Skip to main content

Catalog of microfilmed prints from 15th to 18th century

Enter to database

For many years till now Wroclaw University Library has carried on the process of protecting microfilming of rare and valuable prints, especially prints published before 1800 – so called old prints. Microfilms are form of protection for original materials, and also allow to create microfilmed copies as well as copies on other medias. From collection of over 300 thousand old prints, circa 10% of all materials has been microfilmed. Search for those microfilms is possible in two different catalogs: in the traditional card catalog and in electronic database. Because of this, although most of microfilms are available for readers via internet, some of them can be checked only locally in Old Prints Department.

Database Catalog of microfilmed prints from 15th to 18th century counts at present time 29288 records but there are still circa 4400 microfilmed items, information about which remained only in form of traditional register. Works on retrospective conversion are still proceeding and database will be enlarged by next call numbers. Bibliographical descriptions of items microfilmed nowadays are being prepared directly in electronic form. When completed, database will hold full information about microfilms of prints from 15th to 18th century that are stored in Old Prints Department.

Taking into account text content and chronological dating, microfilmed items are various in character. Basing on given criteria of material selection, microfilms can be divided into three main groups:

First on consists of 9415 records for 8789 items microfilmed in the beginning of the 90’s. During that time, incunabula and large parts of historical collections: Bibliotheca Rudolphina Legnicensis, Bibliotheca Piastorum Bregensis, Bibliotheca Ecclesiae SS. Petri et Pauli Legnicensis went under systematic process of securing microfilming.

Second group is an result of Polish-German project Common European heritage, completed in years 1998-2001. During the realization of that project primarily prints published in Silesia, Pomeranian and East Prussia regions were microfilmed. Completed catalog consisting of over 16 thousands microfilms of prints from 16th to 18th century is available for readers via internet since 2002.


After finishing that project, Library continued microfilming of selected prints on basis of criteria used for project and entering their descriptions into database, enlarging holding for another 2000 items. At present time that collection of microfilms (from Silesia and Pomeranian regions) consists of 19.602 bibliographical records.

Third group consists of descriptions taken from traditional register started in the 60’s of 20th century. Traditional catalog consists of over 5.6 thousands records of microfilmed items. From this number, 1200 call numbers were already converted into electronic form, and remaining 4400 will be also included into database. In most cases they were microfilms ordered by readers, and because of this, that collection is most various thematically and chronologically.

Catalog is working under MAKWWW program, in MARC format.
Bibliographical description consists of basic information about microfilmed print, such as: author, title, publication address, signature of original print as well as microfilm. To description of microfilms created after 1998, information about number of stills and rolls is added. Sometimes, one description has more then one call number – that means, that item has been microfilmed more then once, e.g. after its conservation.
Search in catalog is based on several indexes: of persons (subject can be any person, that participated in creation of print: author, printer, copier, translator etc.), titles, place of publication, chronological, signatures and keywords. New feature is “w.-elektron.” index i.e. electronic version index. It allows microfilms’ descriptions to be directly connected with scanned front pages (i.e. photocopy of front page) without any need to be searched separately in Old Prints’ Department’s catalog. The same situation there is with the items, that were digitized. In such cases in the microfilm’s description the direct link to Digital Library is placed.