Study of the history, language and culture of the Czech Republic (and the former Czechoslovakia) has been a part of the Indiana University curriculum for East European Studies since the early 1950s. Czech studies is taught in IU's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures with support from the Russian and East European Institute (REEI), a U.S. Department of Education funded Title VI national resource center.
Indiana University's Czech collection is among the top five at university libraries in the United States. The Indiana University Main Library has more than 28,000 volumes in the Czech language, nearly 43,000 volumes about Czech topics, and subscriptions to 180 Czech serials. These works are supported by strong holdings for East European studies, such as our complete holdings of Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Reports, Eastern Europe, the Joint Publications Research Service East Europe publications, and all of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty materials. The library also has important non-print materials, including the CD-ROM of the Czech National Bibliography. The internationally known Lilly Library also has a sizable collection of rare Czechoslovak-related books, manuscripts, and papers. Two of the most prominent collections include: the correspondence and papers of Alice Garrigue Masaryk, sociologist and daughter of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, president of the Czechoslovak Republic, 1918-1935. The letters from Alice's sister, Olga Revilliod, and friends are in Czech and date from 1949 to 1966; a collection of Vaclav Hlavaty’s scientific and political writings and speeches ranging from 1942 to 1969.
REEI has area related films and other materials for loan.
More information about IU- sponsored and non-IU programs can be found on the Overseas Study page.
Indiana University offers a wide variety of activities, many connected to Slavic or Czech language and literature. IU's world-renowned School of Music with leading performing artists on its faculty offers regular operas, concerts and recitals. A number of film series, including four to six Czech films per year, are presented on campus. Guest lecturers in the area of Czech include prominent scholars, writers, and political figures. Czech ambassador to the U.S. Martin Palous visited in 2002. Well-known translator of Czech literature, Paul Wilson, visited in 2003. Czech coffee, sponsored by the Czech Club, hour convenes every week at a local cafe for students of the language to practice conversation with native-speakers.
IU regularly offers Czech language instruction during the academic year. For more information on upcoming language and content classes, see the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.