Former Bibliological Department - History of the collection

Bibliological Department was founded on the 1st September 1957 as one of special collections departments of Wroclaw University Library. Basis for organization of collection was three-volumed “Wykaz druków z zakresu bibliologii” (Register of prints from bibliology) edited by Helena Szwejkowska, published in years 1950-1954. Main goal of this newly created department was to concentrate in one place workshop literature for special collections as well as scientific-didactical collection for Institute of Librarianship, that at that time operated in the same building, on Św. Jadwigi 3/4 St. (Sand Island). Two years later, in 1959, special collections’ reading room, was created as an extension to the Department. At first it served for all special collections departments but lately it mainly circulates Silesian, bibliological and graphical collections. Currently, as a stand-alone department, the Special Collections’ Reading Room circulate all materials, that are gathered in Sand Island Library’s building.

The collection, believed to be one of the most complete Polish bibliological collections (currently it counts almost 30 thousands volumes) consists of many historical publications. It partially originated from pre-war City and University Libraries and among its books there are elaborations and sources from 19th and first half of 20th century, irreplaceable in researches over book history, especially in Silesian region. Historical part of collection consists of catalogs of manuscripts, old prints and other collections that occur in Polish and foreign libraries, rare collection of hand-written and printed facsimiles, writings that reflect development of book knowledge (including many bibliological first-prints) and specialist librarianship publications, mostly in German.

The Collections of Bibliological Department include, inter alia, works of J. S. Bandtkie: De primis Cracoviae in arte typographica incunabulis (1812), Historya drukarń krakowskich (1815) [available in our Digital Library (DL)], Historya drukarń w Królestwie Polskiem i Wielkiem Xięstwie Litewskiem (1823-1826), writings of first Polish book theorist J. Lelewel – Bibljograficznych ksiąg dwoje (1823-26), oldest Polish bibliological bibliography Bibliographie paleographico-diplomatico-bibliologique generale by J. P. Namur from 1838 [available in DL] or oldest Polish Podręcznik księgarski (Bookselling textbook) by T. Paprocki (1894-1896) [available in DL]. One of the most valuable periodicals, that there is in the collection, is - Serapeum. Zeitschrift fur Bibliothekwissenschaft, Handschritenkunde und altere Litteratur from years 1840-1870, one of the first ever printed special periodicals.

Bibliological Department has been closed on 24th March 2011. It’s collection is being successively merged with general collection on K. Szajnochy St.