Artykuły i materiały

Tom 67 (2023)

Research on the history of libraries and librarianship in Poland: A survey, 1945–2015

Strony: 193-217

PDF (English)


The author of the article discusses selected academic and popular publications on the history of libraries and librarianship in Poland which were issued between 1945 and 2015. In that period, information about the most important historical resources of various Polish libraries and early book collections was made available. In addition, the period was marked by progress in the study of materials originating before the end of the 18th century. Scholars published a range of methodological works and works about sources, contributing to the development of scholarship. At the same time, there were too few editions of source materials.

After 1989, scholars intensified their efforts to find sources in foreign collections, especially in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Germany. Polish collections kept abroad are yet to be fully researched and to have their inventories and catalogues published.

The vast body of literature is uneven when it comes to its focus on individual historical periods, regions, subregions and local centres. It comprises publications on the history of libraries, their function and role in culture with regard to the history of publications focused on the types of libraries or individual libraries — of different traditions, sizes and the book, and stature. Scholars also explored the history of private book collections, reading rooms and libraries, as well as biographies of librarians and collectors. The quality of the publications varies. There are gaps in, for example, the history of libraries in the former Polish eastern borderlands and ‘blank pages’ in the historiography of Polish librarianship after the Second World War. There is a visible shortage of quantification of phenomena from the past of libraries, despite the fact that there are some possibilities in this respect. What is also needed is development in comparative studies, including from an international perspective, although this would require Polish historians to become more interested than before in the history of librarianship in other countries.


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