Archive of the City of Ústí nad Labem

Historical development of the City Archive

The Archive of the City of Ústí nad Labem was not set up by order like many other state district archives.  The archive rather evolved naturally as a municipal institution.

Although the city archive in Usti nad Labem is mentioned as early as 300 years ago, practically it started its activity in 1828 when the city registrar Friedrich Sonnewend was appointed to arrange the city's historical records.  Between 1840 and 1890 the city archive did not have an official administrator.  In 1890 Wenzel Hieke, the librarian of the Verein für Geschichte der Deutschen in Böhmen, was appointed administrator of the archive.  After he died in 1895 the office of the municipal records keeper was held by MUDr. Alexander Marian.

In 1920 the city archive administrator office was entrusted to dr. Franz Josef Umlauft as a part time job.  The archive was located in the basement rooms of the German grammar school in Velká hradební Street.

On November 11, 1922 an inspection of the ministery of education and national educational training was performed by dr. Bedřich Mendl.  The result of the inspection was a promise of state budget grant for the archive under the condition of keeping the records of the rural parts of the district.  The Archive of the City of Usti nad Labem started as a municipal and district archive in 1922.  During the next 20 years Umlauft moved to the archive the records of the patrimonial administration, city brewery, records of the Usti retirement office.  He acquired a complete series of Usti newpapers from 1856 from stockbroker Karel Böhm for the archive. There was little space for the newpapers collection so that it was stored in the cellar of the Trmice chateau.  At the beginning of the 30s Umlauft was getting more and more busy with the organization of German homeland study in Bohemia and with genealogy studies.  He was criticized for neglecting the archive care and was involved in conflicts with the mayor Leopold Pölzl.  The conflict culminated in 1934 and Umlauft voluntarily resigned.   The city hired dr. Franz Josef Wünsch,  a qualified registrar, to replace Umlauft.

In 1936 the city council approved a new status of the archive.  The archive was defined as a municipal office and the registrar (records keeper) was an municipal clerk. Wünsch obtained larger archive quarters for his office after several year of consistent application.  The new location was in a house on the Wencelaus square in Trmice.

In 1941 the registrar Franz Josef Wünsch was drafted and PhDr. Franz Josef Umlauft  was called to take his office.  As a result of the re-organization in 1942 the archive administration and at the same time the management of the city museum was in charge of Walter Hermann, the city cultural department head, and after his being drafted Umlauft again took his office to administer the archive until December 13, 1945 when he gave the key of the archive to Dr. Alfred Piffl.  Thanks to Umlauft no records were lost at the end of the war and in the subsequent period.  After Piffl the archive was officially administered by the ornithologist Dr. Josef Jirsík, but in fact it was kept by ing. Karel David in his free time.

In autumn 1951 Jan Bouček was appointed the municipal registrar who was stayed in function until his death in 1983.  During his term of office the fund of the city and the district of Usti nad Labem were gathered in the archive and arranged in accordance with modern methods, the archive was assigned new premises in the center of Usti nad Labem.  Since 1984 the archive has been managed by PhDr. Vladimír Kaiser.

In 1986 a significant reform of administration in the district took place.  Usti was declared a statutory city, the district national committee was abolished and the administration of the whole district was performed, in the second instance, by the National Committee of the City of Usti nad Labem.  The first instance were district  national committees and local national committees. The archive as a facility of the internal affairs department of the National Committee of the City was transformed into the Archive of the City of Usti nad Labem and in compliance with the National Committee of the City performed the archive activities for the territory of the whole district of Usti nad Labem.  The National Committee of the City was abolished after the elections in 1990 and Usti became a "statutory city" with the "City Office of Usti nad Labem" according to the new Community Act No. 367/90 Coll., § 3.  Since 1990 the Archive of the City of Usti nad Labem is a independent professional department of the city office and later municipality and it was authorized to keep records for the who territory of the Usti nad Labem district.