The collection fund of the National Museum of Agriculture registered in the Central Registry of Museum-type Collections consists, on the one side, of three-dimensional articles divided into 19 sectional collections, and, further, of the photo archives of the Museum. Besides these collection articles, the Museum also hosts the Library managed under the Public Libraries Act, and the Museum Archives subject to the Act on Archives and Record Management. A part of the national cultural monument of Chateau Kačina, which is one of the specialized sections of the NMA, is also the book fund of the Chotek House Library.
The collection fund of the National Museum of Agriculture contains almost 40 000 three-dimensional articles, the photo-archives contain other more than 50 000 photographs, the NMA library contains over 120 000 volumes of books and magazines, the Chotek House library contains approximately 40 000 volumes, and the NMA archives have more than 300 current metres of archive documents.
The collection fund is kept in the individual NMA specialized sections according to the branch direction. Due to the reconstruction of the building, only the archives and photo-archives of the Museum are kept in Prague. Kačina hosts the collection articles relating to agriculture, life in the countryside, food production, and, further, the Museum Library and the Chotek House Library. Ohrada hosts the collections relating to forestry, game-keeping, and fisheries. The collections relating to gardening and environment can be found at Valtice.
The botanic sub-collection includes over 2500 collection articles. The sub-collection consists, in particular, of adjusted seeds of various plants, and herbariums of wild as well as cultural plants coming mainly from the 19th and 20th century.
This sub-collection mostly contains the implements and aids used in schools or in agriculture research. The richest representation is that of pedology with the collection of soil monoliths and with the collection of collection-forming rocks, along with the instruments and implements. Significant is also the set of articles relating to geodesy and meteorology, and the historically valuable laboratory equipment. A part of this sub-collection is also a collection of herbariums and a voluminous group of collection articles relating to the processing of medicinal herbs.
The photo archives with more than 50 000 collection photographs document the historical development of farming, food production, forestry and fisheries, yet also the work and way of life of the country population. This voluminous collection of photo negatives of the agrarian history is supplemented with the reproductions of historical documents and parchments, plans, maps, urban charts and books. The photo archives only contains the photographs made as a rule by the museum’s workers upon the initiative of the NMA. The photographs made by other authors are kept in their personal funds in the museum archives.
The flower-growing sub-collection consists of almost three hundred articles relating to flower-growing. Included are the implements and machinery for tilling of soil, growing and treatment of plants, harvesting and arrangement thereof. Besides that, this sub-collection also contains in models constructions and equipments for growing of flowers, and auxiliary and decoration materials. The basic part of the sub-collection’s articles comes from the 20th century, a part of the articles even comes from the preceding century.
The sectional collection of forestry consists of almost 8500 collection articles from the field of forestry. Included mostly are implements and tools for felling, growing and protection of forests, for transport and processing of timber, and wood products. Further, it includes maps, herbariums and entomological collections relating to forestry. The heart of the whole sub-collection consists of collection articles from the 19th and 20th century.
The museum archives contain archive materials in the extent of over 300 current metres covering the period from the 19th century up to the present, while some of their parts reach deeper in the past. The most significant part of the archives is that of the personal funds of foremost persons working in agriculture, forestry, game-keeping and food production. The funds contain personal correspondence, professional as well as literary manuscripts, card fines, collections of press cuttings and extracts according to the interest of the testator. Further, the funds of certain institutions, particularly of the forester associations, farmer-forester unions, state forestry authorities, etc., can be found therein. Another group of archive materials is of a clearly collection-like character. Involved is mainly a collection of maps and plans, a collection of official prints (count’s and economic instructions, instructions and rules for the state as well as private farmers, fire-protection rules), a documentary collection on the history of agriculture, forestry, and food production, and certain minor collections, e.g., of posters, archives of cuttings, etc. A separate part is the fund of archives of the Museum of Agriculture.
The library of the National Museum of Agriculture is a basic library with a specialized library fund under Act No. 257/201 Coll., accessible for the public.
The library contains 100 000 book units in the form of books, magazines, AV documents and business literature. The funds are located at professional NMA Office at Kačina, Ohrada, and Valtice. Thematically, the library is focused on agriculture, game-keeping, fisheries, forestry, food production, ecology, country life, crafts, history, and museum activities. The heart of the library funds comes from the 20th century, a minor part comes from an older period reaching back as far as the 16th century. The NMA library is an open library which further provides bibliographic, information, and research services, and inter-library lending services to other libraries. A separate part of the NMA library is the Chotek House Library with 40 000 volumes of books, maps and music materials from the 16th – 19th centuries. In 1992, the Chotek Library was declared Cultural Monument by the CR Ministry of Culture.
The sectional collection of game-keeping contains almost ten thousand collection articles from the field of game-keeping, mostly hunting arms and the accessories thereof, forester uniforms and accessories, hunting implements and aids, trophies and preparations of game animals, pictures, paintings and other pieces of art with hunting themes, mostly from the 19th and 20th century. Besides the sub-collections of tractors and paintings, this is one of the highly significant sectional collections of the NMA.
The sub-collection of numismatics contains more than eight hundred items. It consists of several groups of articles whose uniting elements are the material and production technology. The largest group consists of the medals of merit, exhibition medals, and commemorative medals. Another broad group registered in bulk consists of badges. A minor group includes plaques. A separate group consists of registration marks. In particular, involved are serf-labour and hop-growing marks. The last sub-group consists of ordinary coins of the Austro-Hungarian and later also of the Czechoslovak provenience. A minor part of coins also comes from the neighbouring countries, particularly from Germany, Poland, and Russia. The absolute majority of the collection articles comes from the 19th and 20th century.
The sectional collection of pictures and paintings contains more than sixteen hundred works of art made with a number of techniques. With minor exceptions, this sub-collection is united through the subject – countryside and agriculture. The heart of the collection contains the so called Šrobár Collection including, in particular, oil paintings by Czech as well as foreign authors and copies of works of renown artists. However, the major part of the sub-collection of Picture contains ethnographical drawings of country buildings and their interiors. The most significant authors of such drawings include, in particular, J. Špirhanzl-Ďuriš, A. Šebele, and V. Beneš. While the ethnographical drawings are the works from the first half of the twentieth century, the Šrobár Collection contains works from the 18th and 19th century.
The fruit-growing sub-collection contains more than thirteen hundred collection articles. They include, in particular, hand tools for tilling of soil along with horse-team devices and motor engines, further, implements and machinery for plant treatment, tools and aids for harvesting and for post-harvesting and market treatment of products, and also fertilizers and protective means. A large group consists of the models of fruits. The collection articles come from the 19th and 20th century.
The sectional collection of transport in agriculture, energy resources, and self-propelled engines only contains 150 collection articles, however of the biggest size. It contains, on the one side, hand-operated transport means, such as carts, wheelbarrows, further, horse-driven transport means, such as cars, coaches, and platform cars. Of the energy resources, horse-driven wheels, steam engines, turbines, electric motors, and, in particular, stationary combustion motors and tractors are displayed in this collection. The collection of tractors and stationary engines exceeds with its significance widely the CR frontiers. The sub-collection also contains some self-propelled farming machines. Besides the original machines, this sub-collection also contains a rich collection of the models thereof. Most collection articles of this sectional collection come from the 20th century.
The sub-collection Models of Country Buildings in the number of more than 300 pieces consists of some differing groups of models. The oldest and most valuable are the models of folk buildings from the National Czecho-Slavonic Ethnographical Exhibition supplemented later with more models of farmsteads. A further group consists of the models of farm buildings of which most represented are the facilities of animal production from the period of socialism. A separate sub-group consists of the models of building constructions, especially of the individual types of roof trusses. Relatively richly are represented the models of land reclaiming and of fodder chambers. This sub-collection also contains some models of country seats as well as rare models of industrial objects. The most valuable part of the collection comes from the 19th century, the greater part of the models were only made in the 20th century.
The sub-collection of shop and store equipments is the youngest sectoral collection of the NMA. For the time being, it only contains a few tens of collection articles, of which most are focused on articles used in shops selling coffee and coffee products (metal storage bins, mills, roasters, and period advertisements and signs). Besides that, the articles contain some balance systems, guild symbols and metal signs. This sub-collection spreads gradually with a collection of balance devices and weights, period merchant inventory, various storage bins, covers and wrappings, eye-catchers, bills and other articles used not only in shops ad market places, but also accompanying and documenting the merchant atmosphere and types of detail shops particularly in the 19th and 20th century. Some merchant articles are also parts of other NMA sub-collections.
The food production sub-collection contains about fifteen thousand collection articles. It contains single articles as well as coherent collections relating to the individual food production fields. Such fields are presented in the sub-collection, in particular, with implements, machinery equipments and various aids, yet also with products or their covers, raw materials and semi-products. Most represented is miller trade, baker trade, and butcher – pork butcher trade. Less represented is malt production, brewing, and other trades, such as starch production, sugar production and others, which are only represented by single collection articles. Vine-growing collection articles are to be found in the vine-growing sub-collection at Valtice. The absolute majority of articles comes from the first half of the twentieth century.