Books and magazines
This is the biggest, apart from Jagiellonian Library collection of cracovians' books. The collection mainly consists of publications related to history, history of art, theatre and the history and culture of Jews. We would like to focus your attention on one of the parts which contains 130 guides on Kraków and its neighbourhoods. The oldest one from among them is Stolecznego Miasta Krakówa Koscioly i kleynoty (Churches and treasure of Kraków the capital city) written by Piotr H. Pruszcz and published in 1745. Moreover, this collection also contains a lot of guides written in the 19th century by Ambrozy Grabowski, Józef Maczynski, Józef Czech, Walery Radzikowski and Karol Estreicher.
The museum's collection is very exhaustive in quantity as well as content especially when it comes to the collection of calendars and almanacs. These include the Calendar of independent city of Kraków by Józef Czech published from year 1832 to 1917 and calendars from Ilustrowany Kurier Codzienny (Ilustrated daily courier) from the years of 1928 to 1939. The library collection also contains the following series: Kraków's library, Kraków's yearbook, Cracoviana. The museum owns Kraków's press including every number of Gazeta Krakówska since the oldest one from 1799, and other press from the 19th and the 20th century such as: Czas (Time), Ilustrowany Kurier Codzienny (Ilustrated daily courier), Swiatowid, As (Ace). You can also find the unique collection of address books of Kraków and Galicia region.
Kraków is known as a birthplace of printing in Poland and in the 16th century it was the most important and the most significant place of typography in the country. The museum's library owns huge collection of old printings from the 15th through the 18th centuries. Within the 143 items, 55 are the Cracoviana series. It represents 21 printing houses including the printing house of Jan Haller, from where the oldest print by Eutropius Flavius Eutropij dece libri historiaru ita candide was published in 1510. Moreover, we have prints from Kraków's oldest printing houses such as: Florian Ungler, Lazarz Andrysowicz, and Stanislaw Szarfenberger. In this collection you can find works of varied kinds and contents. There are philosophical, ethical, philological, historical and Judaic books.
The oldest documents are souvenirs related to Marksmen Guild: diplomas of king Zygmunt III and Wladyslaw IV and King's Book from the 17th century. You can also find archives of famous noble families like: Haller, Ciechanowski, Plonczynski, Fischer, Soczynski, Schugt, Wojciechowski and others.
Documents in regards to Kraków's craft and numerous town's souvenirs including diplomas of honorary citizenship of Kraków, objects from the top of the St Mary's Church tower placed there during the renovation and records of the Grunwald monument's reconstruction.
We also own archives of some Kraków's institutions such as: Town's Theatre, Marksmen Guild, Public Servants Association, Anczyc Printing House and Zieleniewski Factory. There is a lot of theatre related items in the museum from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Here you can find documents of people linked to Kraków's theatre such as Teofil Trzcinski archives, Iwo Gall archives, letters of Stanislaw Wyspianski addressed to Stankiewicz family and Adam Chmiel, manuscripts of Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz, souvenirs of Konstanty Krumlowski, Tadeusz Boy Zelenski and Kraków's actors.
The collection - Judaic /Tora scrolls/ is also extensive. Among those documents you can find many eyewitness accounts of events during the World War I and World War II.
Documents of social life: handouts, folders, programme guides, playbills, posters, announcements, manifestos, circumstantial stickers, invitations, greetings, cards, calendars, obituaries of famous Cracovians - are placed in a huge separate department. Especially interesting is the collection of company handouts of Cracovian service and trading companies. We have collected a lot of playbills, posters and programme guides of theatres, cinemas, operas and concert halls. Printings from the time of the German occupation are saved in our collection and they consist of bills of death, regulations of authorities during the occupation, propaganda announcements of the underground during the War, handouts, official and underground press and documents of the daily life in occupied Kraków like food coupons. We also own propaganda posters which have been published since 1945 because of anniversaries, jubilees, bank holidays and elections.
It is important and a very precious section of the museum's library. This one had been initiated with the Józef's Friedlein collection of 81 very rare city plans of Kraków and its neighbourhoods. At the present moment, the collection consists more than 300 items. We have manuscripts and printed plans, copperplates, woodcuts, lithographs and photographs. The oldest one is a copperplate by Eryka Jönson Dahlberga which shows the siege of Kraków by Swedish army in 1655.