Polish Studies Newsletter

Article / interview


100th anniversary of “Biblioteka Narodowa” (National Library of Poland) book series

This year marks the 100th  anniversary of the creation of "The National Library of Poland" - the oldest and best known literary series in Poland. So far, it has published 605 volumes of the most valuable works of Polish and world literature in exemplary, professional and accessible studies, which came from the pens of the best Polish literary scholars.

source: Ossolineum | Ossolineum

"The National Library of Poland publishing house would like to satisfy the urgent cultural need and make the exemplary editions of the most accurate works of Polish and foreign literature in the study providing the results of the latest knowledge about them accessible to every intelligent Pole as well as the educated youth" – one can read in the declaration from the first volumes of the series.

The concept of the The National Library of Poland series was created by professors of the Jagiellonian University. Initially, the series appeared in the Krakow Publishing Company, and since 1933 it has been published by the National Institute of Ossolińscy. Work on “The National Library of Poland" did not cease even during World War II.

To date, 605 volumes of the most accurate works of Polish and world literature have been published in the series. In the last days of September there was the premiere of the latest volume - "Four dramas" by Cyprian Norwid, supplemented with an introduction and study by Kazimierz Braun. Soon, another volume will be released - "Selection of Kazimierz Wyka's writings" prepared by Paweł Mackiewicz.

"I will say very personally that I am proud that we have something as wonderful and momentous in our culture as The National Library of Poland," wrote Olga Tokarczuk in the jubilee catalog. "And if for some reason I were sent to a desert island, I would cleverly ask for all its publications. I would have had enough reading for the rest of my life”, she added.

The Ossolineum publishing house was founded in Lviv in 1827 and remains the oldest publishing house operating continuously in Poland. Established by Józef Maksymilian Ossoliński with a view to publishing historical and literary studies resulting from scientific work on the collection of Ossolineum, it quickly became one of the most important centers of Polish publishing life.

After the war, the National Institute of Ossoliński was moved to Wrocław. From 1953, he operated as a branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the publishing house, having branches in several cities, became a tycoon on the market at that time, especially in the field of science books. In the 1990s, the publishing house was commercialized, in 2007, the Ossoliński National Institute became its majority owner, and in 2013 it returned to its structure.


Added on:
1 October 2019; 15:03 (Olga )
Edited on:
8 November 2019; 21:58 (Piotr Bordzoł)

See also


On "Geopolonistics" at the University of Grodno

The international scientific conference 'Mickiewicz and romantics towards East Slavic cultures' became an opportunity to familiarize participants with the 'Geopolonistics' project. The conference was attended by the editors of the "Polish Studies Newsletter" - Olga Zakolska and Piotr Bordzoł.


Nałkowska, Orzeszkowa and others ... Interview with Professor Svetlana Musijenko

Courtesy of the Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, the Department of Philological Research „East – West” at the Institute of Polish Philology of University of Białystok, the International Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Grodno, the Scientific Library of the Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno and the “Książnica Podlaska” Podlasie Digital Library, the editors of the "Polish Studies Newsletter" - Olga Zakolska and Piotr Bordzoł – have participated in the international comparative conference "Mickiewicz and romantics towards East Slavic cultures". The conference became an opportunity to present our tools supporting Polish studies, as well as discussions on the designed interactive map of Polish "Geopolonistics" centers. During the meeting, the members of the editorial team of the Newsletter had the pleasure of talking with Professor Svetlana Musijenko - the founder of the first chair of Polish philology in Belarus, a distinguished researcher of Slavic literatures and cultures. We invite you to read.


Art in the Places of Death. An interview with Prof. Halina Taborska

"Halina Taborska's book (...) is a peculiar study of the aesthetics of an anti-humanistic act. In fact it introduces such "aesthetics" to the readers, and we are presented with a very carefully prepared documentation of various objects, material and spatial shapes, "installations", murals, museum organizations and documentary activities. These are various shapes in the public space which mediate our perception of an unimaginable crime or "blinding” shapes that protect us from the damages of seeing it again. By bringing this collection of practices together, the book shows their character and multiplicity. The research material gathered in the publication and the scholarly approach make it a must-read not only in the study of war crimes in Europe, but also in the study of symbolic representation of mass crimes - especially in the field of cultural studies, cultural anthropology and art history.” (Prof. Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw - excerpt from the review on the cover).


Olga Tokarczuk wins the Nobel Prize

Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. The committee praised her “narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” Austrian author Peter Handke was the winner for 2019.

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