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A View into the Golden Collection
of Czech Economic Thought

   česká verze

Czech economic thought began to develop independently, with a hundred-year delay, since the first half of the 19th century. In 1850 the first economic professional publication were published and thirty years later lectures on political economy were conducted in Czech at the newly established Czech university in Prague. During the following forty years other university centres of economic education – namely the MU in Brno and the UC in Prague, that was in fact the first specialized university in Bohemia - were founded. Thousands of rank-and-file economists and tens of top experts, scientists, teachers and managers who in the first half jointly helped to develop the Czech economics and economic education at the time. And above these stood five outstanding personalities which not only enriched Czech economic theory and practice closely with world economy trends, but also had a great share in the establishment and prosperity of modern Czech society and state-mindedness, and they were internationally recognized. They were Albín Bráf, Josef Kaizl, and their students Alois Rašín, Karel Engliš and Josef Macek.

A number of interesting publications and collections can be found in the Centre of Information and Library Services of the University of Economics in Prague. One of them is the Golden Collection of Czech economic thought, where works that relate to the historical development of Czech economic thought are available, from the first "economic" textbook written by Joseph Sonnenfels at the Prague university in 1765 to works of Karel Engliš, Josef Macek, including their students' and colleagues' works that were published during the first years after the end of the Second World War.

The works from this collection are continually digitalised for the use of researchers and people interested in the history of  economic science. They were written and published by nine Czech journalists and economists between 1850 and 1933:

Albín Bráf 1851 - 1912
Josef Gruber 1865 - 1925
František Ladislav Chleborad 1839 - 1911
František Cyril Kampelík 1805 - 1872
Jan Koloušek 1859 - 1921
Jan Loevenstein 1886 - 1932
Josef Pazourek 1862 - 1933
Alois Rašín 1867 - 1923
František Ladislav Rieger 1818 - 1903

When the publications were selected, three aspects were taken into account. We published only works of authors that in their time contributed to the development of Czech economic thought, whose works are in our collection and which can be scanned, and which, at the same time, does not violate the Copyright Act. They are from authors of different scientific and societal importance and specialization that had in common the effort to enhance Czech economic thought and economics of that time to the benefit of the whole society. Let us introduce brief characteristics of each of them:
František Ladislav Rieger, a political leader of the Czech nation in the second half of the 19th century; František Cyril Kampelík, awakener of the Czech country; František Ladislav Chleborad, a promoter of the cooperative system; Albín Bráf the first Czech professor of economics; Jan  Koloušek, a professor of economics at the Czech Polytechnics in Brno and Prague; Josef Gruber, an editor-in-chief of the Economic Horizon for 30 years; Josef  Pazourek,  the first dean of the University of Commerce; Alois Rašín, the first Czech minister of finance; Jan Loevenstein, a professor of the Masaryk University in Brno.

The selected works differ in many ways – in their content, purpose, importance and extent. Among these works thin records of public lectures, larger monographies and the first Czech university textbooks from the field of the economics can be found. These works, as a complex, offer not only unique information about development of Czech economic thought, expert views and methodilogical approaches of the nine above-mentioned economists, but also an interesting inspiration for solving current economic problems and economic science.

On this CD, which is the first one, selected works of the listed publicists and economists are published. This CD is released with the financial support of a grant LI200007 of the MŠMT (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport). All works that have already been digitalised are accessible at the WWW pages of the Centre of Information and Library Services at http://www.econlib.cz/zlatyfond. They will be also published on CD-ROMs one after another.

Mgr. Vladimír Seidl
10th September 2003

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