Catalogue of Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library

As part of the project “Protection and Conservation of the Written Heritage of Cieszyn,
Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library was computerized.
Old prints from this collection were entered into our online
old prints catalogue,
whereas books published from 1801 onwards can be found in
historic books catalogue.

Search system
The alphabetical catalogue of Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library is divided into two parts:

    1. an alphabetical catalogue of old prints from L. J. Szersznik’s Library, which includes books and magazines published up to and including 1800
    2. an alphabetical catalogue of new prints from L. J. Szersznik’s Library, which includes books and magazines published from 1801 onwards.

It covers serial and non-serial publications gathered by Leopold Jan Szersznik himself, as well as materials which were entered into his book collection in the years 1814-1935, when it was managed by the Foundation established by Szersznik. The catalogue does not include the descriptions of a few dozen books and magazines which were singled out from Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library when 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 (Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library catalogue).

The alphabetical catalogue of Leopold Jan Szersznik’s Library was drawn up by hand or typewritten on cards in the international format in the years 1961-1976 (with a break in the years 1965-1967) by Andělín Wadowski under the supervision of Ludwik Brożek. In the years 1990-1993, during the inventory of the whole library which was being carried out at that time, the catalogue was completed by Jolanta Sztuchlik and Anna Gojniczek.

Call marks of most books and magazines from this book collection have the letter symbol of a section and a book stand (e.g. “H”, “Aa”, “Q”), a Roman numeral which indicates the shelf and an Arabic numeral which indicates the position of a given item on the shelf (e.g. „H I 5” or „Aa VIII 20”). Books which were found during the 1990s inventory and had not been included in historic registers of the library up to that date were given different call marks. During the process of cataloguing and stocktaking, they were arranged by their inventory numbers (numerus currens) and given call marks which consisted of the symbol “SZ Supl.” and an Arabic numeral.

Description components

    1. author entry,
    2. title,
    3. statement of responsibility (often in its full form),
    4. publisher’s name and publication place and year,
    5. detailed physical description,
    6. list of volumes.

Moreover, some descriptions include the provenance of a given item and a reference to a bibliography, usually the bibliography by Estreicher. Some descriptions have cross references to personal entries or titles of works which were co-published or bound in one volume. Despite numerous errors and inconsistencies, this catalogue is the best searching tool that L. J. Szersznik’s Library has had so far. As the process of cataloguing the resources of Cieszyn Library goes on, the descriptions of books from L. J. Szersznik’s Library are gradually entered into catalogue databases, namely old prints, book and magazine databases.

Essential literature
Szelong: Biblioteczne zbiory Leopolda Jana Szersznika, (in:) 190 lat założenia Muzeum i Biblioteki Leopolda Jana Szersznika 1802-1992. pod red. Janusza Spyry, Cieszyn 1993, pp. 37-52; M. Makowski, J. Spyra, K. Szelong: Zbiory i Fundacja Szersznika po 1814 r., ibid., pp. 81-90; K. Szelong: Proces ewidencji i opracowania bibliotecznych zbiorów ks. Leopolda Jana Szersznika. Zarys historyczny, “Roczniki Biblioteczne”, R. 44: 2000, pp. 87-134.

Książnica Cieszyńska