Start: Polish Libraries, ISSN 2353-1835, DOI 10.36155/PLIB
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Polish Libraries
2023 Vol. 11



  • Tymoteusz Barański

    Right of disclosure and the digitisation of library collections, p. 6–62

    This text examines the impact of moral rights to non-disseminated works on the permissibility of libraries to digitise collections in which such works are embodied. Of fundamental importance in this respect is the author’s moral right of disclosure, consisting of the right to decide on the first making available of a work to the public. The article presents the genesis and development of the system of copyright, inter alia in Poland, which, in relation to the author’s economic rights, may be described as proprietary, which justifies the use of the notion of propertisation of copyright. However, the essence of the copyright system includes the expiration of rights to the economic exploitation of a work as it passes into the public domain, thereby enabling its digitisation by a library. To a limited extent, cultural heritage institutions also enjoy the right to use materials that are outside of the scope of the public domain, although their digitisation is subject to substantial limitations. Protection of the author’s economic rights is not, however, the only factor in the construction of these restrictions. They also result from the legal system’s recognition of moral rights, which include the right of disclosure (right of divulgation). This article discusses the phenomenon of the institutionalisation of moral rights, followed by their theoretical conceptualisation, resulting in the formation of two models in continental legal systems: a monistic one, in which moral rights belong to the content of copyright, and a dualistic one, in which they are derived from the protection of personal interests. The normative approach in force in Poland, starting from the first, pre-war copyright law, is based on the latter concept, which is a result of its author’s being inspired by French legal thought. As a result, a dualistic model was adopted in Poland, which assumes that the moral rights of authorship are inextinguishable and subject to be exercised after the death of the author by the author’s relatives. Moreover, it was the intention of the pre-war legislator to protect moral rights to arbitrarily old works, which meant that works created in the period before the existence of copyright protection were also covered. Such an approach was maintained in both the subsequent copyright law of the 1950s and the one in force today. This has a substantial impact on the permissibility to digitise unpublished material, significantly limiting the scope of the public domain, which is the primary source of objects made available digitally by cultural heritage institutions. Consequently, this article discusses the need to amend the copyright law by either shaping moral rights in a manner characteristic of monistic systems or changing the normative shape of the author’s right of disclosure to remove doubts concerning the  permissibility of digitising unpublished material that is not the subject of author’s economic rights. Although this article focuses on the matter described above from the perspective of libraries, the points made herein apply to other types of cultural heritage institutions engaging in digitisation activity relating to their collections, i.e. archives and museums, collectively referred to as the GLAM sector.

  • Mariola Antczak, Zbigniew Gruszka

    Activities of the National Library of Poland and Community Resilience Building Following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in 2022, p. 63–85

    The authors of the article aimed at documenting the activities of the National Library of Poland connected with building social resilience of Ukrainians after the Russian invasion in 2022. Due to the dynamics of changes and the lack of written sources, the information on this subject was collected using the qualitative method, that is, interviewing the Director General of the National Library of Poland – Tomasz Makowski. The activities assessed were assigned to the following domains of community resilience: institutional, social, physical and economic, and discussed in detail. The findings presented in the article indicate that libraries can support communities by helping them build resilience also in war-related situations.

  • Jacek Kordel

    An Ethos of a German Librarian? German Librarians in the General Government in the Light of Contemporary Memories from the Second World War, p. 86–116

    In the their memoirs written after World War II, German librarians delegated to work in occupied Poland put forward a thesis about the decisive influence of the ‘ethos of a German librarian’ on the library policy in the General Government. They believed that the main goal of German library employees was to protect the Polish and European cultural heritage collected in libraries (Ulrich Johanssen, Wilhelm Witte). These opinions have not been verified and were accepted by the historical community at face value (Andrzej Mężyński). The following text is an attempt to compare the perspectives of German librarians with the evaluation of their activities made by their Polish colleagues who during the occupation were subordinate to their German supervisors.

  • Markus Eberharter

    On the Book and Sword Exhibition in Occupied Warsaw in 1941, p. 117–152

    This article describes the book exhibition Book and Sword, which was organised by the Nazi Propaganda Department in occupied Warsaw in 1941. It begins by discussing the cultural and political context, with particular reference to the fact that such exhibitions played an important legitimising role for the German occupying authorities. On the basis of archive documents from Warsaw libraries, it is shown how the staff of the propaganda department specifically searched for concrete titles from these collections in order to tell a new historical narrative through them. The article also examines the specific fate of individual copies, as not all of the borrowed books were actually returned to their original location after the exhibition.

  • Anna Horeczy

    Piotr Wolfram’s Library, italian intellectual formation, and the career of a Polish lawyer of the first half of the 15th century, p. 153–188

    The analysis of the library of Piotr Wolfram, a bachelor of laws educated in Prague, Padua, and Bologna, professor of the Kraków Academy, participant of the Council of Constance, and the collector of Peter’s Pence in Poland, reveals the tools which he used in building his career, surprisingly brilliant for a son of a burgher. The degree to which his library was typical for the period – library understood not only as a collection of codices but also a collection of texts – has been evaluated through the analysis of the popularity of individual works among the Kraków bar. The very presence of works by Italian lawyers in the collection does not unambiguously point to Italian intellectual education, as some Italian commentaries were included in the canon of literature taught at European universities. It has been determined that a clear indication of Wolfram’s Italian formation is provided by such texts as Apostillae to Francesco Zabarella’s commentary on the Liber Sextus or rhetorical texts by Italian authors – Bolognese university speeches or a letter by Petrarch yet unidentified in the catalogue of manuscripts of the Jagiellonian Library. In comparison to the library of Mikołaj Kicki, a lawyer with similar educational background (law studies in Bologna and Padua), Piotr Wolfram’s collection is rather lim¬ited, as it lacks some significant collections of canon law or most of the 13th-century commentaries on the Decretales. It mostly com¬prises legal dictionaries, concordances, repertories, and indices. The library is tailored to a practitioner rather than a creative com¬mentator of law, but the presence of rhetorical Italian texts makes it stand out from other contemporary libraries of Polish lawyers.

  • Agata Michalska

    Divided Collection: History of the Incunabula of the Former Marian Gymnasium in Szczecin, p. 189–204

    In 1945, book collections located in the Recovered Territories received the status of abandoned collections. The organised action of securing and taking them over by the state saved most of them from destruction and deliberate devastation. However, subsequent actions, consisting in repartitioning them, led to the dispersion of pre-war provenance sets. This also affected the incunabula of the former Marian Gymnasium (Marienstiftsgymnasium) in Szczecin. The school operated under this name in the years 1869–1945, but it was the continuation of the ducal Pedagogium founded in 1543. Its pride was the library (Bibliothek des Marienstifts–Gymnasiums zu Stettin), which at the end of the 19th century had over 34,000 volumes, including books, manuscripts, musical items, coins and cartographic materials. It is estimated that at the beginning of the second decade of the 20th century it collected at least 69 volumes printed in the 15th century. The first dispersion of the group took place in 1912, when four of them were sold to a library in Berlin. The surviving items were dispersed after 1945, among others, as a result of an official action to use the secured collections.

  • Fryderyk Rozen

    Calendar of the First Edition of the Breviarium fratrum eremitarum sancti Pauli primi eremitae (IBP 5825): Description and Edition, p. 205–234

    This paper discusses and presents the edition of a previously unknown calendar from the first edition of the Pauline breviary published in Basel by Nicolaus Kesler circa 1486–1491. The calendar has been preserved in a copy from the private collection of Fr. Prof. Janusz Zbudniewka OSPPE. It contains clearly defined elements of the Pauline rite, combining aspects of Hungarian liturgy with hermitic customs. The glosses in the calendar reveal the influence of the sanctorale of the Kraków Diocese on monastic observances.

  • Roman Sosnowski, Piotr Tylus

    Eeuropean treasure in the Jagiellonian Library. A Flagship Project, p. 235–244

    The article deals with the collection from the former Prussian State Library in Berlin (Preussische Staatsbibliothek), now kept at the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow, and one collection in particular, namely the Collection of Autographs (Sammlung Autographa) comprising tens of thousands of original manuscripts from all over Europe, made from the 15th to the 20th centuries. This collection was collected by the Royal Library in Berlin and, after it had changed name, by the Prussian State Library in Berlin over the decades. The essay focuses on the technological and methodological problems associated with classifying various types of manuscripts and connecting the database with existing library systems. The authors also demonstrate the research difficulties that come from this collection and how they might be answered using, among other things, artificial intelligence methods.

  • Nadia Popadiuk, Yuriy Romanyshyn

    Newspapers of Halychyna from the period of independent Ukraine in the fund of the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine in Lviv, p. 245–259

    The purpose of the article is to investigate the newspapers from Halychyna from the period of independent Ukraine on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the fund of the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine in Lviv. Research is based on the general scientific principles of objectivity, systematicity, causality and historicism. Among the concrete scientific methods applied are historical and descriptive, analytical, problem-thematic, structural and typological. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was also used when processing the obtained results of the research. The scientific novelty of the research results lies in the fact that, for the first time in the history of Ukrainian press studies, editions stored in the fund of the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine in Lviv of newspapers from Halychyna from 1991–2021 have been analyzed. Conclusions. The scientific disclosure and processing of the library’s fund will provide an opportunity for modern researchers to create an objective and reliable picture of the past, to deepen the scientific study of the problems of the national historical heritage, and the repertoire of domestic periodicals.

Polish Libraries vol.11/2023 complete PDF file