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National Bibliography of Poland

National Bibliography

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This section was prepared by Barbara Bulat, a reference librarian at the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow, Poland.

Karol Estreicher Bibliografia polska. Bibliografia XIX stulecia

Part 1 HathiTrust full-text links:
vol. 1: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t6542pp87
vol. 1-2: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015079930783
vol. 2: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t6j10199j
vol. 3: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t9c53kg77
vol. 4: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiuo.ark:/13960/t12n53f9j
Karol Estreicher

Polish national retrospective bibliography. The monumental work was constructed using a variety of sources: in Krakow Estreicher worked with the collections of the Jagiellonian Library, in Biblioteka Towarzystwa Naukowege Krakowskiego and other minor libraries. In Lviv, Estreicher used catalogs provided by Polish booksellers (Jablonski, Milikowski, Kallenbach, Rafalski), as well as the catalogs of the Ossolinski Library, Odnowska Library, Dzieduszycki Library, the St. Petersburg Library, and the available German catalogs, e.g. Kaiser’s Index Completissimus Librorum..In Warsaw he worked in the Biblioteka Szkoly Glownej (Biblioteka Glowna), as well as in Biblioteka Krasinskich and Biblioteka Zamojskich.

The scope of the bibliography is 1455-1900 inclusively (chronological series reaches only year 1899). Division into parts: Part I: vols. I-V and additional vols VI and VII. In alphabetical order, 1881-1900. Part II: vols. VIII-XI In chronological order, 1455-1889. Part III: vols. XII-XXXIV  In alphabetical order, 1455-1800. Part IV:vols. I–IV (numbered separately) contain in alphabetical order material covering years 1851-1900. Besides that Bibliografja Polska contains three separate volumes, that are outside the general numeration:

  1. Bibliografja Polska XIX stulecia. Zeszyt dodatkowy. Contains 3,000 items, beginning with year 1871, arranged in alphabetical and subject catalog form.  Includes lists of persons, towns, objects.Also includes reports of Galicia booksellers.
  2. Bibliografja polska XV.- XVI stolecia. Chronological listing of 7200 items, and an alphabetical listing of materials held by Polish libraries.
  3. Bibliografia polska: Dopelnienia i sprostowania do czesci III: (Wydanie scalone). Zeszyt 1: A-G. (published in 1999).  Unifies in one volume all the additions and corrections published by Karol and Stanislaw Estreicher as addendums to vols. XII-XXXIII.

Bibliography includes:

  • Polish publications printed in Poland and abroad
  • Publications in foreign languages published in Poland
  • Foreign publications, published abroad , in the original language or in translation, by Poles or concerning Poland and general issues connected with Poland.

Publications in Hebrew are included if they are connected with Polish culture or dedicated to Poles, and which, besides the Hebrew title have a Polish or German title, or such title can be inferred (if de visa verification was impossible). Foreign publications qualified for inclusion if they influenced Polish culture. This concerns especially the works written by foreign authors, or printed by foreign printers, where their connection with Poland was merely the fact that they were published on Polish soil. Included are publications ordered by the Jagiellonian University, bearing the Polish and Lithuanian coats of arms, and published abroad. Foreign publications dedicated to Polish persons are included since they depict the reach of Polish culture, as well as foreign publications dealing with the protagonists of Polish literature (eg. Byron’s “Mazepa”). Ukrainian and Belorussian texts published for the Orthodox population of Poland by Poles are included also.

Estreicher included music-related material if text was present. The bibliography also includes some maps, theater posters and pamphlets.

When dealing with the more famous authors the bibliography includes information on journal articles and manuscripts. The bibliography contains mostly literary entries by last name of author (and coauthors, if applicable).  Translated works which authors could not be established are listed under the translator’s name. Collective works and calendars are listed under the name of the publisher. Pseudonyms and initials have been deciphered, where at all possible. Anonymous works are listed based on the first noun of the title. When the anonymous work’s title contains a name of a person or a geographical location, the item is listed under that name.

The bibliography also includes a large number of cross references to general topics in literature and culture, as well as persons, towns and institutions. The entries contain the following information: author, title, place of publication, publisher or printing house, date of publication, numeric symbol denoting the number of foldings of the printing sheet, pagination, information on illustrations, index and in volume I, also the price of the item.

Many entries, particularly in Part III (the so called Staropolska) include in-depth annotation explaining authorship, genesis of the work, characteristics of different editions and bibliographic connections with other works. Many entries contain information on holdings, although regretfully, due to the destruction of many collections the information is not up to date. In Part II the description is abbreviated to: author, title, place of publication, publisher.  Abbreviations are used heavily.

When using Estreicher it is important to bear in mind that one can use it not only as a classic bibliography, but also as an encyclopedia. Part I contains several special extended entries, which are of great research value. The entry “Autorka” (v. 1, p. 48-52, v. 6, p. 24) gives a list of women writers in Poland. The entry “Czasopisma” (v. 1, p. 240-266, v. 6, p. 134-141) contains an alphabetical list of Polish periodicals.

Note: Another point of access for the journals is the name of the editor, where Estreicher adds a general characteristic of a given journal.

Journals are also listed in entries designated by the first noun of the title (there one can often find partial or complete tables of contents). 3. The entry “Dramat-Dramatycy” (v. 1, p. 338-411 and p. 43) is divided into:

  • List of drama writers since the middle of the XVIII century Polish historical drama
  • Historical drama in general
  • List of dramas in translation (mostly for the Polish stage, since mid-XVIII century).
  • List of translators (with short annotations)

The entry “Jocher” (v. 2, p. 224-301) is a guide to Jocher’s “Obraz bibliograficzno-historyczny literatury i nauk w Polsce”, Vilnius, 1840-1857 (a bibliographic source listing “authors, translators, saints and others whose biographies have been published”). To each person appearing in the work Estreicher marks volume with a roman numeral and page with an Arabic numeral. “Katalogi ksiegarske” (Introduction to v. 1, p. XVII-LVIII, supplement to v. 1, p. 5-8, 19-20) contains about 1000 entries of “Polish books or books related to Polish literature”, arranged by name of institution or names of collection owners.

Note: Booksellers’ names are also listed as personal entries.

Introductions to volumes are valuable sources of miscellaneous information, like lists of printing houses, lists of catalogs etc. They may also include essays of great research value as in the case of volume I, which contains a brief history of cataloging in Slavic countries.

In the chronological part, each century comprises a separate chapter.Within each century the arrangement is chronological by date of publication, within particular years the arrangement is alphabetica. In the alphabetical part each chapter is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet.

Note: for cross referencing Estreicher uses two different terms: obacz and porownaj

Note: for materials from XV-XVIII Estreicher provides abbreviations of holding libraries.  The list of abbreviations is given in the German foreword to “Bibliografia polska XV-XVI stolecia. Zestawienie chronologiczne 7200 drukow [.]”.Krakow, 1875.,p. XV. In the case of XIX century materials he includes the following notation for holdings in Krakow libraries: x-Biblioteka Jagiellonska xx-Biblioteka Towarzystwa Naukowego Krakowskiego xxx-both of the above libraries.

The Slavic Reference Service owns a copy of tables describing the bibliography.

Description of tables in the appendix:

  • Table I-alphabetically organized volumes of Bibliografia
  • Table II-chronologically organized volumes, i.e. VIII, IX, X, XI, and the chronological part of vol. R.
  • Table III-volume and page numbers for information on letters of alphabet A-Z
  • Table IV-chronological table for years 1455-1475 , in 25 year increments
  • Table V-shows all forewords, letters of alphabet, or time periods and addendums included in all the volumes.


Karol Estericher. Bibliografia polska XIX stulecia. Wydanie 2.

A continuing publication appearing since 1959.Based on the collections of all major Polish libraries. Combines parts I and IV of the first edition into one alphabetical sequence. Changes include:
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks Reference 015.438 ES8B1959

  • Inclusion of German XIXth century materials from the territories of Wielkopolska, Slask and Pomorze connected with the history of Ziemie Zachodnie.
  • Increasing the number of pamphlets and other ephemeral material
  • A more complete inclusion of Polish publications published abroad, especially in France and United States
  • A much more systematic inclusion of information on holdings of particular items in Polish libraries
  • A more detailed approach to periodicals, based on 10 year groupings, with names of authors as well as editors included.
  • More detailed cross-referencing


Przewodnik Bibliograficzny. Warszawa: Instytut Bibliograficzny Biblioteki Narodowej, 1946-

U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 015.438 p959

The bibliography started publication in 1946. Initially the issues were published irregularly, since 1948 it has been a regular weekly publication. In 1955, a volume covering years 1944-1947 appeared.  Przewodnik Bibliograficzny registers the entirety of publications appearing in Poland, regardless of language. It includes descriptions of books, maps and atlases, musical scores, compilations of graphic works.

Periodical coverage: up to 1975 the bibliography registered items that started publication, changed titles, or ceased publication. Up to 1961 dailies through quarterlies were included, from 1962-1975 from dailies to semi-annuals. The journals were registered initially at the end of the different parts of the bibliography, later as a separate insert, published irregularly 3-5 times a year. Since January 1976 to 1983 it was titled Bibliografia Czasopism i Wydawnictw Zbiorowych, since 1984 it has been renamed as Bibliografia Wydawnictw Ciaglych Nowych, Zawieszonych i Zmieniajacych Tytul“. Since 1997 it has been appearing bimonthly.

Since 1996 the insert includes yearly indexes of publishing institutions, editors, subjects, ISSN. Since 1959 the bibliography indexes also documents related to public life (dokumenty zycia spolecznego). Included are only items of national importance, having major scientific value, or connected with historical occasions. Materials not included: books under 16 pages (up to 1998-under 4 pages), except for rare prints, literary works, conference materials, registered bibliography lists since 1999 books of a print run under 100 copies (exceptions as above) since 1999 publications that are intended to have their contents modified by adding and/or exchanging pages patents, norms books published in electronic form, except when the electronic form is parallel to a hard copy edition.

Documents with headings “do uzytku sluzbowego” and “do uzytku wewnetrznego” (office/internal use only) were included in a supplement “Przewodnik Bibliograficzny. Seria Uzupelniajaca.Druki do Uzytku Wewnetrznego.” The supplement appeared 1968-1988, initially as a quarterly, later as a semi-annual.Since 1989 these documents are registered in the main body of the “Przewodnik Bibliograficzny.”

Organization of the bibliography:

Up to 1985 inclusively it was divided into 26 sections (listed at the beginning of each issue). Since 1986 the bibliography is divided according to the decimal system. Within each section the entries are alphabetical by author, or title in the case of collective or anonymous works. If a book belongs by subject to more than one section, the complete description is provided in only one section, while the other sections give only abbreviated descriptions and the number of the entry containing the full description is indicated after the “=” symbol.


For years 1946-1950 each issue had its own alphabetical index. Since 1951 the indexes were published monthly, and in years 1987-1989 they were replaced by quarterly indexes. Since 1992 indexes have been appearing in each issue. Additionally, since 1948 a yearly alphabetical index has been introduced in the following groupings: “Main index,” “Serials,” “Music scores,” “Maps,” “Engravings.” In years 1958-1984 a category “Illustrators” was used. In years 1967-1972 a category “Publication series” was added. Since 1973 the category “Periodicals” was cancelled. In 1985 a category “So-called series” (Tzw. Serie), i.e. unnumbered series was added. In 1989 three categories “Maps-plans,” “Musical scores,” and “Engravings-Maps” were included in “Main index” (Indeks glowny).

Since 1956 the bibliography contains a yearly subject index.


“Przewodnik Bibliograficzny” is based on a de visu description of obligatory copies deposited in the Biblioteka Narodowa. Please note that although publishers are required to deposit a copy of each new publication with the National Library sometimes they neglect to do so. Instytut Bibliograficzny Biblioteki Narodowej estimates that up to 20% of titles are never submitted.

Until May 1996 “Przewodnik” marked the items that were submitted late and thus registered late with a triangle under the number of entry.Since June 1996 items with publication dates preceding by two years the date of issue of the current issue of “Przewodnik,” are published in additional issues marked with the letter “A” by the number of the issue and published irregularly.

Electronic media:

“Przewodnik Bibliograficzny” is also available on CD-ROM and online.

The CD-ROM is updated once a year.The first installment covers years 1981-1998 and includes 212, 000 records.

The CD-ROM is searchable via the following indexes: personal names, corporate names, titles, title words, series titles, publishers, ISBN/ISSN, subject words, subject headings. Boolean searching using a variety of operators is possible. Records can be viewed in short and long formats and can be printed or downloaded to a disk. An English-language version is available. The Online Version In the online version the database is called “Ksiazki polskie od roku 1980” and is available from the home page of Biblioteka Narodowa.

URL: http://mak.bn.org.pl/info/info01.htm
The search of the database in this format is possible via eight indexes (without the possibility of using Boolean operators): author-person corporate author title series title word subject word subject heading publisher The online database is updated on a continuing basis.


Centralny Katalog Czasopism Polskich

URL: http://mak.bn.org.pl/cgi-bin/makwww.exe?Bm=7

This site contains information on Polish periodicals published from 1801-1950. The bibliography is searchable by title, title word, issuing organization, place of publication, language and subject heading. The sample record below shows the results of a search on the term “literatura.”

The results of the search on the term "literatura".

One of the nice features of this catalog is that it give the user an indication of which libraries in Poland hold the title. Clicking on any of the listed institutions will provide the user with contact information: phone numbers, mail and web addresses when available.


Bibliografia Zawartosci Czasopism.

Warszawa: Instytut Bibliograficzny Biblioteki Narodowej, 1947-
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.05785 b4712

The bibliography has been appearing since July 1947. The first volumes came out in mimeograph form: year 1 vol. 1 for July 1947, vol 2 for September-December 1947, year 2 vol. 1, part 1-2 for January-June 1948, vol. 2, part 1-2 for July-December 1948. Materials for years 1949-1950 were not published, but are available in the Instytut Bibliograficzny Biblioteki Narodowej. The bibliography has appeared regularly as a monthly since 1951.

The bibliography included initially about 350, later about 800, currently 1500-1700 Polish periodicals, regardless of the language of publication.

Included in the bibliography are:

  • All scientific publications regardless of their frequency of publication. This includes:
    • zeszyty naukowe of institutions of higher learning, publications of scientific institutes (prace instytutow naukowych), that are not designated as a series.(Publications that do not appear as a series are registered in “Przewodnik Bibliograficzny”).
    • Please note: Scientific publications from the areas that have specialized bibliographies are not included. These include:
      • military science covered in “Polska Bibliografia Wojskowa”
      • medicine covered in”Polska Bibliografia Lekarska”
      • agriculture covered in”Bibliografia Polskiego Pismiennictwa ZagadnienGospodarki Zywnosciowej” (earlier title “Bibliografia Polskiego Pismiennictwa Rolniczego”)
    • Entries in military science, medicine and agriculture in the bibliography are drawn from non-scientific periodicals.
  • Monthly and quarterly publications of socio-cultural and literary scope
  • Weekly and biweekly publications of circulated nationwide
  • Selected titles from daily Polish newspapers.”Trybuna Ludu” was included since 1951.”Rzeczpospolita” since 1982, “Zycie Warszawy” since 1955.In 1990 inclusion of daily newspapers was stopped.Since 1996 “Rzeczpospolita” is indexed again and “Gazeta Wyborcza” was added since 1997.
  • Regional publications appearing quarterly or less frequently (including irregular publications).

Until 1977 inclusively official publications of the legislative and executive government bodies were included: “Dziennik Ustaw,” “Monitor Polski,” dzienniki of different ministries. Since 1969 the list of ministries has been limited to: Kultury i Sztuki, and Oswiaty i Szkolnictwa Wyzszego (later Oswiaty i Wychowania, later Nauki, Szkolnictwa Wyzszego i Techniki).

Not included in the bibliography are popular magazines (magazyny ilustrowane) and periodicals for children, youth, women, related to sport, bulletins of institutions and corporations.

The bibliography includes:

  • articles
  • literary works (poems, short stories and others)
  • reviews of books, movies, exhibitions, theatre plays, operas
  • polemics
  • interviews
  • discussions with editorial boards
  • responses to surveys
  • bibliographic compilations
  • yearly indexes of journal contents
  • governmental decrees
  • lengthy reports on work of institutions and organizations

Bibliographic description includes:

  • author/authors
  • title
  • names of contributors
  • title of periodical (abbreviated)
  • year
  • number
  • pagination
  • information on illustrations, summaries in foreign languages

The p symbol after the number of entry signifies that the article contains a bibliography.Since 1970 letter symbols have been added in the entries to signify the countries with which Poland exchanges bibliographic information.

Descriptions of reviews have in their first part an abbreviated description of the reviewed work (book, play, film). Since 2000 a * by the review of a book signifies that the review article has its own title, which has been omitted in the abbreviated description.

Descriptions of biographical articles or concerning creative works of persons, begin usually with the name of these persons in bold. Similarly described are materials pertaining to festivals and fairs. Materials from conferences, conventions, etc. are described as one bibliographic entry, without mentioning of authors and titles of individual papers, speeches, etc.

Titles of works in non-Latin alphabets are transliterated.


The basis for the organization of Bibliografia Zawartosci Czasopism is the original organization of Przewodnik Bibliograficzny, comprised of twenty four sections.These sections have been frequently revised and renamed.The last modification took place in 1989. The organization within a section is mostly alphabetical, in some sections by subject.Biographical articles are usually placed at the end of each section.

If an article belongs by subject matter to more than one section, the full description is only provided once and only abbreviated descriptions are provided elsewhere, with the number of entry with the full description provided following the “=” symbol.

Each issue (zeszyt) of the bibliography contains a list of indexed publications, a subject index of the more important persons, geographic names and institutions, as well as separate indexes:alphabetical index of authors, reviewers and translators (for years 1969-1995); composers (for years 1969-1995); illustrators (for years 1969-1989).Since 1996 these were replaced by a combined index of authors, editors, reviewers, translators, and composers.

There are also yearly compilations of the monthly indexes described above, as well as a yearly index of reviewed works. (For years 1990-1995 the reviewed works were indexed in each issue).The index of reviewed works includes only those published up to 1994, and is arranged alphabetically by author of the reviewed work.Since 1995 the index is arranged by the title of the reviewed book.Authors, directors of reviewed theatrical plays, operas and films (and since 1996 authors of reviewed books), are included in the subject index.

Note that since the bibliography is based on the obligatory copy deposited in the Biblioteka Narodowa, so any delinquency by publishers adversely affects the completeness of the bibliography.

“Bibliografia Zawartosci Czasopism” is also available in an electronic version-both on CD-ROM and on the Internet.

The current CD-ROM covers years 1996-1998. It includes 165, 000 records.

The CD-ROM is searchable via the following indexes:

  • personal names
  • titles
  • words in titles
  • titles of article series
  • subject headings
  • subject words
  • book reviews
  • other reviews (theatre, opera, film)
  • titles of periodicals (abbreviations)

Boolean searching is possible. English-language version is available.

The free online version is entitled “Artykuly z czasopism polskich od roku 1996.” It is searchable via the same indexes as the CD-ROM, no Boolean searching is available.

The online database is updated on a continual basis.
URL: http://mak.bn.org.pl/cgi-bin/makwww.exe?Bm=3


Bibliografia Czasopism i Wydawnictw Zbiorowych; later: Bibliografia Wydawnictw Ciaglych Nowych, Zawieszonych i Zmieniajacych Tytul-insert to Przewodnik Bibliograficzny.

Appeared since from January 1976-1983 as a quarterly insert to “Przewodnik Bibliograficzny” under the title “Bibliografia Czasopism i Wydawnictw Zbiorowych.”

Since 1984 it has changed titles to “Bibliografia Wydawnictw Ciaglych Nowych, Zawieszonych i Zmieniajacych Tytul.”Since 1997 it has appeared on a bimonthly basis. Since 1996 it has had its yearly indexes: institutions, editors, subjects, ISSN.

There are two cumulative editions:
In 1974 appeared “Bibliografia Czasopism i Wydawnictw Zbiorowych za lata 1972-1974.”
In 1995 came out “Bibliografie Wydawnichtw Ciaglych Nowych, Zawieszonych i Zmieniajacych Tytul za lata 1985-1994.

This bibliography is also available online under the title “Czasopisma polskie nowe.”
URL: http://mak.bn.org.pl/cgi-bin/makwww.exe?Bm=4

It can be searched via the following indexes:

  • author-person
  • title
  • corporate author
  • subject heading
  • word title
  • ISSN


Bibliografia Czasopism i Wydawnictw Zbiorowych later Bibliografia Wydawnictw Ciaglych.

Warszawa: Instytut Bibliograficzny Biblioteki Narodowej, 1960-

An annual publication.In 1960 appeared the volume for year 1958, in 1962 the volumes for 1959, 1960.In 1974 appeared the volume for 1971, in 1978 volumes for years 1972-1974.In 1984 came out the volume for 1981 with a changed title “Bibliografia Wydawnictw Ciaglych.” Year 1982 was published in 1987, year 1983 in 1990, year 1984 in 1992, year 1996 in 1998.

The bibliography registers 1700-2900 titles of periodicals from daily to annual publications.All types of periodicals are indexed, including calendars, bulletins, etc., regardless of language, provided they were published in Poland.

Not included are: school, factory, and church newspapers; bulletins of parties and political organizations; publishers’ catalogs.

The explosion of Polish publishing in 1990 and the new types of publications that appeared, caused some further restrictions in materials which would not be included, as in the case of publications appearing only in electronic form, or pornographic magazines.

The description includes:

  • title
  • subtitle
  • frequency of publication
  • publisher and place of publication
  • editor
  • consecutive number
  • format
  • size of print run
  • address of the editor
  • price