Kazimierz Piekarski’s big and small causes: as read in letters to Aleksander Birkenmajer
Professor Aleksander Birkenmajer’s rich legacy, kept in the Manuscript Department of the Jagiellonian Library, includes among his correspondence writings by Kazimierz Piekarski. This collection comprises twenty letters, seven postcards, one note, a visiting card, a postal order and an invitation to a celebration in memory of the late Kazimierz Piekarski. The letters written between 1921-1942 are an interesting testimony to the over twenty-year-long collaboration between the two scholars broken by Piekarski’s premature death. The subjects of the letters included problems with Piekarski’s methods, his research, his publishing, bibliophilic and organisational work among Polish librarians in the inter-war period, as well as social and personal affairs of the author of the letters. What should also be noted is the language of these letters – Kazimierz Piekarski was famous for his brilliant wit, self-mockery and critical but very humane approach to human weaknesses. Despite its fragmentary nature Kazimierz Piekarski’s legacy deserves to be brought back from obscurity because of the figure of its author – an eminent scholar, exceptional librarian and fascinating human being.