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Audiovisual Documents

Acquisition of electronic and audiovisual documents in the Jagiellonian Library dates back to the 1970s. At that period there were quite a number of different media, as floppy disks, VHS cassettes, tape cassettes, and gramophone records. Gradually, however, they became less diverse. At present the Library receives essentially this type of materials published in the form of  CDs, DVDs, portable USB sticks, and recently also computer  files (primarily in pdf format).
The straight majority of incoming items are Polish publications in two copies. The electronic documents are received by the Jagiellonian Library mostly as a legal deposit in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Deposit  Act of 7 November 1996  (Dziennik Ustaw No. 152 of 23.12.1996, item 722) as well as the Regulation of the Minister of Culture and Art of 6 March 1997 (Dziennik Ustaw No. 29, item 161). In the years preceding the Act, there were more documents obtained through other acquisition channels, such as gifts, exchange, and purchase.

The Library’s audiovisual collection involves the following types of materials

Electronic documents

  • electronic books – text documents on electronic media: encyclopedias, textbooks, literary studies, tutorials, bibliographies, conference proceedings, technical approvals, legal acts, statistical reports
  • educational and scientific computer programs: language dictionaries, lexicons, language teaching materials, interactive materials for teachers and students, multimedia knowledge bases
  • computer games
  • local access databases
  • electronic journals: electronic only, print+electronic, systematically updated local access electronic databases

Non-musical sound documents

  • audiobooks, radio dramas, radio features, speeches, homilies, Christian retreat materials, foreign language, courses


  • feature movies, documentaries, educational (didactic/instructional) films, animated movies


  • microfilms and microfiches that are copies of original documents – Polish and foreign manuscripts, early printed books, monographs, journals, ephemera, maps, graphics, rara and clandestine publications
  • documents originally produced as microforms

The Audiovisual Reading Room

In the Audiovisual Reading Room, the readers can without prior requesting use microfilmed copies from the collections of the Jagiellonian Library, including newspapers and magazines from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The most popular microforms are Ilustrowany Kurier Codzienny, Czas, Kurier Warszawski, Wiadomości Literackie, and Nowy Dziennik, as well as Szematyzmy Królestwa Galicji i Lodomerii z Wielkim Księstwem Krakowskim and Kultura Paryska.
There are also available documents originally produced on microforms, including the Biographical Archives of the SAUR Publishing House: Polish, French, German, British, Russian, Czech and Balkan countries; Gazette de France from the 17th century, much  valued by historians for its firsthand accounts from Poland, or doctoral theses defended at German universities.
The readers can also watch the latest films and TV series as well as classic Polish and foreign feature and documentary movies, which have been released on CD, DVD, and VHS, including  collections such as Masters of Polish Cinema, Wars that Changed the World, Great War Collection, a collection of films devoted to broad human rights issues from the WATCH DOCS university video library or a unique collections of guides: Around the World - Fascinating Journeys.
The most interesting electronic documents are multimedia language learning courses, dictionaries and encyclopedias, as well as systematically updated local access databases  devoted to national economy, economics and law, as Legalis (Base of Legal Acts and Judicature), Lex Polonica, and Technical Approvals of the Building Research Institute. There are also available computer games for users of all ages.
Within the non-musical sound documents there are audiobooks with recorded Positivist and Romantic classics as well as a rich collection of contemporary literature, including works by Stieg Larsson, Stephen Meyer, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.
Information about the audiovisual documents can be found in the Jagiellonian University Libraries Catalogue, the Library’s card catalogues and in the Audiovisual Reading Room’s reference card catalogue.
A large part of the content of the Jagiellonian Library microfilm collection is already available as protected digital versions in digital libraries associated in the Digital Libraries Federation (FBC), so prior to searching in the Library’s catalogue it is advisable to check their availability in the FBC or in Europeana.

The call numbers

In order to readily find the entire range of particular type of documents stored and made available in the Audiovisual Reading Room, one should enter a relevant symbol using the call number tab in the computer catalogue search window.
The following symbols have been assigned to respective types of electronic documents:
  • electronic  books: BJ Ez
  • electronic serials: BJ Ec
  • non-musical sound documents: BJ Dn
  • films: BJ F
  • microforms: BJ Mf, BJ Mfz (books), BJ Mfc (serials)
  • computer files: BJ Oz (books), BJ Oc (serials)

The cultural corner of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

In the Audiovisual Reading Room there is arranged a cultural corner of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Using three dedicated computers the readers can access UNAM's digital library containing digital books and journals, films, radio broadcasts or podcasts (online audio recordings where experts talk about history, literature, opera, dance, music, theatres, museums and cultural centres of UNAM). On the portal, one can take a virtual tour of the university's premises as well as download various applications for one’s smartphone providing information on UNAM's cultural events and their location on the map.
The UNAM digital library