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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
e-mail: czs.bu[w] (czs[dot]bu[at]uwr[dot]edu[dot]pl)

Opening hours:

October - June
Monday, Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
July, September
Monday, Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Reading room is closed

The Main Reading Room is situated on level 3 of the main Library building.

The Reading Room area is a spacious and bright room with a reference collection, an informatory and work stations for users. In addition, a room for consultations with employees of special collections' departments is located there, as well as a large hall with traditional catalogs of special collections and Pyramid exhibition room, where presentations of special collections from the Wroclaw University are organized, as well as didactic classes and trainings.

Orders are accomplished 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.

Fulfilling of orders last about 30 minutes, in case of special collections – it may change due to the specifics of the collections, the state of preservation, and the time needed to make them available for users.

Reference collection of the Reading Room is in free access without need to order materials.

Materials from special collections must be ordered via online catalog, digitized catalogs or on traditional slips delivered to the the Special Collections' Reading Room (e-mail correspondence regarding collections is not treated as an order slip).


First and Last Name tel. number / email
Dep. manager mgr Anna Szczotka-Sobiecka +48 71 3757 623
mgr Marta Lange +48 71 3757 623
mgr Grzegorz Pawlik +48 71 3752 403
Magdalena Radziszewska-Kruk +48 71 3752 403

Circulation of collections

The profile of the special collections of the Wroclaw University Library is related primarily to the collection of valuable Silesiaca, Lusatiaca and Slavics items. The collection includes:

  • manuscripts (including the largest collection of medieval manuscripts in Poland), correspondence, collection of albums;

  • old prints (including the largest collection of incunabula in Poland);

  • maps, atlases, globes, city plans and views;

  • musical items: old prints and music manuscripts, scores and audiovisual collections;

  • drawings, engravings, graphic matrices, ex-libris, artistic reproductions and postcards;

  • Wratislaviana, the so-called Ygreks;

  • Social Life Documents, the so-called DŻS, regarding Silesia and Lusatia regions.

The Special Collections' Reading Room provides:

  • reference collection available in free access mode;

  • contemporary and historical specialist collections from special collections departments;

  • special collections (originals and reproductions) from special collections departments (except for collections from the former Silesia-Lusatian Cabinet, Wratislaviana, the so-called Ygreks and Social Life Documents).

In the Special Collections' Reading Room, the collections from the following special collections departments are available:

Collections from the former Silesia-Lusatian Cabinet, Wratislaviana, the so-called Ygreks and Social Life Documents are circulated in the Silesian Collection Reading Room.

Special Collections’ Reading Room has rich reference collection, constantly meliorated and supplemented with new additions, available in free access mode.

Collection is sorted in division order:

I Bibliology VI Encyclopedias
II Bibliographies VII Polish language dictionaries
III Art VIII Language dictionaries
IV History IX Music
V Biographies  

There is a Wi-Fi network in the reading room. Moreover, users have access to computer workstations with access to catalogs and digital resources of the Library, microform readers and technical aids: special desktops for accessing special collections, weights, lamps with a magnifying glass and electroluminescent foils for reading watermarks, headphones for listening to audio documents.

The Reading Room also has workstations adapted for the disabled people (i.e. using wheelchairs, as well as visually and/or hearing impaired - computer software enlarging the text, a reader reading the text displayed on the computer monitor and a headset).


Electronic catalogs:

:: Online catalog (OPAC) [Enter] [More information]

Traditional catalogs:

:: Alphabetical, subject and topographic catalogs of Special Collections’ Reading Room’s reference collection,

:: Catalogs of special collections' departments: Graphic Collection Department, Manuscripts Department, Music Collection Department, Old Prints Department and Maps Department.

Special collections, especially the most valuable ones, are systematically digitized, and their digital copies can be found in the Digital Library of University of Wroclaw -

Special collections' departments provide information about their catalogs on their websites.


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.

Special collections are available 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 additionally 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 of the Special Collections' Reading Room

Conditions of usage of Special Collections’ Reading Room are determined in the Rules of collection circulation in Wroclaw University Library:

  • leaving in the cloakroom: overcoats and all briefcases, bags, hand-bags, backpacks, laptops' covers, etc.;

  • leaving with the librarian proper document authorizing usage of the Reading Room: valid library card and presenting to the librarian valid identification document with photo;

  • signing in the Reading Room's guest book legibly, behaving quietly, not using cell phones to conduct calls, deterring from eating, drinking and smoking

Special collections

Original 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 also filling metrics attached to each manuscript.

The number of original items from special collections is limited. While ordering more items, it is advisable to make prior arrangements by phone or e-mail regarding date and the order fulfillment mode with the proper department of special collectons.

User using special collections should bear in mind the fact that he is dealing with historical collections of special value and handling them so that their condition will not be affected. Rules for using special collections:

1/ using a latex or cotton glove at the librarian's order,
2/ use of desktops, pads, foils, etc.;
3/ volume cards must be turn carefully, without holding any objects (e.g. a pencil) in hand,
4/ it is prohibited to bend cards, corners, underline or put any objects on the object
5/ notes should be made only outside the library materials,
6/ in loose materials, the order of cards must not be changed - any comments as to the order of cards should be reported to the librarian,
7/ the user bears full financial responsibility for the object entrusted to him and is responsible for material losses caused by his fault,
8/ any damage or defects should be reported immediately to the librarian,

Special Collection’s Reading Room is not lending materials - carrying them out of Reading Room is prohibited.

Reserving or prolonging 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: czs.bu[w] (czs[dot]bu[at]uwr[dot]edu[dot]pl)


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 as well as other reprographic services are paid and are done by Reprographic and Digitization Unit.

Publishing of a reproductions from the special collections

Publishing of a reproduction from the special collections requires written consent of the Director of the Library and is paid. The Director of the University Library gives permission for publication and determines the amount of the fee.

Photographs from the WUL's collections that will be used for publishing purposes (publications) must be done in the WUL's Reprographic and Digitization Unit. Obtaining reproductions from special collections is not synonymous with obtaining consent for their publication.

In the publication, orginal's place of storage and its library call number must be specified.

Regulations and charges of additional services provided by Wroclaw University Library: