Special Collections’ Reading Room

General information


Wroclaw University Library
Special Collections’ Reading Room
Fryderyka Joliot-Curie 12 St.
50-383 Wroclaw
phone: +48 71 37 52 403

Opening hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

orders for special collections are accomplished up to 2:00 p.m., for general collections (i.e., specialist collections on special collections) and department's reference collections up to 2:30 p.m.


First and Last Name tel. number / email
mgr Iwona Domowicz +48 71 37 52 403
Jerzy Hajnisz +48 71 37 52 403
mgr Marta Lange +48 71 37 52 403
mgr Anna Skowron-Jaślanek +48 71 37 52 403


Main duties of the Special Collections’ Reading Room are the following:

  1. circulation of the reading room's reference collection, special collection (originals and copies), general collections (i.e., specialized collections regarding special collections) and reference collections of special collections departments: Graphic Collection Department, Manuscripts Department, Music Collection Department, Maps Department and Old Prints Department;

  2. maintaining register of circulated collections;

  3. providing information about special and general collections;

  4. taking care of catalogs and reference collection of Special Collections’ Reading Room;

  5. cooperating with Acquisitions and Collections Development Department;

  6. cooperating with other special collections’ departments.

Reference collection

Reference collection (status at the end of 2017):

  • monographs (books): 780 items /2 291 volumes

  • microforms: 5 titles (4 800 microfiches)

Reference collection
Special Collections’ Reading Room have rich reference collection, constantly meliorated and supplemented with new additions, available in free access mode. Materials are sorted in division order, including: bibliology, which is the book science (history of books, printing, watermarks, binding, editing, book art, history of libraries, bookselling), bibliographies (universal, specialized, retrospective), arts (architecture, sculpture, painting, crafts, graphics, photography), history (heraldry, history of Silesia, sigillography), biographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries and reference books, both general and specialized, music (encyclopedias, dictionaries, lexicons and early and contemporary music). Each the fields of knowledge are represented by primary reference books and source materials.


Online catalog of Wroclaw University Library

Traditional catalogs:

  • alphabetical and subject catalogs of Special Collections’ Reading Room’s reference collection,

  • topographic catalog of collections (includes books from former Bibliological Department as well as reference collections of Manuscripts Department and Old Prints Department),

  • topographic catalog of Special Collections’ Reading Room’s reference collection.

Conditions of usage

Conditions of usage of Special Collections’ Reading Room are determined in Rules of collection circulation in Wroclaw University Library from 4th May 2017.

Wroclaw University Library has one of the most valuable collection of special collections in Poland. This unique resource of great scientific and research values consists of: manuscripts, correspondence, collection of albums, incunabula, old prints, cartographic collections, graphics, photographs, postcards, ex-librises, musical scores, bibliophile prints.

Individual departments of special collections have rich collections of contemporary and historical specialist literature concerning special collections, many general publications and valuable sources materials for researches.

Users of reference and general collections

To the usage of the reference collection and general collections from special collection's departments as well as the Special Collections’ Reading Room are entitled:

  • adults,

  • minors - after the approval of Director of Wroclaw University Library,

that have a valid identity document and valid library/reading rooms card.

Users can use Reading Room's reference collection in free access or can order items from the reference and general collections from the individual special collections' departments.

User is obliged to write his/her name in registry book, present to the librarian identity card and a valid library/reading rooms card, leave one of the above documents to the librarian as well as to report and present to the librarian all books and other materials, that he/she is bringing in.

Users of special collections

Some categories of collections, so called special collections, are available exclusively for the scientific researchers for research purposes:

  • independent scientific or didactic employees and persons with a PhD degree;

  • students and PhD students after presenting letter of recommendation from the academic tutor, so called Recommendation;

  • persons, who are performing researches on behalf of scientific or cultural institutions after presenting Recommendation from their employee, explaining aim and scope of conducting researches;

  • in special cases, users may use special collections with the consent of the director or managers of the individual special collections' departments.

All users using special collections are obligated to fill User’s declaration. After receiving Declaration, librarian is obligated to verify the correctness of personal data with user’s identity card.

Declaration and Recommendation are valid for calendar year from the date of issue.

Conditions of usage

Places for work in the Reading Room are designated by librarian.

Users of Reading Room:

  • have to leave in the coatroom cloaks, briefcases, bags, hand-bags etc.,

  • have to sign in the library guest book and leave library card at library desk,

  • have to be quiet,

  • have to deter from eating and drinking,

  • are not allowed to use cell phones to conduct calls,

  • have to follow librarian’s orders and suggestions concerning usage and safety of library materials,

  • have to, in the case of leaving reading room, also for brief period of time, return all materials to the librarian,

  • in the Reading Room, after obtaining permission from librarian, user can use his/her personal electronic devices,

  • Special Collection’s Reading Room there is not lending materials. As a result - carrying them out of Reading Room is prohibited.

Ordering of materials

Reference collection of the Reading Room can be used in free access.

Materials from outside the Reading Room should be ordered electronically or on traditional slips delivered to the employees of the Reading Room.

Number of filled slips, hours of orders and time of their accomplishment are listed in Rules of collection circulation in Wroclaw University Library.

The number of original items from special collections is limited. When ordering more items, it is advisable to made prior arrangements by phone or e-mail regarding date and mode of accomplishment of orders with the proper department.

Users' orders are accomplishment from Monday to Friday:
for special collections up to 2:00 p.m.,
for general collections up to 2:30 p.m.
Orders placed accordingly after 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. will be accomplished in the next day.

Time of accomplishment of order

Accomplishment of orders from reference and general collections last about 30 minutes, in case of special collections – circa 1 hour and may change due to the specifics of the collections, the state of preservation, and the time needed to make them available for users.

Circulation of special collections

Originals of materials, that have copies - microforms, reprints or electronic documents, are only available in special, justified situations.
The consent to make the original available for the user, instead of copy, may be expressed by the manager of the department or the Director of the Library.

Managers of special collection's departments can deny to circulate to the user materials particularly valuable, in poor condition or because temporary inaccessibility of items (e.g. maintenance or preparation for exhibition).

In the case of manuscripts, user is filling metrics attached to each manuscript.

Manuscripts and other special collections of significant value, so called cimelia (designated as such by managers of special collections’ departments) must be returned by 2:30 p.m., other materials – 15 minutes before the closure of reading room.

Reserving of ordered materials

Materials can be reserved on user's order until they are no longer needed, but no longer than for a period of 3 working days. Reservation could by prolonged personally, by phone: +48 71 37 52 403 or via e-mail:


Free of costs copying of collections with user's own camera without flash light (excluding manuscripts and old prints) is allowed after obtaining permission from librarian. Copying of manuscripts and old prints is paid service done by Reprographic and Digitization Unit.

Publishing of a copy from the special collections

Publishing of a copy of the WUL's special collections requires written consent of the Director of the Library and is paid. The Director of the University Library gives premission for publication and determines the amount of the fee.