According to the registered files of the National Heritage Institute, the NFA has 70 estates – i.e. private collections. These private collections, which often contain very heterogeneous materials (written documents, photographs, press clippings, drawings etc.), contain the estates of personalities associated with the film industry, such as actors, directors, cameramen, journalists and other personalities.
These private collections are acquired through purchase or by donation. The first estates were acquired in the 1970s (Martin Frič, Václav Wasserman), after 1989 more systematic and intensive acquisition activities began and as a result the number of acquired estates has multiplied. Currently, among the estates that the NFA takes care of are those of Zbyněk Brynych, Zdenek Sirový, Jindřich Brichta, Karel Smrž, Ludmila Wegenerová-Salmonová and other personalities.
Archival records for research can be made available by the Department of Written Archival Materials (OPA) at the NFA, details of access to archival records stored in the NFA are regulated by the NFA’s OPA Research Rules. According to Act # 499/2004 on Collections, which deals with archives and standard services, as well as the amending of certain laws, only archival materials older than thirty years can be made available, and that is from processed or partially processed collections; unprocessed archival materials are not made available. Accessibility to the archived items from an estate are also limited based on the individual conditions of each acquisition contract and Act # 101/2000 Collections, on the protection of personal data and the amending of certain laws. In order to gain accessibility to an archived item from one of these private collections it is absolutely necessary to first discuss it with the head of the NFA’s Special Collections, Mr. Tomas Lachman.
An overview of private collections and their finding aids is currently only available in Czech. The unprocessed private collections can be made available for educational purposes, however, it is necessary to ask the board of the archive for an exemption.