History of the Polish Library


The history of the Polish Library is strongly connected with the history of the National Polish Museum in Rapperswil founded by Count Władysław Broël-Platera in 1870. Soon the collections of the Library outnumbered those of the Museum and so the office of librarian was created. Zygmunt Wasilewski (1892 – 1894) was the first librarian at the castle and soon Stefan Żeromski took over the office in 1892 – 1896. The collections of the Polish Library occupied two big rooms on the second floor of the castle, the cloister and 14 smaller chambers. It consisted of 91.000 prints (books, brochures and periodicals), 27.000 manuscripts, diplomas and autographs, 1400 maps and atlases, over 1.000 musical scores and about 10.000 photographs. According to Count Plater’s last will, after winning back the independence, in 1927 all the collections were transported to Poland. Unfortunately during the World War II they were annihilated. The present collections of the Library have been gathered since the 70’s of the past century and come exclusively from donations of private persons as well as of Polish and foreign authors.


The most prominent books and legacies were gifted by Count Michał Potulicki, Adam Heymowski, Konstanty Górski, prof. Krystyna Marek, Jerzy Seweryn, Aleksander Dygnas, prof. Jerzy Langman, Józef Mackiewicz & Barbara Toporska, Loda & Edward Różański and Roman Umiastowski. Old maps, antique prints and emigrational periodicals from the 80’s of the past century are also in the care of the Library. The Library takes part in the organisation of the events and exhibitions at the Museum and manages the visual and press documentation of those.

The present Library was inaugurated on 20th of June 1987 in the ‘Burghof’ tenement, border on the castle’s hill. It comprises of: the reading room, a bookstore, a chamber with Jan Nowak-Jeziorański’s collection and the Romers’ Parlour. The Library was managed in chronological sequence by: Halina Zielińska, Wojciech Stażyński, Piotr Mojski, Anna Piotrowska, Sylwia Bielak and since 2018 by Katarzyna Helińska. The Library is not subsidised by the local authorities and has no full – time employees.

Inside the library, in the room dedicated to the Romer family books, mementos and family albums are displayed as well as the paintings of Zofia Dembowska – Romer.