The Archive of Science
of the Polish Academy of Sciences
and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences

From the Past and the Present

The Archives of the Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences and of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Krakow is profiled archives whose mission is to gather, work out and make available sources to the history of science and culture. The Archives of the Science at the present organisational shape has been functioning since April 1, 2002 as a result of the agreement between the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The collection of the Archives has been divided into three sections.

The first section contains records of the 19th century`s Krakow Learned Society, the Academy of Arts and Science and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. This archival section includes also the records of other scientific associations and institutions.

In the second section there are archival records of the research institutions and institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and also records of the Krakow Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The third section holds legacies of Polish scholars. These very interesting and much diversified archival materials illustrate the scholarly activity and private life of scholars and scientists. The preserved legacies include a very broad spectrum of sciences, ranging from humanities to natural and technical sciences. Frequently, the collected legacies include photographs, drawings, maps, awards, medals and etc.

The Archives systematically develops and protects archival materials and photographs.

The collected personal files frequently include items other than written records: photographs, awards, drawings, maps, and museum-quality exhibits. Together with the archival records left by Professor Karolina Lanckorońska and Professor Henryk Barycz, two rich specialised book collections have been donated to the Archives. The Rozdol Library of the Lanckoroński Family, donated to the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences by the late Professor Karolina Lanckorońska, includes approximately 3000 „Polonica”, i.e. documents related to Poland with 800 antique books (among others unique collection of Old Polish calendars and political pamphlets of the from 17th and 18th centuries).

Providing valuable assistance to those utilising the Archives are the source and biographical publications, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other scholarly publications, collected in the specialised library of Professor Henryk Barycz, which augment the reference collection of the Archives.

The source and scholarly publications and publications of biographical, dictionary, encyclopaedic-type, collected in the Archive’s Reference Library are indispensable help to all those who use the Archives` records.

One of the more important ways of popularising the collections is the organisation of exhibitions based on the archival materials. The Archives of the Science regularly organise exhibitions in the series entitled In the Service of Science…, dedicated to Polish scholars. Each exhibition is accompanied by a scientific session devote to the accomplishments and life of the scholar in question. Proceedings from such session are published in a special publication series under the same title. Since 2005 is continuing another series entitled Podróże uczonych [Journey of scholars] and Nauki przyrodnicze w archiwaliach [Natural sciences in the archives].

Besides these exhibitions series, the Archives prepares other exhibitions related to important scientific events.

Together with the Commission on the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Archives of the Science organized in 2007 conference Archiwa dla nauki. Dlaczego nauce są potrzebne archiwa naukowe? [Archives for science. Why science is needed scientific archives?], in 2010 conference Archiwa, biblioteki, muzea wobec nowych wyzwań w dobie digitalizacji [Archives, libraries and museums in times of digitization]. On October 24, 2011 we organized the conference Zarządzanie procesem digitalizacji oraz prawne aspekty udostępniania kopii cyfrowych [Managing the process of digitization and the legal aspects of access to digital copies].

The Archives of Sciences cooperates with archives and libraries of similar profile in Poland, as well as abroad (The Archives of Jagiellonian University, The State Archive in Krakow, The Science Library of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, The Archives of the Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and both Branch of this in Poznań, The Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prag). As a result of this cooperation there are shared exhibitions and source publications.

It is worth emphasizing cooperation with the Archives of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic and the Archives of Charles University in Prague in the framework of a research project Czesko-polskie kontakty naukowe i kulturalne w XIX i XX w. [Czech-Polish scientific and cultural contacts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries]. In 2007 there were published Korespondencja Tadeusz Kowalskiego z Janem Rypką i Bedřichem Hroznym [Correspondence between Tadeusz Kowalski with Jan Rypka and Bedřich Hrozny]. Currently are being prepared two editions of the source: Naukowcy wśród wielkiej polityki. Konferencja pokojowa w Paryżu w Dzienniku Adolfa Černego i korespondencji Kazimierza Nitscha i Vảclava Vilẻma Štecha [Scientists in the great policy. Peace Conference in Paris in the Official Adolf Cerny and correspondence Kazimierz Nitsch and Vảclav Vilẻm Štech] and Korespondencja Adama Vetulaniego (1901-1976) z Miroslavem Boháčkiem (1899-1982) [Correspondence of Adam Vetulani (1901-1976) with Miroslav Boháček (1899-1982)].

Since 2009 carried out cooperation with scientists from Shimane University in Japan and the Department of Turkish Studies and the Peoples of Central Asia Oriental Faculty of Warsaw University, to develop and publish materials about a Mongolian monastery Erdene Dzuu from the personal files of Władysław Kotwicz (1872-1944).

Based on the collections of the Archives of the Science were issued several monographs on the history of science. In 2006 there were published Poczet członków Akademii Umiejętności i Polskiej Akademii Umiejętności w latach 1872–2000 [Register of the Members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences 1872–2000].

The building at 26 st. John Street, now the headquarters of the Archives of the Sciences has a rich history.