The National Museum launches an internet portal about the most notable Czechs & Slovaks in history

National Museum

Are you interested in Czech and Slovak history or fascinated by the lives of famous Bohemians? If you are, we may have just the website for you: a new portal designed by Prague's National Museum entitled 'People for Europe', featuring on-line information and interactive features that bring notable Czechs and Slovaks to life in Czech, Slovak, English or Italian. The National Museum is hoping it will prove a useful tool for both students and fans of history alike.

If you're one of the many who simply haven't found the time to visit a museum lately or just want to brush up your knowledge, you may be pleasantly surprised by People in Europe, an ambitious on-line project put together by the National Museum. Funded by the museum with the help of EU funds, the project not only aims to rekindle an interest in Czech and Slovak historical figures, but aims to cast their contributions properly in a broader European context, something that was not always done in the past. Never heard of Jan Amos Comenius? Visiting the People for Europe website may be just the place for you. The man behind the project Michal Stehlik:

"This project was prepared by 30 or so historians from the National Museum, the Slovak National Museum, universities and so on."

JV: Who are some of the personalities profiled?

"Artists, politicians, spiritual leaders, scientists. For us what was most important was how these people connected with Europe."

Not surprisingly the People for Europe site is aimed not only at a general audience but also at high school and university students, and it benefits from a fresh and flawless design that makes it both easy to navigate and a pleasure to view. Figures profiled - so-called "celebrities" - are referenced according to specialisation, period, or location. And, it doesn't end there: the site also features virtual exhibits from the National Museum, as well as affiliated organisations, which can be easily viewed through the so-called FSI viewer, allowing 360 degree rotation. In this way you can grab onto artefacts such as a paper globe from the 18th century or a 3,000 year-old clay Egyptian frog. Such details, while simple, are definitely fun. The National Museum's Michal Stehlik says the project was quite a leap:

"When I came to the National Museum three years ago this institution was still in the 19th century! For us the main idea was to make the Museum enter the 21st century, and questions about digitalisation and the internet were necessary."

Clearly the project has great potential that doesn't end here, this is just a beginning, a first big step by organisations like the National Museum to enter the digital age. Future projects are already being planned including expanded exhibitions - it's up to organisers to now gauge the project's success and plan where we go from here.

You can find the website on the internet at