About the Library

The tradition of the Library of the Faculty of Physics dates back to the end of the eighteenth century. It is said that at that time a priest, Andrzej Trzciński (1749-1823), a professor of experimental physics, purchased in London a number of scientific books that he donated to the forming Physics Collegium. The book collection was then extended by subsequent physics professors: Stefan Kuczyński, Zygmunt Wróblewski, August Witkowski, Marian Smoluchowski and Władysław Natanson. The aforementioned professors also contributed their own private scientific book collections to the Library. By the end of the nineteenth century, first scientific journals appeared at the library: Physical Review, Philosophical Magazine and Annalen der Physik.

During the interwar period, the Ph.D. students maintained the library of the Chair of Physics, however, the most precious volumes were stored in the professors' offices. During World War II all the equipment of the rooms and laboratories was completely destroyed, and the Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit (Institute for German Work in the East) operated out of the Witkowski Collegium. Luckily, just as the occupation had begun, the library collections were moved to the Jagiellonian Library where they survived intact till April 1945. The Institute of Physics renewed its operation after the end of the war, the Witkowski Collegium was also renovated then, and all the books belonging to physicists were moved there from the Jagiellonian Library. Initially there were three separate libraries: library of the Theoretical Mechanics Department (until 1952 the library inventory had 215 volumes), Theoretical Physics Department (until 1952 the inventory was 1693 volumes) and of the First Experimental Physics Department. In October 1952 one library was established and one inventory book was kept since then. Since 1957 the library flourished when mgr Irena Lewandowska was employed as a librarian. She arranged the library collection in order using a subject classification proposed by the physics professors of that time, took care of proper management of the library documentation, inventory books especially, and tried to improve the book collection by purchasing new releases and by subscribing national and international scientific journals. The library was dedicated for the Faculty staff and students, was however organisationally dependent on the Jagiellonian Library. In 1967 the Jagiellonian Library director, professor Jan Baugmart, will write about the physics library and the librarian that was employed there: "it can be stated that the library that counts over 12,000 volumes is well organised. Mgr I. Lewandowska is a responsible worker and shows good orientation in library matters, operating efficiently in the area of purchasing imported books, journal subscription, preparation of cards for the central catalogue and reporting (…) It needs to be underlined that among the 21 persons employed in the departmental libraries of the University, mgr I. Lewandowska is the only fully qualified librarian". Irena Lewandowska was a certified custodian and the Head of the Institute of Physics Library until her retirement in 1991.

The modern book collection of the Library of the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University is nearly 35,000 scientific books, organised according to category classification, which has been upgraded and adapted to the constantly changing responsibilities of the library. The range of subjects within the growing book collection has been extended and now includes publications on physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, materials engineering, biophysics, astronomy, philosophy and history of science.

The Library subscribes 30 journals in the printed version, the rest are available online through consortia that the Jagiellonian University is a part of.

The Faculty Library is a place open for everyone. The literature gathered here is available to be used by any person who is interested in physics, although for the people from outside of the University the library materials are made available only within the reading room on the premises.

In 1995 the Institute of Physics Library (as it was named back then) was incorporated into VTLS (Virginia Tech Library System). Presently it uses the newer version of this system called Virtua. Literature search, reservations and book return date extensions are all done online.

More than 70% of the publications gathered within the Faculty Library have been entered into the Computer Catalogue of the Jagiellonian University Library Collections. There are ongoing works on the bibliographical references and resource records creation for continuing resources. In 2013 a digitalization process was started for the most precious volumes within the Library, which are presently being incorporated into the Jagiellonian Digital Library.
The Library of the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science was established on the basis of the Ordinance no. 99 of the Jagiellonian University Rector of 29th of September 2014. It comprised the former Institute of Physics Library and the Astronomical Observatory Library.

Since 2014, the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University has its premises on the Campus of the 600th Anniversary of the Jagiellonian University Revival (also known as the Third Campus). The library also received new space and equipment. A modern library with free access to the book collection, high quality computers with Internet access and RFID equipment for self-service book borrowing and returning all await the reader.


                                                                                                                                  Maria Pawłowska
                                                                                                                                  Translation: Anna Majcher