National Library Online

Going Online

Going Online

The National Library, subordinate to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, is Poland’s central library and one of the country’s primary national institutions of culture. Acting as a major research library in the field of humanities, it remains the preeminent archive of Polish literature, a national centre of bibliographic information on books and a training centre for libraries throughout Poland. Its history dates back to the early 18th century, when Andrzej Stanisław Załuski and Józef Andrzej Załuski created the first large public library in Poland. It was established in 1928 and the Act on Libraries of 1997 laid out the framework for its contemporary functioning. Pursuing its mission, the National Library strives to keep up with the times and technological developments, an example of which is the ACADEMICA project launched on 18 December 2014. It consists in an innovative system of e-borrowing that enables free access to hundreds of thousands of scholarly publications from any library in Poland. Opening up the National Library resources is a significant step towards equal educational opportunities. The ACADEMICA system replaces the traditional inter-library borrowing of hard copy books with e-borrowings based on a network of computer terminals in libraries all over Poland. Currently ACADEMICA contains over half a million publications and almost 2,000 new titles are added to the database every day. The continually growing resources are based on the National Library Repository. The system is and will remain free, the only cost for the libraries participating in the project being the purchase of a computer with which to access ACADEMICA. The project is financed under the Innovative Economy Operational Programme, Action 2.3: Investments related to IT infrastructure development for science. Another database with digitalised resources of the National Library is with over 46,000 items available online. Also some successful virtual projects from previous years remain available online. An exhibition of antique maps, Ptolemy’s World, capable of firing the imagination or an audiovisual approach to Herbert’s Mr Cogito and much more are just a few clicks away.

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