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PTTK Central Library of the name of K. Kulwieć


Central Library of the name of K. Kulwieć in Warsaw - 11 Senatorska Street phone no: 831-60-65 is the heir of the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society's Library, inheriting form the latter almost all collection except for photographs, maps and drafts which were burnt during the World War II.

Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Library was created in 1907 - in the first year of the Society's activity, from the initiative of the chairman and today's patron. The Library had 214 books after its first year of activity. It was also in possession of collections of postcards and photographs given by Aleksander Janowski, Stanisław Piaskowski, Zdzisław Rudzki and many others.

The Library was developing quickly. In 1908 it had 734 books, in 1909 - 1318 and in 1911 - 1634. The Society destined a lot of money for books and maps as well as developed the Library's activity and opened a lending library next to it.

The World War I did not stop its development so in 1916 the Library had 6000 books, 9724 slides and 4136 camera films.

Antoni Orzyński, Kazimierz Rakowiecki and Stanisław Thugutt were librarians in the mentioned period.

Even in the most difficult times after regaining independence when due to the lack of funds the Society had to stop lots of the activities, the Library was still developing.

On the December 7th 1921, when 15 years of the Society's activity was celebrated, the development of the Library was mentioned as one of the greatest achievements. The Library had at that time 10 000 books, 15 000 slides, many maps and the biggest and the best collection of materials on sightseeing.

The Library in Warsaw, just before the World War II, had basic books on geography, geology, ethnography, archaeology, architecture, monuments, nature, sightseeing and tourism, as well its own publications.

In the first days of the World War II, the Library was in a serious danger as a bomb was thrown on the Ostrowski's Palace at 19 Nowy Świat Street. The bomb destroyed the part of the building where the Library was situated. Employees and activists repaired the rooms. Even bigger threat was Germans who could confiscate Library's collections - it was avoided by fabricating a document in the Hans Frank office in Krakow. It was not the best protection though, so it was decided to pass the collections to the National Library to which restrictions did not apply. Józef Kołodziejczyk and Józefa Bzowska were especially helpful in the action of "stealing" and moving collections to national Library's storerooms at Rakowiecka Street.

After World War II 7000 books were catalogued. Old catalogues and photographs' collections did not survive the War.

Works on the reconstruction of the Library were started in 1947 at 6/8 Spasowskiego Street and its first librarian was Mieczysław Podolski. He made the first classification of the collections. Ewa Twardo continued his work from 1948.

PTTK took over the Central Sightseeing Library (that was the name of the Library after the War) in 1950. The Library had around 14 000 books, magazines and maps at that time.

The Library was moved at 11 Senatorska Street (where PTTK has been seated) in 1952.

Also in 1952 Jadwiga Poczętowska started her work on sorting and ordering the books.

PTTK Central Library has been connected with PTTK Main Board since the 1950 when the union of PTT and PTK took place.

On the 5th October 1985 the Main Board named the Library after Kazimierz Kulwieć - a great educator and teacher, PTK Member of Honour, a man who was sent in 1939 to Archangielsk for his patriotism where he died on the 16th February 1942.

The Library was opened at Senatorska Street until autumn of 1991. After 6 months of break it re - opened in the new place where it has been operating until today.

The Library has great collection of books specialized in sightseeing and organizing tourism for all age groups. It is especially helpful for people studying tourism.

Particularly interesting are small - edition regional magazines that show certain parts of Poland.

Everybody can use books in the Library but members with valid membership card can take books outside.


The Library is opened:
Mondays and Fridays: 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.