The Wawel Royal Castle’s research library houses a specialized collection of books and Polish and international periodicals relating to art history and history.
The museum library was created in 1949 as a reference collection of the Archives and Library Department of the Wawel History Museum. In 1952 it was combined with the library of the Wawel State Art Collection. Today over 25,000 books and 506 periodical titles in Polish, English, and German among others are available to researchers. The collection also includes sixty-one old printed books. As the primary resource for the museum staff, the library holdings are reflective of the Wawel Royal Castle collections and include publications on: painting (with a focus on 15th through 16th century Italian, as well as Netherlandish, and British); the decorative arts with a special focus on textiles, primarily tapestries, goldsmiths’ work, and ceramics; period furniture; arms and armour; archaeology; Polish history and the history of Cracow(16th–19th centuries); fine art conservation; and architecture and monuments conservation. The library also holds exhibition and collection catalogues from national and international museums, as well as auction catalogues.
A significant collecting area are Waweliana – publications pertaining to Wawel, its history and monuments, as well as Poland’s kings, royal families, and events and people connected with Wawel Hill.
The library collections are systematically enlarged through acquisitions and gifts, as well as exchanges with nearly 150 museums, libraries, art schools, and scientific societies worldwide.
The digital library catalogue can only be accessed on site. The reading room is open to researchers, students, and all adult readers interested in the fine and decorative arts.