General collections of Wroclaw University Library, that are present in building on F. Joliot-Curie 12 St., consist of new prints i.e. books and periodicals published after 1800. In recent times, besides printed materials, number of electronic documents in collections is constantly growing.
General collections consist of: publications acquired after 1945, collections of former City Library and former University Library as well as abandon materials from Lower Silesia region (see restricted collections) and parts of former manor houses’ collections.
Due to revendication action in years 1945-1946 and later, into WUL’s collections were included rich collections of German, French and English publication from 19th and beginning of 20th century.
Materials of former manor houses, received by Library soon after War, were meant to serve as means of the polonization process of collections.
In Wroclaw University Library are present large parts (over 9 thousand vol.) of former manor houses’ collections – of Sanguszko Family from Gumnisk and Sławuta from Wołyń as well as of Potocki Family from Krzeszów.
Both collections are not separated from general collection. They were received by Library in 1948 and 1949. Newer prints were cataloged and merged into general collection in 1950.
Materials from Sanguszko Family collection counts circa 2.800 vol. of newer prints (mostly Polish books from 19th century) and circa 1.200 vol. of older prints, including old Polonica. Newer prints represent various contents that mirror miscellaneous fields of interest of former owners (from history and politics to homestead, horse breeding and plant cultivation), journeys that they took and their fascinations.
Of greatest historical value are owner's autographs and margin writings (mostly Eustachy and Roman Sanguszko, Klementyna from Czartoryskich Sanguszkowa), autographs and dedications on author's and occasional gifts.
Many items contain ex-librises with crest of Pogonia (knight on horse in full gallop welding his sword), ownership stamps of Sanguszko family, notices about placement in collections, original bookbinding signed with bookbinder's stamps.
From general collections were separated didactical collection and library's cimelia.
Didactical collection consists of books gathered in many volumes, that are basis of lectures for university didactic. Creation of this collection started in 1966. It is separated collection, with its own signatures. Distinguishing feature of this collection is stamp SKRYPT on books and catalog cards, and in electronic catalog – letter S added to signature. Didactical collection is exchangeable one, systematically replenish with new materials and under constant selection for out-of-date materials.
Another collection, that is stored separately are cimelia. Cimelia in general collection are books of special artistic, historical or memorial value that are hold in separated room and under additional protection. Into cimelia collection were included books in valuable bindings, signed by Polish or foreign (mostly French) bookbinders. Among them are also items in untypical format, ones that have various – often easily damageable – supplements.
Cimelia from 19th century mostly originated from restricted collections brought from Czocha castle (mostly French, English and Italian books) and from former manor houses’ collections (mostly Polish books).
From general collections of Wroclaw University Library are also worth of mention two specific collections: polonica and independent literature.
Wroclaw University Library's polonica are mostly of German provenience, especially Silesian's polonica originating from collections of former City Library and restricted collections. From former manor houses’ collections originate materials created by Polish emigration in XIX century. Newer polonica, published after 1939, in greatest numbers were acquired in 80's (emigrant literature from London and Paris publishers).
Among Silesian's polonica special attention deserved publication of two print houses: Korn and Schletter and prints related to Wroclaw University, mostly – unique collection of thesis from years 1811-1945 of Polish authors or written about Poland.
Valuable information about polonica in WUL's collection could be found in guide „Polonika zagraniczne w Bibliotece Uniwersyteckiej we Wrocławiu” / [całość oprac. Julian Fercz]. Wrocław, 1998.
Independent literature was mostly acquired by Wroclaw University Library by purchases and donations. At one time, in greater numbers, Library's collection were enlarged in 1990, when Wojewódzki Urząd Spraw Wewnętrznych (Provincial Department for Internal Affairs) donated University with over one thousand prints, confiscated during Martial Law period, among them nearly 700 were cataloged and included into collections.
In underground literature collection there are many reprints of pre-war publications (mostly from history and sociology) and reprints of post-war emigrant literature.
Underground literature collection in Main Library is also supported by materials merged into collections of Library of the Institute of History, Library of Institute of Political Science (currently Social Sciences Department) and Library of the Institute of Polish Philology.
Periodicals collections of Wroclaw University Library consist of historical resources, titles no longer acquired, current purchases and electronic versions of periodicals.
Wroclaw University Library (status for 31.12.2009) subscribed circa 4.000 titles of current domestic periodicals and circa 860 of foreign titles as well as provide access to over 100 thousand full-text electronic periodicals.
Historical collection of periodicals mostly consists of materials from former City Library and prevailed collections from former University Library. Library holds rich collections of Silesian and bibliological periodicals as well as periodicals of scientific societies from 19th century.
Distinctive collection consists of underground periodicals, edited in years 1973-1989. Library has over 560 titles of this periodicals, most of them fully completed.
Rich resources of Library creates universal collection, preservation of which is a part of national program of cultural heritage preservation, and its development helps in fulfillment of scientific and didactical needs of academic society.