Description and location of the collections

The UWM library offers publications, among others, in the field of humanities, social, theological, legal, economic, veterinary, biological, medical, agricultural, mathematical and technical sciences. The collection is primarily expanded through purchases, including domestic and international subscriptions of serial publications, as well as donations and exchanges with Polish and foreign institutions. Currently (as at 31.12.2019), the resources of the University Library consist of 1,073,054 volumes/items, including:

  • books – 816,841 volumes
  • periodicals – 191,559 volumes
  • special collections – 64, 654 items.

The Library also acquires various types of resources:

  • books (Polish and foreign)
  • periodicals (Polish and foreign) 
  • reference publications in traditional and electronic formats 
  • special collections (manuscripts, old prints, atlases, maps, albums, standards, patents, catalogues, microfilms, record, social life documents, doctoral dissertations, regional publications).

 The University Library resources are divided in the following manner:

  • course books, textbooks, Polish and foreign fiction – Teaching Collection
  • books, textbooks, archival periodicals- Storeroom Department
  • periodicals in natural and technical sciences, social sciences and humanities, reference publications and newspapers - Department of Scientific Information
  • items published by 1945, old prints, audiovisual collections, maps, atlases, doctoral dissertations, library science materials, general and subject matter bibliographies and materials concerning the Warmia and Mazury region - Department of Special Collections
  • publications in the field of humanities - Blue Collection
  • publications in the field of natural and technical sciences - Green Collection
  • publications in the field of social sciences - Yellow Collection
  • publications related to the European Union - Section for the European Documentation Centre (Yellow Collection)
  • Polish standards and other standardisation publications - Information Desk for Standardisation (in the Department of Special Collections)
  • patents and patent related publications - Centre for Patent Information  (in the Department of Special Collections)
Teaching Collection

This includes course books, textbooks as well as Polish and foreign fiction. Books are arranged by subjects, in sections marked with respective colours:

  • social sciences - yellow (sections 0-3),
  • technical and natural sciences - green (sections 5-6),
  • humanities and fiction – blue (sections 7-9).

The symbol of the section where the book is located can be found in the computer catalogue, under the Location/Order (Lokalizacja/Zamówienie) tab.
Within individual sections, books are arranged alphabetically by author surname. Books in the Teaching Collection are labelled with numerical symbols of the section and colour stickers. 
The readers must check the symbol of the section in the online catalogue on their own and find the book on the bookshelf. The books found by the reader can be borrowed at the librarian’s desk or using the self-check device. Course books and textbooks can be borrowed for 150 days and fiction for 30 days. The books used on-site should be put on the book carts after use.

Storeroom Department

Books and periodicals located in the Storage Facility should be ordered via online catalogue. Books are borrowed for 14 or 30 days, and the periodicals can be used in the Library premises. Ordered books are collected at the Main Lending Desk, and periodicals in the Reference Department and Periodicals Reading Room

Department of Scientific Information

This includes Polish and foreign research journals and popular science magazines, journals published by the UWM, daily newspapers and weekly magazines, books thematically related to the University, reference publications, dictionaries and encyclopaedias. Periodicals are arranged in the alphabetical order, and books by subjects, according to the sections (just like in subject collections). 
This library unit also provides access to foreign and Polish full-text databases, abstract and bibliographic databases, as well as e-books and e-journal databases. 
It also features a card catalogue for older volumes of periodicals. Periodicals ordered from the Storage Facility are collected in this reading room.

Department of Special Collection

This Department collects and provides access to books and periodicals published before 1945, old prints, maps, atlases, album publications, microfilms, CDs, doctoral dissertations, publications in library sciences, as well as general and subject bibliographies. It also provides access to regional publications related to Warmia and Mazury. 


The Department includes the Information Desk for Standardisation and the Centre for Patent Information.


Department of Subject Collections

It offers the latest Polish and foreign specialised books related to the subject of a given collection. Publications in the Subject Collections are available in open access. Colour labels with the symbol of the section make it easy to locate and identify books on specific subjects. The resources of the Collections can be used only in the premises of the Library. Loans are recorded by the librarian (at the counter). The books used on-site should be put on the book carts after use.

The resources in this Department are divided into three collections:

  • Yellow Collection - social sciences (sections 0,1,2,3) - publications in fields including: science studies, standardization, cultural science, press studies, journalism, philosophy, psychology, logic, ethics, theology, religious studies, social studies, statistics, demography, sociology, economic sciences, law and administration, pedagogy, ethnography and advertising;
  • Green Collection - natural and technical sciences (sections 5,6) - publications, in fields including: mathematics, computer science, ecology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, geodesy, geology, meteorology and climatology, hydrology, botanic, biology, zoology, medicine, veterinary medicine, technical sciences, construction, transport, agricultural sciences, food technology, organization and management, accounting, chemical industry, food industry, construction and heavy industry, craftsmanship, automation and sanitary engineering, IT; architecture, spatial planning, urban planning, landscaping and geography;
  • Blue Collection - humanities (section 7,8,9) - publications in fields including: aesthetics, arts, sculpture, drawing, painting and graphics, photography, music, film and theatre, entertainment, sports and tourism, linguistics, literature, archaeology, prehistory, history, biographies and military science.
The Section for the European Documentation Centre (Yellow Collection

The section was open in 1998 as one of such centres operating at higher education institutions in Poland. It gathers and provides access to documents and publications created in the European Union institutions (in English) and domestic publications concerning the European Union.

Information Desk for Standardisation (Department of Special Collections) 

The Standards Information Centre provides information based on standardization publications such as: Catalogues of Polish norms, “Normalizacja” monthly, the Polish edition of the International Classification of Standards (ICS), ISO and IEC technical reports, ISO and IEC guidebooks. nformation Desk for Standardisation is authorized by the Polish Committee for Standardization (PKN) and has access to the database of Polish Standards, available on the PKN website.

Pursuant to the agreement on cooperation with a higher education institution concluded by the Rector of the UWM and the President of the PKN on 3 January 2011, UWM employees and students are allowed to print, in justified cases, fragments of electronic standards (tables, charts, diagrams) for teaching/scientific purposes.

Centre for Patent Information (Department of Special Collections

The Centre offers patent databases of the ESPACE series on CD ROMs and online access to the Polish Patent Office. The Centre gathers patent magazines: “Biuletyn Urzędu Patentowego” and “Wiadomości Urzędu Patentowego”. It also provides access to the International Patent Classification.