Established in the 1950s, the company’s archive was accredited as a corporate (private) archive in November 2007. The Archive contains documents mapping out the company’s history since its beginning (1894) until recent times (2005) and, in the case of promotional materials, to date. Besides the company foundation documents (first agreement between Laurin and Klement, draft merger agreement between L&K and Škoda Pilsen), the Archive contains documents relevant to companies that have merged with or worked alongside the Mladá Boleslav-based car manufacturer.
Materials documenting ŠKODA’s operations include official documents (Board meetings, Plant Council meetings, ČSM-SSM, etc.), as well as product-related documents (motorcycles, cars, freight vehicles, buses, ploughs & tractors, etc., including prototypes). The information most sought-after by the public includes items concerning vintage cars, i.e. engine books and product type documents according to which it is (usually) possible to ascertain the date of production and the bodywork and upholstery colours at the time when the vehicle in question ran off the production line. The Archive also contains photographs, posters, drawings and a number of 3D items. These materials are gathered, processed, stored and made available in compliance with the Archiving Act (Act No. 499/2004 Coll. as amended).
Document Search Room
The archived documents are available for inspection to both industry experts and the general public, except for items that have not yet been processed and those of a confidential nature. Such documents can only be inspected by document authors and persons expressly authorised by them. For more detailed terms & conditions see the Document Search Rules (pdf).
Subject to compliance with relevant legislation, the archived documents are accessible to the general public, and are made available in the following manners:
archived documents and/or archive aids read and/or reproduced in the Document Search Room; Indirectly - based on a written application (document search, document extract, document copy); Exhibitions, presentations, educational operations.
Document Search Room opening hours:
every working day, usually between 08:00 and 16:00. Visits NEED TO BE BOOKED by phone; it is advisable to book at least 14 days in advance.
The archive staff can provide assistance in researching historical documentation and materials. Extra assistance for private researchers is subject to charge for research services.
Upon request, paper or digital copies are made of selected materials. For private purposes the service is subject to charge according to the usual price tariffs for archive material copying (available in the archive).
Materials stored in the archive are presented in a scientific or popular scientific way by the archive staff to help to create an image of the company in a historical context. The archive is responsible for providing data to domestic and foreign specialized press and media, e.g., dailies or radio or TV stations.
The archive develops scientific research in the fields of archiving, history and related disciplines. Materials that come into the archive are systematically and methodologically processed. The aim of archiving (as stipulated by law) is to eliminate the factors that negatively influence the quality (physical condition) of the materials as much as possible.
Although the archive materials are professionally maintained, their service life is negatively influenced by numerous factors, such as contact with human skin, bright light (copying), etc. This is why the Digitization Project was launched to enable searching by electronic means and to make the most valuable and frequently used archives available digitally. At present, the database, consisting of more than 275,000 digital pictures, of which approximately 35,000 historical photographs and leaflets, is only accessible from the company’s internal computer network, so external researchers have to visit the archive research room. Besides the archive staff, scientists and university students coming to study for exams or work on their seminar and diploma theses are also involved in the research.