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Our Mission

NCSML preserves, presents, and transcends unique stories of Czech and Slovak history and culture through innovative experiences and active engagement to reach cross-cultural audiences locally, nationally, and internationally.

Our Vision

NCSML is an innovative leader in lifelong learning, community building, and cultural connections. We encourage self-discovery for all ages so that the stories of freedom, identity, family, and community will live on for future generations.

The NCSML was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in November of 2008.

The NCSML became a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2019.

NCSML Values

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is dedicated to achieving its mission with the highest quality and integrity, guided by the following values and principles:

  • We believe engagement in history and culture informs and empowers a free civil society.
  • We recognize ancestral heritage is important to people in defining their place in history and the world.
  • We honor those who immigrated to America and contributed their hard work, skill and vision to the formation of our nation.
  • We embrace life-long learning.
  • We commit to the ethical interpretation and presentation of factually correct and well-balanced views in exhibits and programming.
  • We respect the people of the Czech and Slovak Republics who struggled for national identity.
  • We aspire to the highest museum and library standards in our care of collections and operations.
  • We resolve to effectively use resources with integrity and accountability.

Our History

NCSML becomes a Smithsonian Affiliate

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is designated a Smithsonian Affiliate, joining a national network of museums, educational institutions and cultural organizations in sharing the resources of the Smithsonian Institution.

Smithsonian Affiliate logo

The Foundation

A group of second and third-generation descendants of Czech immigrants founded the Czech Fine Arts Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with the purpose of preserving Czech heritage and culture. The group worked hard to gather Czech cultural artifacts, to share them at local events, and to give talks about Czech culture.