The National Library of the Czech Republic was awarded the first UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize in recognition of its contribution to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage.
The history of the library is connected with the foundation of the Charles University in 1348. The first written references concerning books are documented in relation to the oldest Charles College, having been given a royal gift of manuscripts in 1366. The main mission of the National Library is twofold: to be the archive library for documents issued on the territory of the Czech lands and to be a public research library especially in the domain of humanities, pure natural sciences, culture, and arts. The library has more than 6 million vols. from which great parts are of irreplaceable cultural value not only for the territory of the Czech Republic, but also for many cultures of the world. The library is a leading institution in preservation and especially access to documentary heritage. It is a co-ordination centre for several national programmes in these areas incl. research and development.