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The National Library Has Acquired the Early Edition of Adam Mickiewicz

The National Library Has Acquired the Early Edition of Adam Mickiewicz
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The second volume of the legendary two-volume edition of the poetry by Adam Mickiewicz was released in May 1823 by the publishing house of the famous Vilna printer and bookseller, Jozef Zawadzki.

Previously, the Konrad Wallenrod, printed in 1828 in St. Petersburg, was the oldest edition of Adam Mickiewicz the library owned.

The acquired Poezye Adama Mickiewicza, volume two, was published in 1823, when Mickiewicz was 25 years old, along with the first volume, which was released in 1822. This is his earliest poetry collection published as a separate book. Currently, the National Library is in search of the first volume.

By the way, the acquisition comes from the private collection of the family of the Polish writer, diplomat, social activist and philanthropist Wladyslaw Pelc (1906–2002), whose diplomatic service was held in Harbin, and then in Paris. The back of the flyleaf bears an inscription of the wife of Wladyslaw Pelc, Helena: "Pelcowa 2.2.1939, Paryz."

The book contains the first published poem Grazyna and the two parts of the poem Dziady. The copy is quite well preserved.

The acquired copy has its own peculiarities. The image of an angel with a lyre (vignette) is drawn by hand on the front page, probably by one of the former owners of the book. It is interesting that the book features a list of the persons who had subscribed to the publication, indicating the number of copies ordered (in front of some of the names on this list numbers are indicated in ink).

To date, the Poezye Adama Mickiewicza is a very rare book. The lifetime editions of Adam Mickiewicz were limited, and after almost two centuries preserved copies have turned into real rarities, whose value increases with each passing year.

Welcome to the library to see and touch the rare volume!

Bibliology Research Department


This Phenomenon, Pesniary

22 Aug 2019

An exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the VIA band Pesniary is held from August 22 to November 12 in the Music and Audiovisual documents reading room (305).

Book exhibitions