The book collection of the Polish Ethnological Society consists of about 10,000 volumes (including 500 old prints). The books which stand out are numerous silesiaca and works on history, literature, geography, nature, pedagogy (including a large collection of old textbooks), as well as popular and folk publications published before 1939. When it comes to provenance, this collection and Archives of the Polish Ethnological Society are related.
The alphabetical catalogue of the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society is divided into three parts:
- an alphabetical catalogue of bound manuscripts;
- an alphabetical catalogue of old prints, which includes books and magazines published up to and including 1800;
- an alphabetical catalogue of new prints, which includes books and magazines published from 1801 onwards.
The alphabetical catalogue of the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society was developed gradually, starting from the inter-war period. It was drawn up by hand on cards measuring 12.5 x 21 cm. Most descriptions were probably written by Ludwik Brożek in the post-war period. The catalogue, which was made irrespective of library standards, contains numerous mistakes, gaps and inconsistencies. However, despite all these faults, this catalogue is still the main searching tool for 19th century serial and non-serial publications and bound manuscripts which belong to the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society. Old prints which belong to this book collection have already been described in accordance with current cataloguing norms and can be found in online catalogue database of old prints from Cieszyn Library. The descriptions of the extensive collection of archive manuscripts, which used to be part of the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society, can be found in the virtual catalogue of manuscripts from Cieszyn Library. As the process of cataloguing the resources of Cieszyn Library goes on, the remaining descriptions of books and magazines from the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society will be gradually entered into catalogue databases, namely book, magazine and manuscript databases.
The catalogue does not include the descriptions of books and magazines which were singled out from the Library of the Polish Ethnological Society when the collection of the Historic Branch of the Silesian Library was being rearranged. These books and magazines, along with similar items singled out from other historic collections belonging to the Historic Branch, were merged into separate repositories of non-serial publications and magazines. Alphabetical catalogues of both the abovementioned repositories are available in a digital version (book catalogue; magazine catalogue).
The call marks of books and magazines included in the library can be found in the top left corner of the card, inside a round stamp saying “T-wo Ludoznawcze Cieszyn” (”The Ehtnological Society Cieszyn”).
- main heading
- statement of responsibility (often incomplete),
- publisher’s name and publication place and year
- physical description (usually the format and the number of pages)
- list of volumes
- provenance (often incomplete)
Some catalogue cards bear signs of corrections, additions or underscores which were added later. They are the basis for arranging catalogue cards in an alphabetical order. Moreover, some descriptions include references to the bibliography written by Estreicher and have Universal Decimal Classification symbols in the top right corner. Some descriptions have cross references to personal entries or titles of works which were co-published or bound in one volume.
Popiołek: Zbiory cieszyńskie, (in:) “Roczniki Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk na Śląsku”, vol. II: Brożek: Zbiory cieszyńskie, (in:) Biblioteka Śląska 1922-1972, ed. Jan Kantyka, Katowice 1973, pp. 67-83; A. Rusnok: Biblioteka Polskiego Towarzystwa Ludoznawczego w Cieszynie, (in:) Pamiętnik Cieszyński / [ed. Anna Machej et al.]. Vol. 11, Cieszyn 1996, pp. 43-52.