One million objects successfully scanned in the Patrimonium project - News - The National Library

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One million objects successfully scanned in the Patrimonium project

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Patrimonium is a joint project of the National Library of Poland and Jagiellonian Library.

On January 13, 2020, the Patrimonium project reaches its conclusion. Over the past three years, one million objects in the public domain have been digitised as part of the project, including books, newspapers and periodicals, manuscripts, early printed books, maps, drawings, prints, photographs, postcards, musical scores and ephemera.

Among the items scanned are original manuscripts by leading figures in Polish literature, handwritten scores by Chopin, the first edition of O krasnoludkach i o sierotce Marysi ("The Brownie Scouts") by Maria Konopnicka and an eight-century New Testament, the oldest parchment manuscript held by the National Library of Poland.

The digitisation was carried out in parallel at the two largest libraries in the country, the National Library of Poland in Warsaw and the Jagiellonian Library in Cracow. The collections of these two libraries, as the name Patrimonium or "heritage" implies, together make up what is known as the "National Library Resource" of Poland and are subject to special protection in terms of conservation.

POLONA – the Polish digital library – aims to open up the stores and vaults of the libraries to everyone. As part of the Patrimonium project, the most valuable and the oldest collections have been photographed in appropriate conditions, using digital cameras to ensure high-quality reproduction and faithfulness to the original. Some of the items underwent a complex process of conservation prior to digitisation. In some cases, items had been damaged and were not accessible to readers on a daily basis; these have now been restored to their former glory.

Following its purchase of 27 large-format scanners, the National Library of Poland is now the largest digitisation centre in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe. PLN 82 million was allocated to the project, possible thanks to contributions from European funds and co-financing by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. This is the largest digitisation project to date in the field of culture.

All the medieval manuscripts in the collection of the National Library of Poland have been scanned, along with a large proportion of the early modern manuscripts, parts of the collection of early printed books, musical scores, maps and prints, photographs and drawings, and also books, peridicals and ephemera from the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century.

Find out more about the Patrimonium project here:

Included among the most precious objects made available as part of the project: