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The Tatra Museum Library

 

The ample photographic archive of several dozen thousand items (positives and negatives) is a rich iconographic source on the history of Zakopane, Podhale, Spisz and Orawa, as well as illustrating the history of Tatra photography. The latter is the subject of a pioneering work written in the 1950s by the outstanding photographer Jan Sunderland on the basis of the museum’s photographic archive. The archive’s highlights embrace the earliest view of Zakopane in a photograph by Miletius Dutkiewicz entitled Nawsie, and images of the Tatra Mountains by outstanding Cracow photographers including Walery Rzewuski, Awit Szubert and Stanisław Bizański. Besides collecting photos and complementing the holdings, Juliusz Zborowski was also interested in contemporary art photography. He organized art photography exhibitions devoted to the Tatra Mountains and the region of Podhale in 1929 and 1939. The participants were outstanding Polish photographers, many of them members of the élitist Polish Photo Club: Tadeusz Cyprian, Edward Czerny, Stefan Maksymowicz-Raczyński, Jan Sunderland and, of the Zakopane photographers, Antoni Marian Wieczorek and Henryk Schabenbeck. The photography collection could increase for many years thanks to donations made by Stanisław Barabasz, Witold Henryk Paryski, Jan Reychman, and Tadeusz and Stefan Zwoliński. In the 1960s, the museum purchased positives and negatives of the owners of the well-known Zakopane photographic studios Teofil Studnicki and Zygmunt Sułkowski. A set of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s glass plates was a valuable acquisition. The 1980s saw the purchase of Tadeusz and Stefan Zwoliński’s glass plates followed by that of the ample archives of Władysław Werner and Zbigniew Kamykowski, outstanding photographers collaborating with the museum for many years.

Since 1998, the Tatra Museum Library has featured on the list of libraries making up the ‘Narodowy Zasób Biblioteczny’ [National Library Resources]. The library holdings are increasing steadily by way of purchases, donations and exchange with other libraries. The Library is also engaged in the preparation and editing of museum publications, including the successive volumes of the Rocznik Podhalański [Podhale Yearly].

 

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Translated & edited by: Joanna Holzman, Adrian Smith, Anna Wende-Surmiak