Main library collection
The main library collection has been developed since the establishment of the Library in 1919, and – as a result of damage and considerable losses that the Library experienced during the World War II and Nazi occupation (1939-1945) – largely rebuilt from scratch since 1945. The character of this part of the collection is determined by the main objective of the Sejm Library, which is documenting and supporting the legislative process, as well as meeting the needs of the research, advisory and information staff of the parliament. The Library collects parliamentary and official publications on the one hand, and literature of a broad subject range, which constitutes the theoretical and methodological basis of the legislative work on the other.
The main library collection contains a unique, complete set of publications of the Sejm and the Senate starting from 1919 (bills, verbatim reports, bulletins from the sittings of the parliamentary committees, etc.) and Polish legislation (journals of laws, official gazettes of ministries of central agencies, and of voivodeships), and the same type of publications from about 30 other countries, mainly European.
The Library also collects official publications of the European Union, United Nations, Council of Europe, Western European Union and NATO, among which texts of conventions, treaties and other international agreements adopted by these organizations can be found.
At present more and more Polish and foreign parliamentary and official publications are available in the Library – either additionally or exclusively – in electronic form; since 2003 it has been electronic deposit library for the United Nations documentation.
In the selection of books and journals for the Sejm Library detailed content-based criteria are applied. Particularly rich are collections of Polish and foreign publications in the following areas:
- law, especially constitutional law, parliamentary law, administration law, local government law, international law, and also philosophy and sociology of law, as well as principles of law making and law interpretation,
- the state and political system,
- international relations and organizations,
- political sciences,
The Library collects also political writings, memoirs and biographies of prominent politicians and personalities of public life, especially deputies and senators. Quite rich is also the collection of Polish and foreign general and special reference works (encyclopaedias, directories, bibliographies, etc.).
In December 2016 the size of the main library collection of the Sejm Library was ca. 391 300 units in total, including:
- parliamentary and official publications – ca. 88 500 vol.;
- publications of international organizations – ca. 21 560 vol.;
- books – ca. 201 300 vol.;
- journals – ca. 76 800 vol.;
- electronic documents – ca. 1 010 items.