AMU Library is home to more than five million volumes and other objects, collected over the years. Our collection consists mainly of books on human and social issues. The Library’s holdings focus on the following areas of study: history, ethnology, German studies, regional and masonic literature. The regional nature of the Library collection deserves special mention. All the books, publications and studies written within Wielkopolska Region or concerning the latter are in the scope of its interest. Since 1927 the University Library in Poznań has been receiving compulsed copies and deposits. The Library Storage Facility houses books and other printed items according to established storage rules and policies, conveying non-profiled prints within the local and regional library network, in accordance with mandatory provisions of law.
Manuscripts, rare prints, iconographic and cartographic collections
The Library takes pride in its special collections including rare library units, such as precious manuscripts, rare prints, iconographic and cartographic collections, that belong to the national and European heritage. These special documents are of diverse kinds, provenance and dates as well as of significant cognitive and historical value – from the Middle Ages until present. The oldest objects – parchment manuscripts- date back to the turn of X and XI century. The oldest printed volume – polonica -comes from the year 1475 and the oldest print in Polish dates back to 1534. There are also unique documents of great value related to the Confederacy of Targowica or the collection of photographs and cards of Poznań from the turn of the XIX and XX centuries. The University Library collection consists of other worth mentioning objects, such as: several hundreds of incunables, the sixteenth-century edition of the work of Copernicus, the seventeenth-century edition of Kepler or Newton pieces, Jan Kochanowski poems and the Constitution of the Third of May first printings as well as the priceless diaries of a physician and a mayor of Poznań, dating back to the XVI century. There are also seventeenth-century globes, the oldest, fifteenth-century depictions of Gniezno and Cracow, stunningly beautiful albums, Kościuszko telegrams, a manuscript of Smaragdus form the X century or the oldest Polish opera.
Being in possession of the National Library Resources – the materials housed in special collections including rare books, manuscripts, photographs, archives, digital records, etc. characterized by their artifactual or monetary value and uniqueness or rarity to the national heritage, the University Library is one of a few Libraries in Poland with this status. The National Library Resources consist of 46 handwritten codes from the XIII-XVI century that constitute an important part of Polish and regional in particular cultural and historical heritage. The above resources can be accessed online, through the Greater Poland Digital Library website as part of the „University Library Medieval Manuscripts” collection, as the Library Staff continue to increase the availability of digital resources and services. The National Library Resources holdings keep expanding; in 2021 three other objects from the University Library collection, namely unique old prints and incunables, were incorporated in the NLR.
The unique on a European scale Masonic collections, being an important part of the world cultural and historical heritage taken over by the Library as part of a campaign securing abandoned book collections, have remained in the care of the University Library since 1945. It consists of pieces belonging to the Masonic lodges from Germany, Belgium, Norway and France appropriated during the II World War by the Nazis and taken to Berlin. As the holder of its extremely valuable and diverse collection the University Library stands out from other International institutions collecting Masonic literature.
The vast majority of objects being part of special collections is related to either Poznań itself or to the Region. The Regional Library Resources Studio established in 2019 also has a remarkably regional character, focusing on both separate publications and continuous printings released within the territory of Greater Poland and its historical boundaries till 1953, in accordance with the University Library set gathering policy statement known as Regional Library Collection.
The University Library in Poznań stands out among other Polish libraries also in terms of having the most complete and representative collection of comic books and studies on them, including over 17 thousands volumes. The collection, initiated in 2008, consists of graphic stories (including: manga, picture books, comics for children, artbooks, albums, collectors’ editions and noteboks with unique cover variants), zines, studies and magazines about comic books both in Polish and in other languages, such as English (mainly superheroes and underground comics), French, German but also Italian, Czech, Japanese, Finnish, and many others. Among the documents gathered one can also find special collections, for instance Jerzy Skarżyński’s private collection as well as Henryk Derwich’s legacy. The Comic Books Studio was established in 2018 and has quickly become an essential comic art research and educational facility as well as a documentation center. The Studio does not only enable systematic bibliographic studies and original research but organizes scientific events, such as conferences, lectures, etc, as well.