The Masonic Collection at the University of PoznanMy thanks to Rafal Prinke for help with this page.
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The Library of the University of Poznan possess an exceptional collection of Masonic books amounting to about 80,000 volumes. This collection was originally formed during World War II when Heinrich Himmler's SS under the Nazi regime in Germany confiscated the libraries of Masonic libraries in Germany, and stored this archive in Poland. After the war this collection remained in Poland, and only since the fall of the communist regime has its existence been known or it been given any publicity.
It is the largest Masonic collection in continental Europe and second only to that of the Grand Lodge in London. Some of the items are housed in Poznan and others at the Chateau de Ciazen about 80 kilometers from Poznan. The University Library and some Masonic bodies from Poland and Western Europe agreed to make Ciazen the centre of Masonic research. The palace has long been a place for conferences and seminars, so it has hotel-like facilities. It is a beautiful place and was formerly the residence of bishops.
The older part of the collection has many Rosicrucian books of the 17th and 18th Centuries, but the most substantial part of the collection is of 19th and 20th century works. The greater part of the collection is in German, but there are many English and French works. There are many Masonic encyclopaedias, monographs, Masonic manuals, and polemical and works of Masonic instruction. 70% of the titles are in the form of journals and magazines in a number of languages. There are a number of membership list and other internal documents of various Masonic orders, Constitutions and Statutes, and works on the symbolism, the catechism, instructions, grade rituals and ceremonies of the different Masonic orders. The manuscripts are at present being catalogued. There are both alchemical and magical items.
A catalogue of the collection is available on Microfiche (30 microfiches) from:-
George Olms (Division III Microform)
[Some scholarly institutions may already have copies of this microfiche.]
The address of the curator is:-
Mgr A. Karpowicz
Samodzielna Sekcja Zbiorow Masonskich
Biblioteka Glowna UAM
ul. Ratajczaka 38/40