The history of the Joint Librairies of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Warsaw, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Philosophical Society dates back to 1952, when, as the first of the three combined, the library of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Warsaw (later the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, now the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Warsaw ). Mieczysław Zadróżny – the librarian of the former Krzemieniecki Lyceum – became its first librarian, and at the same time the head.

A year later, the book collection increased by the collections of the former Warsaw Philosophical Society (now the Polish Philosophical Society). The collections of the IFiS PAN Library were transferred in 1956, together with the establishment of this institution.

He initiated the creation of the Library, finding wide support for his idea, the first director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, prof. Adam Schaff. To date, the Linked Libraries are the only case in the country of joining the efforts of three institutions to provide access to domestic and foreign literature. The Library’s collection currently has 204,488 volumes. books and 43 361 vol. magazines.

The proper organizational and organizational work began in 1955, when the task of organizing the Libraries (including arranging the book collection) was entrusted to Janusz Krajewski, appointing him the head of the Library. He carried out his mission from September 8, 1952, until 1973, when he retired and his duties for five consecutive years were taken over by dr Barbara Wilejszys.

In the years 1978–2007 the director of the Linked Libraries was Janusz Siek, who was replaced by Aleksandra Łabuńska. She held the position entrusted to her for the next eight years. Currently, the functions of Michał Chlebicki is the manager of the Connected Libraries.

The three connected libraries cooperate in the collection, development and sharing of collections, while maintaining separate budgets, assets, collection records and reporting, acting formally in the organizational structure of their parent units, creating a single, indivisible library and information system in the field of philosophy, sociology and related disciplines. Each of these three book collections has a different character:

  • The WFiS Library collects mainly didactic collections. These are largely textbook, multi-copy collections, published mainly in Polish.
  • The WFiS Library collects mainly didactic collections. These are largely textbook, multi-copy collections, published mainly in Polish.
  • The IFiS PAN library collects collections solely for scientific and research purposes. Foreign language literature prevails here.
  • The PTF book collection contains mainly 19th century philosophical historical literature and is supplemented to a minimal extent. Due to their uniqueness, these items are extremely valuable.

In addition to the currently used HORIZON library system, bibliographic descriptions of our Library collections are updated on a current basis in the local catalog, available at Everyone interested in our collections can also find them in the National Universal Catalog NUKAT, the worldwide Worldcat catalog and the KaRo multi-search engine.

Readers, users and guests of the Library can access the databases of the Virtual Science Library (under a national license) and the EBSCO databases.

In the years 2011-2013, employees of the Connected Libraries participated in the implementation of the project called “Digital Repository of Scientific Institutes”, under which items from the collections of Connected Libraries previously unavailable online, and items published by IFiS PAN, were digitized and are available on the Internet at: There are also PhD theses of IFiS PAN, whose authors have agreed to it. Items digitized in RCIN are indexed, among others by the nationwide Federation of Digital Libraries, and the European digital repository Europeana.

In the first months of 2015, an online Digital Archive of Linked Libraries was also launched at: In this proprietary project of employees of the Connected Libraries, scans of the most valuable archives in our collections are made available. What’s more, as part of the scientific cooperation established with the Archives of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, the most valuable archival materials stored in the collections of this institution are also gradually being digitized. Thanks to this, the archival resource available to readers of the Digital Archives of Connected Libraries was supplemented with Kazimierz Twardowski’s “Diaries” and archives of Henryk Elzenberg. In the near future, further works are planned, consisting in digital securing and sharing the manuscript legacy of Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Władysław Witwicki, Tadeusz Czeżowski, Zygmunt Zawirski and others.

The combined WFiS UW, IFiS PAN and PTF Libraries are not only the largest collection of philosophical and sociological books in Poland, but also unique archives.

The most valuable is the collection of archival materials (scientific correspondence, lectures, university lectures etc.) of Kazimierz Twardowski, who at the end of the 19th century in Lviv initiated the creation of the first Polish philosophical and scientific school, the so-called Lviv-Warsaw school. The collections of the Connected Libraries also contain archives of eminent sociologists and philosophers: Maria and Stanisław Ossowski, Janina and Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Mieczysław Wallis, Sergiusz Hessen, Bartłomiej Korolec, Barbara Skarga and others.

Not only Polish but also foreign historians of Polish philosophy and sociology have often used the archived special collections of Connected Libraries, finding interesting source materials.

It is also worth mentioning the philosophical collection of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, decorated with his handwritten notes. On the margins of philosophical books, studied in the thirties by Witkacy, you can find interesting and often funny comments and illustrations of this irony-prone and extremely insightful critic. They are a valuable record of Witkacy’s intellectual search from a period when he was not only involved in art, but also developed his philosophical views.

All interested are invited to the headquarters of our Library, located at Krakowskie Przedmieście 3.

Our website will provide you with the necessary information and expand your knowledge about the Library:

We also invite you to regularly visit the Library’s social media, where we put current information on the Library’s life on a regular basis:



Text: Agnieszka Jasińska and Łukasz Ratajczak

The article was published on January 31, 2017 on the BuwLOG website