Nabytki książkowe do biblioteki domu rekolekcyjnego oo. Jezuitów we Lwowie (1913–1926)

Stanisław Cieślak


[Book acquisitions of the library of the Jesuit Retreat House in Lviv in years 1913–1926]

On arriving in Poland in 1564, the Jesuits brought their most efficient spiritual weapon – The Spiritual Exercises (Exercitia Spiritualia) of St. Ignatius of Loyola, also called “the Ignatian retreats”. The first retreat house in Poland, in which the Jesuits led the Ignatian retreats was established in Czechowice in 1905, and the second one was set up in Lviv, in 1908. From the very beginning of the Order, each Jesuit house possessed a common library (communis) as well as specialized collections and a reference collection. There was a library in the Lviv Retreat House, too, and the librarian was always one of the fathers, appointed by his superiors. In the collection of the Archive of the Society of Jesus South Poland Province in Cracow there is a list of books purchased by or presented to the Lviv Retreat House library (ref. no. 1181-XI). The list shows that the donations and purchases were very irregular: in years 1913, 1914, 1924, 1925, and 1926, which were the periods free from wars and Polish-Ukrainian conflicts. A large number of the books on the list were donated by authors and translators. There are also gifts from other, affiliated orders, and volumes obligatorily sent in by Wydawnictwo Apostolstwa Modlitwy – the Jesuit publishing house in Cracow: the so-called “gratis copies”. The donators of books were Poles and foreigners, clergymen and laymen, as well as other monastic orders. It must be noted here that the librarian did not always care to include the new acquisitions in the catalogue with full bibliographical descriptions. Incomplete descriptions cause difficulties in identifying books and ascribing them to particular authors. Following the Order’s regulations, the book lists were occasionally inspected by the provincial of the Galicia Province. The list includes 241 items. Although most of the books and periodicals in the Lviv library are publications in Polish, there are also numerous books, magazines and brochures in English, French, German, Latin, Ukrainian and Swedish, as well as many translations into Polish from Latin, German, French and Italian. The prevailing subject of the library contents was the theme of retreats, i.e. the majority of books served both the retreatants and the directors of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Besides, the library contained works in theology, apologetics, philosophy, as well as speeches, sermons and Episcopal letters of Lviv archbishops of both the Catholic and the Orthodox church, sermon collections in Polish and German, historical books, catechisms, dictionaries, encyclopedias, school textbooks and machine-typed texts. The texts in Ukrainian, stored in the library, include among others pastoral letters of archbishop Andrzej Szeptycki, the Austrian Catechism, Opowiadania z fizyky (Physics tales, two brochures), Prawdy wiczni (Eternal truths) translated by a Basilian, Klemens Sarnicki (1832–1909), Opowiadania (Stories) by authoress Marko Wowczok (1834–1907), four works by Bohdan Nestor Łepkyj (1872–1941) and one brochure by Iwan Franko (1856–1916). The collection of the Jesuit Retreat House in Lviv, together with the list of books, arrived in Cracow with the Jesuits in 1946. A part of the collection enriched other Jesuit libraries, while the list of books was placed in the Archive of the Province in Mały Rynek 8. It is a valuable and fascinating testimony of a no-longer-existent library, one of many libraries established by the Jesuits after 1564 in the Polish territory, and lost by the Order in various circumstances.

Słowa kluczowe

Lwów; Jezuici; biblioteki; nabytki; historia; 20 w.

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