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It is the largest and most valuable collection of books in Poland, in the field of ethnology and cultural anthropology and related sciences, such as folklore, ethnomusicology and ethno-religious studies.
Its origins date back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and are tied to the history of the Ethnological Society, which was founded in Lviv in 1895. Greatly enriched by Prof. Adam Fischer as part of the Ethnological Society and the John Casimir University, it survived the period of annexation, two world wars, with great effort it has been moved away from Lviv. In its collection it includes both very rare publishings of the nineteenth century, as well as many contemporary publications issued abroad, obtained mainly by means of exchange with 108 foreign institutions. The exchange is also carried out with 47 national institutions.
The collection is unique in the country, and counts approx. 50,000 volumes. Its value stems not only from the amount of accumulated specialized publications, but primarily from a solid, continuous collection and compilation of specialized national and foreign magazines. Many titles in the collection include full sets of magazines, among them: "Man," "Česky Lid", "Zeitschrift für Ethnologie", "Österreichische Zeitschrift für Volkskunde", "Anthropos" - from the very first issues of the late nineteenth / twentieth century to the contemporary period. Collection lists very valuable and unique non-serial publications - both Polish and foreign. The library is of extreme importance for the nationwide ethnological environment. It allows an on-site use of its items as well as through inter-library exchange of unique monographs and magazines.
At present the PES Library remains within the frame of specialized libraries acting as part of the University of Wrocław.
Library catalogues which contain information about PES Library collections (please browse both computer catalogues because of data's exporting):