Wroclaw University Library

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Wroclaw University Library

founding 1811
Duration 3.94 million media
Library type University library
place Breslau (Wrocław) Coordinates: 51 ° 6 ′ 31 ″  N , 17 ° 1 ′ 40 ″  EWorld icon
management Grażyna Piotrowicz
Website www.bu.uni.wroc.pl

The University Library of Wroclaw ( Polish : Biblioteka Uniwersytecka we Wrocławiu , Latin : Bibliotheca Universitatis Wratislaviensis ) is the central library of the University of Wroclaw . With almost four million holdings, it is the largest library in Silesia and, along with the Silesian Library in Katowice (Polish: Biblioteka Śląska ), is closely linked to the region's cultural heritage.


Term of office Surname Life dates
1811-1822 Johann Gottlob Schneider 1750-1822
1824-1838 Ludwig Wachler 1767-1838
1838-1872 Peter Elvenich 1796-1886
1872-1886 Karl Dziatzko 1842-1903
1886-1901 Joseph Staender 1842-1917
1901-1907 Wilhelm Erman 1850-1932
1907-1921 Fritz Milkau 1859-1934
1921-1924 Otto Günther 1864-1924
1925-1927 Richard Oehler 1878-1948
1927-1932 Karl Christ
1932-1945 Joseph German 1885-1966
1945–1963 Antoni Knot 1904-1982
1963-1969 Jadwiga Pełczyna 1909-1990
1969-1975 Mieczysław Szczerbiński 1900-1981
1975-1981 Bartłomiej Kuzak 1937-
1981-1987 Józef Długosz 1928-2014
1987-1990 Stefan Kubów 1948-
1990-2002 Andrzej Ładomirski 1935-
since 2002 Grażyna Piotrowicz 1957-

Wroclaw Royal and University Library

The University Library Wroclaw originated in 1811 by merging the library holdings of 1702 by the Habsburg Emperor I. Leopold founded the Wrocław Leopoldina and 1506 by the Brandenburg Elector I. Joachim founded Brandenburg University of Frankfurt . Added to this were the holdings of around 70 secularized Silesian monastery libraries , which were brought together as the Silesian Central Library in Breslau by Johann Gustav Büsching in his office as "Royal Prussian Commisarius to take over the libraries, archives and art in the abolished monasteries of Silesia" until 1815 .

On November 12, 1811, the philologist Johann Gottlob Schneider (1750–1822) was appointed the first director of the university library. On May 25, 1812, Scheider also took over the management of the Silesian Central Library, and on May 19, 1815, both libraries were merged as the Royal and University Library of Breslau. From 1824 the library had the right to deposit copies for Silesia. In 1886 the library received a gift of around 68,000 volumes from the book collection of the Silesian Society for Patriotic Culture . As the fourth director of the library, Karl Dziatzko also published rules for an alphabetical cataloging of the library's holdings in 1886.

The total inventory of the university library comprised around 120,000 volumes in 1823, around 184,000 volumes in 1857 and around 371,500 volumes in 1910.

State and University Library of Wroclaw

As a result of the German November Revolution and the proclamation of the Free State of Prussia , the library was renamed the State and University Library in 1919. In 1933 the library of the Technical University (founded in 1910) was merged with the university library .

The total inventory of the library comprised around 712,500 volumes in 1935 and around 797,500 volumes in 1943. During the Second World War, the library's most valuable holdings were relocated. The non-outsourced holdings of the university library remained largely undamaged during the Battle of Breslau (1945), but were largely destroyed after the end of the war.

Wrocław University Library

In 1945 the People's Republic of Poland was given administrative sovereignty in Silesia in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement. On May 28, 1946, the city council of Wrocław decided to rebuild the university library (Polish: Biblioteka Uniwersytecka ) and to amalgamate the holdings of the former state and university library and the former city ​​library of Wroclaw that had been relocated during the war . In addition, the library was supplemented by Polish collections and extensive new acquisitions were pushed. The first director of the library after the war was Dr. Antoni Knot (1904-1982).

As a result of the political change in Poland since the late 1980s, numerous international cooperation projects were initiated: Since 1992, the university library has maintained an Austrian library . With financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and u. a. In cooperation with the European University Viadrina , the library holdings have been digitized since 1993 . Since 1995 the library has published the scientific booklet series "Bibliothecalia Wratislaviensia". In 2011 the library celebrated its 200th anniversary.


Main building on Karola-Szajnochy-Straße, built in 1891 according to plans by the architect Richard Plüddemann
View of the interior

The university library is spread over three separate buildings: the holdings of the general collections are in one building on Szajnocha Street, the special collections and their corresponding reading rooms are in a baroque building on Św. Jadwiga Street, and the inventory development departments, the computer department, management and administration as well as the exhibition rooms open to the general public in a neo-Gothic building on Karola Szajnochy Street. A new library building with a gross floor area of almost 40,000 m² has been under construction on Oder-Boulevard since 2003 and is due to open in 2013.

Collections and holdings

In addition to the central library, the Wroclaw University Library has a network of around 40 faculty and institute libraries.

General collections

The general collections encompass all the scientific areas of the ten faculties represented at the university:

Special collections

Entrance to the special collections at Św. Jadwiga Street

The special collections have the largest holdings of medieval manuscripts (around 3,000) and old prints (around 310,000) in Poland and, after the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow, the second largest holdings of incunabula (over 3,000). The most important historical collections include the Silesiaca and Lusatica.

Old prints

The collection of old prints (up to 1800) comprises around 315,000 media and is divided into the following sub-collections: former city library, Silesiaca and Slavica collection, Bibliotheca Rudolphina Liegnitz , Peter and Paul church library Liegnitz, former grammar school library Brieg .

Silesian-Lusatian Collection

The Silesian-Lusatian Collection (formerly the Silesian-Lusatian Cabinet) consists of “ Silesiaca ” and “ Lusatica ”: d. H. Prints concerning the Silesia and Lusatia regions . "Silesiaca" are materials that are related to the Silesia region in terms of content, including biographies of personalities working in Silesia and " Polonica " (Polish publications that were published before 1945). "Lusatica" are materials that are dedicated to the region, regardless of language or place of publication; H. also works in the Sorbian language .


  • Fritz Milkau : The Royal and University Library to Breslau. A sketch. Shepherd, Breslau 1911.
  • Erwin Koschmieder : The Slavic Department of the State and University Library in Breslau. Harrassowitz, Leipzig 1930.
  • Karl Pretzsch : Directory of the Breslau university publications 1811–1885. With an attachment containing the extraordinary and honorary doctorates as well as the renewals . Korn, Breslau 1905 ( digitized version )
  • Bernhard Fabian: Catalog of the University Library Breslau / Wroclaw. Georg Olms, Hildesheim 1990.
  • Ortrud Kape: The history of the scientific libraries in Breslau from 1945 to 1955 with special consideration of the university library. Scripta Mercaturae, Sankt Katharinen 1993.
  • Julian Fercz: Wroclaw [Breslau]. Biblioteka Uniwersytecka / University Library. In: Bernhard Fabian (Hrsg.): Handbook of German historical book stocks in Europe. An overview of collections in selected libraries. Olms, Hildesheim, 1999, p. 181 ff. ( Online ).
  • Andreas Lawaty , Wiesław Mincer: German-Polish Relations Past and Present: Politics, Society, Economy, Culture in Epochs and Regions. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2000.
  • Wojciech Mrozowicz: Medieval manuscripts by Upper Silesian authors in the Wroclaw University Library. Palatina, Heidelberg 2000.
  • Klaus Garber , Stefan Anders: Handbook of the personal occasional literature in European libraries and archives. Vol. 19: Wroclaw - Wroclaw: University Library - Biblioteka Uniwersytecka. Georg Olms, Hildesheim 2007.

Web links

Commons : Wroclaw University Library  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Holdings - General Information , Wroclaw University Library, accessed on October 2, 2012
  2. ^ Reinhard Feldmann : German book and library history in Eastern Europe . In: library. Research and practice . tape 23 , issue 1, 1999, p. 82-87; here: p. 87 ( PDF ).
  3. a b c d Julian Fercz: Wroclaw [Breslau]. Biblioteka Uniwersytecka / University Library. In: Bernhard Fabian (Hrsg.): Handbook of German historical book stocks in Europe. An overview of collections in selected libraries. Olms, Hildesheim, 1999, p. 181 ff. ( Online ).
  4. ^ A b Gregor Ploch: Secularization in Silesia - The dissolution of the monasteries and monasteries in Prussian Silesia in 1810: causes, course and consequences. GRIN , Munich 2011.
  5. ^ Calendarium , University Library Wroclaw, accessed on October 2, 2012
  6. digitization project. European University Viadrina, accessed April 18, 2020 .
  7. The new library building , Wroclaw University Library, accessed on October 2, 2012
  8. ^ Gregor Ploch: Secularization 1810. The development of Silesian monasteries from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In: H-Soz-Kult . 2009, accessed October 2, 2012 .