War and the Book: Book collections, libraries, publishers, and authors during armed and political conflicts. State of the art and research perspectives, Conference, Poznan, Poland, 13-15 November 2019

Events and Conferences

Conference Objectives (Conference Website

The upcoming 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War is an appropriate opportunity to organize the first in what is planned as a series international multidisciplinary conferences focusing on libraries, book collections, culture, publishing houses, and authors in times of armed and political conflicts. The conference will deal with various categories of cultural losses in the areas related to books. The organizers want to address not only topics related directly to the Second World War, but also those concerning earlier conflicts (e.g. the Swedish Deluge) and more modern times (the Cold War, the war in Iraq).

The conference will moreover discuss the protection of collections and the legal situation of libraries and cultural assets during the war, as well as the various aspects of offsetting losses in culture.
This subject generates a great interest of librarians, historians, art historians, literary historians, museum professionals, and archaeologists, who want to exchange experiences. The conference project is a response to the needs of the scholarly community related to the broadly understood protection of cultural heritage in Europe and in the world.

List of issues addressed during the Conference (interdisciplinary themed modules):

  1. Direct damage during warfare: libraries, bookshops, printing houses, institutional and private book collections (bombed, demolished, burned, devastated)
  2. Losses due to the disorganisation of the book market (production, circulation – distribution, trade, demand, institutional and private demand)
  3. Losses due to the deliberate activity of invaders
    a) as ideological reprisals
    b) as personal reprisals
    c) pillage
    d) dislocations
  4. The fate and function of dislocated book collections and books (torn out of their natural environment)
  5. Losses of holdings and documents
  6. The role of the book during armed conflicts:
    a) providing information
    b) propaganda tool
    c) ideological, moral, entertainment
    d) books as vehicles of ideas
    e) books as cultural and tangible goods
  7. Disorganisation of the circles of authors, intermediaries and recipients
  8. Library buildings during wars and armed conflicts, their rebuilding and restoration
  9. Preservation and protection of book collections and cultural resources during wars, present-day threats
  10. Elimination of the effects of cultural losses incurred as a result of armed and political conflict – actions taken (restitution, repossession, intellectual property rights)
  11. Inter-library cooperation in taking stock and making available book collections subject to dispersal and dislocation


In order to participate in the Conference (speakers), it is necessary to send an application form by e-mail or traditional mail by 15 March 2019 and to pay the conference fee of PLN 270 to the indicated bank account by 10 September 2019 (participants planning to deliver a paper). The fee includes full-day catering services, including lunch on the first and second day of the event, the gala dinner after the first day, and a conference kit.

The fee does not cover accommodation, which is to be arranged by the participants themselves (see the tab “Accommodation“).

Submissions are to be sent to the e-mail address: or via traditional mail to the address: Biblioteka Raczyńskich, pl. Wolności 19, 61-739 Poznań, with a note on the envelope: “War and the Book Conference”.

Out of concern for the highest level of the Conference’s content, the organizers reserve the right to choose the submitted papers. Confirmation of acceptance of submissions to the Conference programme together with guidelines for the Authors will be sent by e-mail by 30 April 2019.

All useful information about the Conference can be found on its dedicated website In case of further questions, please write, or call +48 61 885 89 30.



Red Hall, Działyński Palace in Poznań,
Stary Rynek 78


Dr Agnieszka Łuczak (Raczyński Library)

Science Council

Conference language
English and Polish


Raczyński Library, University Library in Poznań, Polish Academy of Sciences in Kórnik, Poznań Society of Friends of Sciences, Polish History Museum, Warsaw Rising Museum.


Polish Librarians’ Association, National Institute for Museums and Public Collections

For full information, see the conference website:


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