POLISH POST-WAR RESEARCH INTO THE HISTORY OF PUBLISHING IN POLAND: ACHIEVEMENTS AND RESEARCH PROPOSALS
The history of publishing in Poland encompasses many issues associated with the emergence and dissemination of printed books. Of fundamental significance to the study of these issues are the records of the publishing output: while we have nearly complete — though requiring further exploration — records of this output for 15th–18th centuries, documented in bibliographies and catalogues, the situation is worse when it comes to the 19th and 20th centuries, until the outbreak of the Second World War. In this respect what we need is not only a continuation, but a radical intensification of bibliographic work. This concerns works published in the Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew and Greek scripts as well as musical notation. Polish book scholars devoted a lot of attention to the beginnings of printing in Poland; the historiography concerning various typographic workshops located in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is rich, though it still requires further extensive studies. The scholars were also interested in phenomena influencing the content structure of printed publications, like publishing privileges (in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), censorship as well as restrictions imposed by the partitioning powers and later by Poland’s communist authorities, as a result of which Polish publications had to be printed abroad and an independent publishing movement emerged. The scholars’ research interests also focused on books as products of the work of printers and publishers, on the publication of written works. They focused both on the various components of the book (title page, printer’s signet, stemmata etc.) and on its editorial composition as a whole.
The scholars’ undoubted achievements in their studies of the history of publishing in Poland are significant, yet in many areas they need to be continued and expanded (an important task is an edition of sources for the study of the history of Polish publishing), and concentrated on the phenomena that stem from developmental tendencies in modern book studies.