Ossolineum Library

About library

The Ossolineum Library is the oldest and largest part of the Ossoliński National Institute. The basic scope of its activities is set out in the Foundation Act – the Ossoliński National Institute from 1995.

Article 5 presents the statutory objectives of the Ossolineum, which include: “maintaining the Ossolineum National Library and multiplying its collections, especially in the scope of Polish and Slavic humanities, as well as their compilation and dissemination; [...] maintaining and multiplying Polish cultural assets, [... and] supporting and conducting scientific and research work”.

The humanist profile of the Library, already defined in the founding act of the Institute, is still maintained. According to the above-cited Foundation Act of 1995, the Ossolineum Library is a library with a humanist profile, specialising especially in Polish and Slavic humanities. It holds the status of a research library and has been part of the national library network since 2021.

The Library is also a reference library – it makes its collections available on site. Special collections are made available under special rules set out in the access regulations.
The Library has 7 reading rooms with 150 reading stations (including 82 stations in the Main Reading Room). The Library’s departments are housed in two buildings – the main Ossolineum building in 37 Szewska Street and in the building in 24 Sołtysowicka Street.
As at the end of 2021, the Ossolineum Library’s collection comprised 1,746,865 objects (including: 19th-21st c. non-serial publications – 972,342, 19th-21st c. periodicals – 227,393, manuscripts – 27,752, old prints – 68,429, cartographic collections – 26,375, social life documents – 356,646, microform and digital collections – 68,608).

The Library’s primary task is to collect, develop and provide access to objects in line with its adopted profile. Library staff also conduct research, popular science and education activities – taking part in numerous conferences and publishing scientific and popular science texts. As part of the Institute, they also take part in the Lower Silesian Science Festival, European Heritage Days, National Reading, as well as cyclical national library events such as Library Week and Library Night. The Library prepares a number of thematic exhibitions, dedicated to specific types of collections, individual objects or people. The Ossolineum Library cooperates continuously with many institutions, also abroad.

The Ossoliński National Institute

The Ossoliński National Institute is one of the most important cultural institutions in Poland, which has been in continuous operation for over 200 years. The importance of the Ossolineum lies primarily in its history and the diversity of its activities as a library, museum, publishing and research institution.