The iconosphere of the Central Library of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow: Print Room, Poster Room and One Book Gallery
The Central Library of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, which occupies the building of the former Technical-Industrial Museum, is a specialist artistic library. Its history is associated with that of the museum founded in 1868 by Adrian Baraniecki and after its closure in 1950 – with that of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. It combines the tradition of a museum library, academic library and municipal public library. Its Print Room and Poster Room have been collecting old graphic works of European schools, 19th century graphic works from Cracow, covers of books and periodicals from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, artistic samples of bookbinding paper, jobwork from the inter-war period and photographs from Cracow. The Poster Room was created by Jan Wdowiszewski, director of the museum and a man who initiated the development of poster art in Poland. The collection comprises over 10000 items and includes works of leading Polish artists, from Stanisław Wyspiański to artists working today. In order to preserve and develop the department of graphic collections, it is necessary to provide professional training for librarians and, taking into account limited budget resources, make efforts to expand historical collections and select appropriate methods for their documentation and display. The library is currently building an electronic catalogue of the collections in the Print and Poster Rooms, available over the Internet. It also organises exhibitions of items from its own collections, publishes the exhibition catalogues, and collaborates with students and teachers from the Academy of Fine Arts. The One Book Gallery has been operating in the reading room for two years, drawing on the bibliophilic tradition of the place. On each occasion a beautiful book is on display for a few weeks, accompanied by original works of artists involved in its creation: illustrations, photographs, spatial compositions, drawings, paintings and posters. Many of these works remain permanently in the library.