visit of Dr. Benes" 101
  Volume
Box for "Foreign Correspondence, Prague Committee and Architect" 2
  Volume
Box for "Drawings and Photographs" 3
  Volume
Box for "Publicity Material and Newspaper Clippings" 4

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Series  II. Committee Administration 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains materials that postdate the dedication of the Czechoslova Room in 1939. At this time, the committee's attention turned to the organization of cultural events in Pittsburgh, participation in European relief efforts and national Czechoslovak associations, and the sponsorship of exchange scholarships for the Nationality Rooms Program. Included are correspondence, incompete newsletters, publicity, memos, speeches and essays.

Subseries  1. Running Affairs 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains materials relating to the general running of committee affairs. These records primarily include correspondence and memos, but are interspersed with committee newsletters, member lists, as well as well as an incomplete set of minutes, programs, and invitations for committee meetings, associated organizations and efforts.

  BoxFolder
Hunt, "Thomas Garrigue Masaryk" Brochure 1956 31
  Folder
Committee Members 1958 2
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1952-1962 3
  Folder
Czechoslovak Cabinet and Archives 1959-1968 4
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1943-1971 5-6
  Folder
Committee Correspondence 1959-1971 7
  Folder
Committee Members 1966-1971 8
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Maintenance 9
  BoxFolder
Committee Correspondence 1974-1978 41-2
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee Gifts 1945-1981 3
  Folder
Committee Correspondence 1977-1981 4
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1979-1982 5-6
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1979-1982 7-8
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1985 9
  BoxFolder
Stanley Postrednick Correspondence 1979-1986 51
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1986 2
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1971-1989 4
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1990-1992 5
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1993-1994 6
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1995-1997 7
  BoxFolder
Czechoslovak Committee 1998 61
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 1999 2
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2000 3
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2001 4
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2002 5
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2003 6
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2004 7
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2005 8
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee 2006 9
  BoxFolder
Czechoslovak Committee 2007 71-2
  Folder
Czechoslovak Committee Newsletters 3

Subseries  2. Events 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains papers relating to specific committee events, Czechoslovak Room projects, members and donations. Records include correspondence, transcripts, invitations and publicity.

  Folder
Committee WWII Relief Effort 1943-1945 4
  Folder
Masaryk Memorial Service 1948-1956 5
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room Redecoration 1959 6
  Folder
Masa Riegl Memorial 1965 7
  Folder
Special Events 1958-1968 8
  Folder
Committee Events 1959-1968 9
  Folder
Karel Svolinsky Visit 1968 10
  Folder
Committee Events 1970-1974 10
  BoxFolder
Masaryk Papers Presentation 1983 81
  Folder
Committee Events 1988-1994 2
  Folder
Publicity 1991-2000 3
  Folder
Publicity 1988-2001 4
  Folder
Pittsburgh Agreement 2001 5

Subseries  3. Subject Files 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains files originally compiled alphabetically by individual or subject name for Nationality Rooms Program office reference purposes. Included are speech transcripts, historical and biographical essays and notes, memorial programs, correspondence and publicity.

  Folder
Czechoslovak Room, Books and Articles 1990-2001 6
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room, Charles IV Brocade 7
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room, Charles University 8
  Folder
Czechoslovak Room, Culture 1988-1996 9
  BoxFolder
Folk Dances, Czechoslovak 91
  Folder
Gaul, James 1945 2
  Folder
Getting Family Memoir 1985 3-4
  Folder
Czechoslovak, History 1974-1996 5
  Folder
Czechoslovak, Holidays 1953-1973 6
  Folder
Macek, Josef 1958 7
  Folder
Masaryk, Thomas 1993-2001 8
  Folder
Riegl, Masa 1964-1967 9

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