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The National Library


The National Library  of Poland acts as the central library of the country and is one of the most important cultural institutions in Poland. Its mission is to protect national heritage preserved in the form of handwritten, printed, electronic, recorded sound and audiovisual documents. The primary task of the National Library of Poland is to acquire, store and permanently archive the intellectual output of Poles, including the works of citizens living on Polish soil, the most important foreign works, and publications related to Poland and published abroad.


75 years ago the Germans set fire to the National Library in Warsaw

During the Warsaw Uprising in August and September 1944, when the inhabitants of Warsaw rose up against the Nazi occupiers, the losses to Polish troops amounted to approximately 16,000 people killed or missing, 20,000 injured and 15,000 taken prisoner. As a result of airstrikes, artillery shelling, harsh living conditions and massacres organised by the German troops, between 150,000 and 200,000 civilians in the capital lost their lives.

Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk: I love POLONA

During the Superbrands Poland 2018 Awards Gala, Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk said as follows: "I congratulate the digital library POLONA, with which I share this prize. I use POLONA very often, for hours on end – I just can't tear myself away from it. I love POLONA and I'm happy that its amazing achievement has been recognised by the jury. Thanks to this award more people will hear about POLONA, or come to appreciate it the way I do."

One million objects successfully scanned in the Patrimonium project

Patrimonium is a joint project of the National Library of Poland and Jagiellonian Library.

On January 13, 2020, the Patrimonium project reaches its conclusion. Over the past three years, one million objects in the public domain have been digitised as part of the project, including books, newspapers and periodicals, manuscripts, early printed books, maps, drawings, prints, photographs, postcards, musical scores and ephemera.

Can Poles win their independence? [Czy Polacy wybić się mogą na niepodległość?]

A new, collector’s edition of the historical pamphlet Czy Polacy wybić się mogą na niepodległość? [“Can Poles win their independence?”] has been published by the National Library of Poland. It comprises two volumes housed in an elegant, hand-made case, the first a facsimile of the original version, the second a booklet with essays on the historical background, rhetorical style and meaning of the text.

Three million objects have been made available in the National Digital Library POLONA

In December 2019, the number of objects made available on POLONA (polona.pl), Poland’s most modern digital library, run by National Library of Poland (BN), reached 3 million.  One million of them are the outcome of the “Patrimonium” project, carried out by the BN in cooperation with the Jagiellonian Library, the largest and the oldest academic library in Poland.


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