Card cataloque

Card catalogues

Research and Reference Information Centre + Catalogue Information

I floor, room no. 140


Opening hours from 13 September 2021 to 30 June 2022

Mon. – Fri.  9.00 am. – 8.00 pm.

Sut.            10.00 am. – 5.00 pm.

Sun.             closed

Pomieszczenie katalogu kartkowego w bibliotece, pokój 140. Wysokie drewniane szafy katalogowe widoczne na pierwszym i na drugim planie okalają pokój przy ścianach. Wysokie pomieszczenie, z góry zwisa żyrandol w typie pająka z świetlówkami imitującymi świece. Na zielonych ścianach wiszą obrazy portretowe. Wnętrze pokoju zajmują trzy, szerokie stoły z lampami o zielonych kloszami. Pokój jest jasny, oświetlony światłem dziennym.

If you have any questions or need further information, or would you like to inquire about our services or take advantage of our research consultation service, use our Ask a librarian service.

Ask a librarian online or insite at the library at Information and Enquiry Desk (located in the entrance lobby) provides library users with direction to library materials, advice on library collections and services.

The Centre houses the traditional card catalogue (alphabetical and subject catalogues) and workstations with online catalogue and databases available. The databases include full-text and bibliographical databases (available through the Univerity’s intranet). The Research Information Department also provides training in sophisticated searching techniques within databases and using different search interfaces, focusing on relevant databases.

Digital catalogue – DIGIT CARDS
DIGIT CARDS is a web-based service that provides images of digitised traditional catalogue cards: alphabetical and subject cards, the catalogue of old prints, the catalogue of old books and manuscripts, the catalogue of doctoral dissertations from the years 1957-98 and the catalogue of available microfilms. Go to DIGIT CARDS …

Alphabetical card catalogue

The alphabetical card catalogue is in the catalogue Room (room 140, first floor) and occupies the upper part of the card catalogue cabinets.

The alphabetical card catalogue includes all volumes and items in the collections of the University Library, i.e. books, leaflets, pamphlets, serials (periodicals, newspapers), atlases, musical scores, librettos, etc., published after 1800 (i.e. from the year 1801) as well as cartographic collections published between 1801-1968. Old prints, manuscripts, iconographic material, etc. is to be found in separate catalogues that are in particular relevant study rooms. The old books and manuscript catalogue is also available in the Library’s digital catalogue  DIGIT CARDS

The alphabetic card catalogue can be used when we know:

– the name of the author (authors) of a publication we are after, the name of the translator or the editor of a collective work,

– the title of a collective work (compiled by more than three authors).

There is no separate journals catalogue. Periodicals are to be found in the alphabetical catalogue (see the information above). Access to periodicals, journals and newspapers is restricted to reading rooms only.

The answer is ”A”. The first word in the title counts; no definite or indefinite articles or other grammatical articles (e.g. German der, die, das, ein and eine or English the, a, an, or French la, le, l’, les, un, une) are taken into consideration. If these grammatical articles or any other group of characters occur further on in the title they constitute a regular element of a title.

There is  no ”Ł” character (letter) in the catalogue.

While using the alphabetical catalogue the knowledge of the general rules for filing catalogue cards is essential. The catalogue entries are given in the Latin alphabet, complemented with the letters “K” and ”W”. What follows is that all diacritical marks are omitted; the letters: ą, ć, ę, ń, ó, ś, ź, ż are listed in the same sequence as the original forms from which they have been derived, i.e. a, c, e, n, o, s, z (the same applies to other alphabets, e.g. ö=o, ü=u, ä=a, and so on). The letter “J” is combined in sequencing with the letter „I”, whereas the letter “Ł” with the letter “L”, which means that “J” is to be found under “I” and ”Ł” under “L”.

Books published in languages that do not use Latin characters, e.g. Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Greek or Hebrew are transliterated. The letters of these alphabets are replaced with corresponding letters from the Latin alphabet.

Transliteration tables are with the librarian on duty.

Please note: The alphabetical card catalogue includes, beside the main catalogue cards (that include bibliographical descriptions of individual documents),  auxiliary cards, the so-called cross-reference cards.

The answer is no. For example, with the author’s surname in Polish: Szołochow we have a cross-reference card: Szołochow Michaił Aleksandrowicz  see:  Sholokhov Mikhail Aleksandrovich

Yes. In addition, cross-reference cards that include the place names and the names in individual titles are also introduced, e.g. under the entry ”Sienkiewicz Henryk”, first the books on his life and works are listed, then the works he wrote; under the catalogue entry “Poznań” you will find a list of publications on the city.

Some names of authors are listed under Polonised versions (in cross-reference cards), e.g. Kartezjusz   see: Descartes

There are also auxiliary cards that help find a book when only the name of just one of three co-authors of a book is known. The same applies to editors of a collective book or translators.

Periodicals and serial publications that have changed their titles have cross-reference cards with their original titles. The title of the oldest year’s issue in the collections of the library is given priority in the bibliographical record.

Constructed collective entries are created to help support queries.

All published reports of institutions and collective bodies are combined into a single file, e.g. under the entry heading “Reports of institutions and collective bodies’. Within thus constructed entry the following elements in sequencing include: the name of town/city (the seat of an institution), name of institution, e.g.: Reports of institutions and collective bodies, Poznań, Poznańskie Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk (Poznań Society of Friends of Sciences).

In a similar way, under a constructed collective entry – annual reports, lists of personnel or lists of lectures, etc. are sequenced. Schools are divided into “higher academic institutions”, ”grammar schools”, ”secondary schools”, “vocational schools” and “special schools”.

Works that are included into numbered serial publications, such as Biblioteka Problemów and Biblioteka Narodowa, or research works published at universities and research institutes  are given entries in the alphabetic catalogue, just as all other books, but additionally are introduced to collective cards with the name of a serial publication.

The decisive criterion while sequencing entry cards in the card catalogue  is the criterion of separate words or their abbreviations and not strings of letters.

It should not be forgotten that:

– with identical last names, the further elements in sequencing are the alphabetical order of first names, while initials of names are treated equally with full names;

– surnames that include two or more proper names, e.g. C. Clive-James, are placed after family names with just one element, whereas the second element of the family name is treated as the next word in the entry sequencing;

– surnames with partitive articles and prepositions, as well as prefixes and modifiers, are treated as single words even though they are spelled out separately, e.g. “La Fontane”, ”O’Connor” are to be found under “L” and ”O”, respectively ;

– nobiliary particles in family names and prepositions denoting an individual person’s place of residence in Germanic languages are placed following the name of an author, e.g.: Goethe Johann Wolfgang von.

In no way is this information comprehensive. Rather, the intention is to provide the user with an overview of the general ordering of catalogue entries in the catalogue. When in doubt, consult a librarian on duty.

Each catalogue card in the alphabetical catalogue has a unique symbol at the bottom right corner of the document. Symbols relate a particular document to a relevant domain in the subject catalogue to enable the user to expand the search. In general, the symbol does not have to be included in the call slip.

It is recommended to order books through the web-based Digital Catalogue  – DIGIT CARDS 

In addition, books from the card catalogue can be ordered to particular reading rooms (fill out a paper call slip to request an item). You will need to find appropriate call numbers of requested material in the main catalogue first. Completed call slips are to be placed into the designated locked boxes or are to be handed directly to a librarian on duty in a given reading room.

Each call slip is divided into two separate sections that have to be filled out legibly. The fields to be filled out in the upper part include: the library card number, the borrower’s first and last names, call number(s)  (4 at the most), the author’s name, title of the volume to be borrowed (or the title only, in the case of collective works – copy the data from the catalogue card), legible signature, name of a faculty, address and date. The lower section of the call slip has to include the same data. Completed calls slips are to be placed in designated locked boxes in reading rooms.

Note: If a given catalogue card has the stamp ”HORIZON” on it, this means that this bibliographic record is also included in the online catalogue.

Requested books can be collected at the pick-up location in the Circulation Department (Student Library)  (building B, tel. 61 829 38 51):

Electronic ordering – ordered material can be collected on the same day:

Monday – Friday

from 9.00 am. to 8.00 pm.


from 10.00 am. to 5.00 pm.

Calls slips are collected from reading rooms every half an hour, while actual borrowing may take a couple of days due to the fact that some books need to be introduced to the Library’s online catalogue first.

Subject card catalogue

If you have no specific title in mind but want to know what books the library has on a particular subject, use the subject catalogue. The subject catalogue is made of entries for subjects arranged in alphabetical order. In other words, it is a subject index to the collection of the library. The names of these domains or disciplines constitute the main sections of the catalogue. Each of these sections is then divided into sub-sections that narrows down (providing more detailed bibliographic information) the scope and range of subject’s contents. Within the expanded sections of the catalogue,  joint divisions are applied to group together particular publishing formats, such as text books, bibliographies or volumes of writings by different authors presented as a tribute or memorial to a scholar.

The subject catalogue is in the Catalogue Room (room 140) in the library card cabinets with drawers.

The subject catalogue includes exactly the same amount of documents (books) as the alphabetical catalogue. It simply structures and lists bibliographical records according to the principle “from the general to the detail”.

Of course. Card catalogues from the alphabetical catalogue include a classification symbol that relates a document to its systematic (subject) classification. The symbol indicates a corresponding domain in the subject catalogue.

This catalogue is divided into a number of main sections corresponding to specific areas of knowledge. These particular domains are marked with Latin capital letters as follows:

A – General interest, reference books: encyclopaedias, dictionaries, directories, periodicals, information technology and computer science, science studies, media studies and museology

B – Librarianship

C – Ethnography, archaeology and auxiliary historical sciences

D – E – History and history of culture

F – Military science

G – Social movements

H – Political science

I – Sociology

K – Economics

L – Law

M – the Arts

N – Q – Language studies

R – Philosophy, psychology

S – Education

T – Religious studies

U – Geography

V – Mathematics

W – Life sciences

X – Medicine

Y – Technology

Z – Children’s literature

A more detailed division into subsections of each of the above sections is indicated by special symbols that include lower case  Latin letters and Roman and Arabic numerals.

The essential thing is to get to know the catalogue structure first.

To help support a query, a card subject index has been added to the subject catalogue. This index correlates subject entries, arranges them in the alphabetical order and shows in which sections and sub-sections relevant literature can be found. The index is also available in the Catalogue Room.

Within each of the available knowledge domains, the following sequence of subject groups (sub-chapters) has been adopted: bibliographies, periodicals, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, collective works, methodology, biographies, conference proceedings, associations and institutions, general studies, textbooks.

Example: C – Ethnography, Ca I – Ethnography, Bibliographies, Ca II – Ethnography, Periodicals, Ca III – Ethnography, Encyclopaedias, etc.

Further on, a content-related division of a given discipline is introduced, e.g.: Cb I1 Ethnography. Europe. General studies, Textbooks

In the sections with narrow content scope ( those that refer to particular issues), catalogue cards are sequenced according to:

Chronological sequence of the year of publication (the youngest documents are at the end of a section, therefore it is recommended to start your query from the items placed at the end of a section);

the alphabetical order (periodicals and bibliographies);

the alphabetical order of subject entries for individual problems within a section.

Note: a particular method for sequencing is always indicated on main cards.

Before filling out a call slip it is worthwhile to recheck the required titles in the alphabetical catalogue.  This operation may give you additional call numbers (therefore, available copies) of a given item.

Skip to content