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Guide to Resources on Poland: History

General resources

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Books and eBooks

Books on Polish history are shelved on the First Floor of the Library. History is generally classified as P.IX, but for detailed classification  see our classification scheme guide page. The History collection covers the whole history of Poland from the earliest times to the present day. The collection covers various topics, including the partitions of Poland, Polish insurrections, the Polish People’s Republic, the Solidarity movement, etc. Books published before 1850 are generally kept in local store. They can be identified by the following classmark: SSEES Local Store and can be requested at the Library’s issue desk. Additionally some less heavily-used books are kept at our store outside London. Their location is marked as Stores - SSEES Depository. These can be requested by completing the online store request form. To find out more about requesting items from stores, read our stores - FAQ page

The Library also has a collection of Rare books. One example is Rerum Polonicarum tomi tres, published in 1584. Part of the collection, related to travel books, has been digitised as part of the Europeana project and is available online. Many books related to Poland can be accessed digitally using the following databases: 18th Century Collections Online, Early English Books Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or ACLS Humanities E-Books. Find out more about E-Book@UCL.


The Library provides access to a number of Polish and Polish-related journals. Depending on the title they may be available in print or digital formats or both. Additionally a number of titles are kept in store outside London and these can be recalled using the online store request form.

Printed editions of Polish journals are shelved on the Lower Ground Floor of the Library. Titles include Kwartalnik Historyczny and Studia Historyczne. The Library provides access to a number of digital journals. For example access is provided to complete editions of such journals as Karta and The Slavonic and East European Review. The Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports transcribed and translated intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories, covering 1941-1996 may also be of interest.

To search for more e-journals please use either Explore or search for a specialist database in the list of databases available at UCL. For information on finding and requesting an e-journal or e-journal article, see our FAQ.



The Library’s holdings include archive collections relevant to the study of Polish history. The guide to archive collections is available on the UCL SSEES Library wesite. These archives include such collections as Keith Sword’s Polish Migration Project, which aimed to investigate the origins of the Polish community in the United Kingdom, and the Polish Non-Official Media Collection, that contains material regarding the political and economic situation in Poland during the rise of the independent trade union Solidarność.


Audio-visual collections

The Library's Bain Graffy Film Collection includes a large number of documentaries on Polish history, as well as history programmes recorded from the television. The collection is available to UCL staff and students only. Items cannot be borrowed, but can be watched on site.