The Scientific Library of the PAAS and the PAS in Cracow

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The Manuscript Collection of the Scientific Library of the PAAS and the PAS in Cracow currently has over 15’850 manuscript units (as of 2016). It has been collected since 1856, when the Cracow Learned Society gained autonomy from the Jagiellonian University and established a library separate from the Jagiellonian Library. The Manuscript Collection consists of objects donated by the members of the Cracow Learned Society, the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, as well as various individual donors. It has also been regularly supplied by acquisitions.

Among the eldest objects in our collections we have donations from the 19th-century Polish historians and bibliophiles: Jan Wincenty Smoniewski, Cyprian Walewski, Antoni Julian Schneider, Ambroży Grabowski, Bolesław Ulanowski, Jan Ambroży Wadowski, Hieronim Łopaciński, Franciszek Wolański, and members of Popiel family from Czaple Wielkie. Thanks to the Society’s and later Academy’s reputation, we were bequeathed legacies of various Polish scholars, writers, politicians, and artists, as well as numerous family archives. Most significant were bequests made by: Joachim Lelewel, Jan Chrzciciel Albertrandy, Jerzy Samuel Bandtkie, Teofil Lenartowicz, Antoni Zygmunt Helcel, Józef Majer, Oskar Kolberg, Kazimierz Girtler, Józef Hieronim Retinger, Jan Fijałek, Zygmunt Lasocki, Bronisław Piłsudski, or Jan Łoś, and archives of Polish noble families: Chodkiewicz, Koźmian, Ogiński, Potocki, Pusłowski, Rzewuski. The Library’s profile as a research institution attracted numerous donations of copies and transcriptions from the national and foreign libraries and archives that were sponsored by the AAS in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. These materials concerning Polish history include transcripts from the now-extant manuscripts like the acts from Polish and Lithuanian local parliaments held currently in the Pawiński Files, November and January Uprisings’ documents in the Staszewski Files, materials of the Polish National Party in the Zieliński Files, as well as the enormous collection of materials from the AAS/PAAS Roman Expedition in the so called Roman Files.

Most recent acquisitions include bequests of: Wawrzyniec Dayczak and Maria Dayczak-Domanasiewicz, Leszek Dutka, Jerzy Got, Jerzy Świecimski, Żuliński’s family archive, and philatelic collection from the Polish Martial Law Period (1981-1983) donated by Bożena Wyrozumska.

Unique group of diplomas on parchment and paper is also a part of the manuscript collections. This group of 330 objects was identified by Jan Czubek, when he was editing the first manuscript catalogue 1906-1912. Thanks to further donations and bequests by Franciszek Ksawery Wolański, Jan Ambroży Wadowski, and Rev. Jan Fijałek it was expanded to over six hundred objects (as of 2016).


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