The National Institute of Folk Culture is a research institution whose major purpose is to conduct fundamental research, applied research and experimental development, and to spread the results thereof by means of teaching, publishing and transfer of technologies.
The National Institute of Folk Culture is a state-funded institution controlled by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. It has been charged with the role of acting as an expert institution; for this reason, it focuses on traditional and folk culture and its safeguarding within the entire Czech Republic. The purpose of establishing and the subject-matter of the National Institute´s activity is defined by the Foundation Charter No. 18724/2008 from 19th December 2008 (as amended), which replaced the Ministry of Culture´s measure No. 14649/1990 from the 1st January 1990.
As to the Foundation Charter, the Institute´s basic tasks include, among other things, research into cultural heritage in traditional and folk culture, treatment of acquired documents, their preservation, treatment, publishing, and organization of folklore and educational events, and advisory and information service for all kinds of folklore activities in the Czech Republic.
Research fellows and collaborators of the Institute took part in drafting a governmental resolution regarding the “Strategy of Improved Care for Traditional Folk Culture in the Czech Republic” and the National Institute of Folk Culture was appointed the central authorized institution to coordinate and fulfil the tasks relating to this document.
The National Institute of Folk Culture engages in international activities in the field of folk culture and folklore, especially in the sense of accomplishing the resolution adopted by the UNESCO 25th General Meeting in 1989 and called “Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional and Folk Culture and Folklore”.
The Institute is also seat of the Czech National Section of CIOFF (International Council of Organizers of Folklore and Folk Art Festival with a statute of a UNESCO consultant); it ensures this Section´s activity, allowing it to be in contact with ninety national sections in countries of all continents.
The National Institute of Folk Culture has its seat in Strážnice; it administers 45 hectares of verdure and 9 buildings, seven from which are listed landmarks – the chateau, the chateau park, the Black Gate, the building of former brewery (an entrance to the Open-Air Museum of Rural Architecture in South-East Moravia), the gamekeeper´s lodge and two chapels.
The National Institute of Folk Culture is a significant institution of the Czech state, whose activity in the field of care of traditional folk culture and its preservation is irreplaceable.