Page 38

ARCHIVAL TREASURES OF THE JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY T

Archiwum UJ

he Jagiellonian University’s Archives are as old as the University itself and date back to King Casimir’s foundation in 1364. For six and a half centuries they have accompanied the University and shared in its history, collecting and preserving a variety of documents associated with the University, its operations, and its staff and students. Accumulating over the centuries, the Jagiellonian University’s archival collection is an excellent record of the history of Poland’s principal academic community and intellectual elite – from the 14th century to the

A masters’ graduation ceremony, miniature on p.27 in the Faculty of Philosophy graduation register for 1658–1780

36

alma mater No. 166

present day. It is an invaluable resource in the national heritage, an inherent part of European scholarship and culture. Our collection of over 800 parchment documents is a rare treasure in the UniThe seal of Collegium Maius, versity’s historic resources. before 1434 They go back to the charters and other documents issued for its first and second foundation, in 1364 and 1400 respectively, which are followed by more royal charters, issued by the kings of Poland, from its Founders, Casimir the Great and Vladislaus Jagiełło, and their successors right to the times of August III (1733–1764); papal bulls issued by Urban V, Boniface IX, Martin V, Gregory XIII, and many other pontiffs; as well as documents issued by cardinals, bishops, state dignitaries, municipal authorities, and private individuals. Each of these items is not only a historical source, but also a cultural artefact and a work of art. For instance, there is the bull issued by Pope Boniface IX on 11th January 1397 for the erection of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Kraków. The document is a magnificent artefact made in the pontifical chancellery and a fine specimen of late medieval calligraphy. Another beautiful document, exemplifying the Renaissance manuscript art, is a parchment deed drawn up on 15th May 1584 by Piotr Dunin Wolski, Bishop of Płock, to confirm a deed issued in 1558 by Andrzej Noskowski, one of his predecessors in the See of Płock, and relating to the renovation of the University’s Bursa Philosophorum. The University’s foundation charters of 1364 and 1400 survived in an excellent state of preservation until 1939, but unfortunately perished during the Second World War, and all that remains of them are the royal seals of Casimir the Great and Vladislaus Jagiełlo. The original stamps for the seals were exquisitely made by medieval master craftsmen, or in fact artists who did an excellent job of expressing the royal Founders’ ideological message. The University’s collection of archives for the Old Polish period (to the demise of Poland-Lithuania, 1795) comprise a set of 346 medieval and early modern manuscripts (apart from the parchment documents), and over 20 thousand paper documents. The invaluable records documenting the University’s history include matriculation, attendance, and graduation registers; the registers of the rector’s court; resolutions adopted by the University’s Senate; statutes and regulations issued by the University, its individual faculties, colleges, and students’ halls; and documents relating to the University’s economic affairs; as well as the private correspondence of its professors and

Profile for alma mater

Alma mater 166  

Alma Mater 166

Alma mater 166  

Alma Mater 166

Advertisement