200 years of the Print Room
of the University of Warsaw Library

About the Print Room

The unique Print Room of King Stanisław August is a collection consisting of prints collected in decorative portfolios, architectural designs, drawings of old masters and richly illustrated volumes. After the king’s death it was inherited by his heirs. Then, for the first time, the threat of being split hung over the extremely valuable collection. Fortunately, on the initiative of Stanisław Kostka Potocki it was purchased for the Royal University of Warsaw in 1818. Potocki, a great patron and protector of the university collection, donated also part of his own excellent collection of drawings and prints, including numerous works of masters of great stature, such as Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt. The year 1818 was set as the date of establishing the Print Room at the University of Warsaw - the first public print collection in Poland.
After 200 years, despite the irreparable losses suffered during the partitions and wars, the collection of the Print Room is a unique memento of Enlightenment’s passion for prints and drawings. Constantly enlarged with new acquisitions, it is one of the most valuable collections of works on paper in Poland today. More information on the website of the Print Room.
We invite you to participate in the jubilee events, prepared in cooperation with our partners.


2nd Jan Feliks Piwarski Graphic Competition
of the Print Room of the University of Warsaw Library

The competition aims to promote graphic art and their creators using traditional graphic techniques and to activate the contemporary graphic artists’ environment. Its second edition is about chiaroscuro in graphics and marks the 200th anniversary of the Print Room of the University of Warsaw Library.

Terms and conditions

Application form


Exhibition What is Enlightenment? will be based on a dialogue between items from the historical collection of King Stanisław August from the BUW Print Room and works of contemporary artists specially created for the purposes of the exhibition. The main idea of the exhibition is to reflect on the relevance of the Enlightenment - the moment of rapid development of science, state reforms and the birth of a modern society: on its “unfinished” character, and finally, on the globally diagnosed twilight of Enlightenment values. From this viewpoint, the Enlightenment and the present would be asymmetric mirrors in which both historical moments would look at each other.
Looking to the Print Room’s Enlightenment roots, curators Łukasz Ronduda and Tomasz Szerszeń together with Goshka Macuga and other invited artists ask a question about the modern possibilities of interpreting the historical collection.
We will gladly welcome you here!

The Night of Museums

Common Programme at The Print Room Enlightenment by Night and at Museum on the Vistula What is Enlightenment?

50 LUX

International Advisory Committee of Keepers of Public Collections of Graphic Art
XXVIth Conference, Warsaw, June 3-8, 2018
The Print Room of the University of Warsaw Library is the hosting institution.


The aim of the symposium is to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of one of the oldest public print collections in Poland. The meeting among researchers from various national centres and with the participation of the BUW Print Room partners (including the National Museum in Warsaw and Kraków, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, and the Royal Łazienki Museum), on the latest research methods of prints and drawings and the future of print collections. By inviting you to celebrate together, we want to give people who work with a wide spectrum of graphics the opportunity to integrate.

Associate & Sponsor

The project is co-financed by the Capital City of Warsaw

Media partner



Gabinet Rycin
Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie
ul. Dobra 56/66
00-312 Warszawa Poland
tel. +48 22 55 25 830
e-mail gabryc.buw@uw.edu.pl