General information about the Central Statistical Library
The Central Statistical Library (CSL) was founded in 1918 as the Library of the Central Statistical Office. Its original book collection was taken over from Varszavskij Statisticzeskij Komitet and Lviv National Division (Lwowski Wydział Krajowy), which produced statistics for Galicia at the time of the Austrian Empire (this collection mainly includes almost complete 19th-century book series, published in many volumes by the three partitioners, which are an invaluable resource for the history of statistics in the CSL’s collections).
In 1939, the library collections consisted of 60,000 volumes. As they were transported to Cracow during World War II, to the head office of Statistisches Amt, the Library did not suffer the same fate as other libraries in Warsaw, whose holdings were almost completely lost in September 1939 and during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. In 1953, the Library was given a new seat in a building next to the Central Statistical Office (CSO), designed by Prof. Romuald Gutt’s studio.
In 1968, the Library was granted a new statute by the President of the CSO, which converted the library of the Statistical Office into the Central Statistical Library, now performing the function of the main national library in the field of statistics, demography, statistical technique and related fields.
In 1998, by a decision of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, the Central Statistical Office was entered on a list of libraries forming the National Library Resources (Narodowy Zasób Biblioteczny). In March 2007, the Library was awarded the medal “Biblioteca Magna Perenisque” by the General Board of the Polish Librarians Association for its service to the Polish librarianship. Apart from carrying out its duties as the main public statistical library, the CSL also functions as a public scientific library. It collects scientific works and works of popular science on statistics and demography (theory, methodology, analytical studies, source materials), social and economic sciences, finance and banking, management, computer science, printing, librarianship. The Library receives an obligatory copy of the CSO’s publications.
The main holdings of the Library (as of 31 December 2017 consist 499,999 volumes (including around 1,000 titles of periodicals), cartographic materials include 5,000 atlases, maps and plans, while special collections contain around 20,000 volumes (publications of the Central Statistical Office and regional statistical offices issued in the years 1950 – 1988 with a clause “for internal use”, “for office use”, “confidential”, made available to the general public by the President of the CSO Franciszek Kubiczek in 1989).
The main book collections are the oldest and the largest of their kind in Poland and the second largest in Europe. They contain all the CSO publications since its foundation in 1918 and major publications of regional statistical offices (since 1975). The CSL also boasts the richest collection of the world’s current and retrospective statistical publications. Works of special significance include current statistical yearbooks of particular countries and international institutions such as: the UN, European Union, Eurostat, coming to the CSL from around 150 countries and international organizations.
Collections of periodicals contain mainly up-to-date periodicals on statistics and demography, including over 600 foreign titles from several dozen countries and about 400 Polish titles. The CSL also collects codification journals, official journals of ministries, central offices, scientific and technical institutions.
- The CSL particularly values the specialist bibliographies and information publications concerning the Library’s resources: “Bibliografie Wydawnictw GUS”, “Bibliografie Piśmiennictwa Demograficznego”, “Biuletyn Nabytków CBS” and a series of thematic lists, “Zestawienia bibliograficzne”.
- The reference library (about 5,000 volumes) is located and available directly from the reading room, and collects, apart from a series of the publications of the CSO and SO, the most up-to-date yearbooks of foreign countries, as well as textbooks, brochures, dictionaries, general and specialist encyclopedias.
- In 1996, the CSL bought the Integrated Library System ALEPH. The Library’s computer catalogue was made available to the Readers in January 1998. Since june 2014 the CSL has been using ALEPH500 version 22 The Central Statistical Library offers photocopying services on site, in the reading room, and enables its users to order photocopies from the Library’s collections via the INTERNET (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The computer catalogue of the Central Statistical Library (OPAC), which has been in operation since 1998 in the ALEPH system, records:
- All book publications received by the CSL since 1998 – regardless of their publication date
- The CSL collections published in the years 1994-1997
- All the publications of the Central Statistical Office after 1990
- Current periodicals (since 1997)
Apart from the computer catalogue in the Aleph system, in 2006 the whole digitalised alphabetical catalogue, the Library’s traditional catalogue for the years 1918-1996, was made available on the Internet.
- In 2009, the Central Statistical Library launched a digital library in the ALEPH system (ADAM module).