Chapter 6: Jerzy Piaskowski's polonica collection

Jerzy Piaskowski’s polonica collection

published September 2015

The favorite book of Anna Adamek

Choosing a favorite book is like choosing a favourite child – an impossible task! Anna Adamek has looked through so many exceptional publications during her research as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Iron Library. However, the collection that surprised her the most was the material on the history of metallurgy published in Poland between the 1960s and the early 1980s. How did the Iron Library come to acquire such a collection?

The reader

Anna Adamek

… is a historian of technology and the Curator of Natural Resources and Industrial Design at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. In June 2015 she was a Scholar in Residence at the Iron Library.

I would like to play a role in this book:
Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon

I would love to read a sequel to this book:
M.G. Vassanji: Amriika

The book on my nightstand right now:
Zbigniew Herbert: The collected poems

The collection

Jerzy Piaskowski’s polonica collection

As the archival correspondence reveals, in the mid-1960s the Library approached the Mining and Metallurgy Academy in Krakow asking for help in acquiring publications produced in then communist Poland. One of the professors, Dr. Jerzy Piaskowski, who had a private collection on history of metallurgy, enthusiastically agreed to supply books and magazines in exchange for material published in the Western Europe. This was the only way the books from the West could make it to a scholar from the Eastern Block. The cooperation lasted for almost two decades. As the staff at the library changed and the collecting policies become more practical in the early 1980s, the new Librarian suggested that books in Polish do not offer the best value for the money. "Perhaps, now there are no people who can read my papers"  ̶  replied Dr. Piaskowski  ̶  "but there will be in future."

 

The collection includes classics such as Mowia Wieki – a series of research publications on history, which was a feature in libraries of Polish intelligentsia; archaeological studies on early metallurgical processing sites located in Poland, such as eleven volumes of the Studies in History of Mining and Metallurgy published by the Polish Academy of Science; scientific reports and chemical analysis of early medieval iron artifacts; and cultural studies on the links between metallurgy and arts, for example The Forge: a Myth, an Allegory and a Symbol (Kuźnia: mit, alegoria, symbol) by Maria Poprzęcka.

 

Have a look at some impressions from the polonica collection! 

Pawel Murza-Mucha: Czlowiek i zelazo [Der Mensch und das Eisen], Warszawa : Iskry, 1967.

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.

Henryk Jost: O górnictwie i hutnictwie w tatrach Polskich [Über den Bergbau und das Hüttenwesen in der polnischen Tatra], Warszawa : Wyd. naukowo-techn., 1961.

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.

Walenty Roździeński: "Officina ferraria" abo "Huta i warstat z kuzniami szlachetnego dziela zelaznego" ["Officina ferraria" oder "Hütten- und Schmiedewerkstatt des edlen Eisenmaterials"], Poznan : Pollak Roman, 1933.

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.

Eine Seite aus Roździeńskis "Officina ferraria" abo "Huta i warstat z kuzniami szlachetnego dziela zelaznego" ["Officina ferraria" oder "Hütten- und Schmiedewerkstatt des edlen Eisenmaterials"].

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.

Eine Seite aus Roździeńskis "Officina ferraria" abo "Huta i warstat z kuzniami szlachetnego dziela zelaznego" ["Officina ferraria" oder "Hütten- und Schmiedewerkstatt des edlen Eisenmaterials"].

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.

Jan Dominik Piotr Jaskiewicz: Metalurgia : Wyklady z lat 1783-1787 w Szkole Glownej Koronnej [Metallurgie: Vorlesungen der Jahre 1783-1787 an der Kronhauptschule], Krakau, 1969.

You can find this book here in our library catalogue.