The basis for the collections of the Chrudim Puppetry Museum was the private collection of Professor Jan Malík, PhD, (1904–1980) – unflagging coordinator of puppeteering life, theoretician and practitioner, historian, teacher, and collector. Jan Malík’s collection has its own origins in the collection of Jindřich Veselý, an important promoter of puppet theater under the first Czechoslovak Republic; his collection was further expanded by Malík. Jan Malík also helped coordinate the donations of puppets by UNIMA, an international puppet organization: its individual centers donated puppets from their respective countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Italy, Hungary, East and West Germany, Poland, Austria, Romania, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Great Britain) to the museum.
During the course of its existence, the museum has increased its collections significantly and is constantly supplementing them. Today the museum itself has roughly 50,000 items in its collections. In addition to puppets, the collections also include set designs and models as well as set pieces, puppet themed art work, posters and programs, photographs, sound and video recordings, printed material, manuscripts, and other archival documents.