Pan Tadeusz Museum
Branch of the Ossolinski National Institute
Pan Tadeusz Museum is the latest and the most modern part of the Ossolineum, exhibiting collections of the Institute on the rich historical and literary background. It was opened to public in May 2016 in one of the most beautiful tenement houses in Wrocław – Under the Golden Sun (Rynek 6).
This unique, modern Museum tells the story of an extraordinary book – perhaps the last one known (in fragments) by nearly all Poles by heart. The only existing manuscript of Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz, accompanied by several hundred authentic other manuscripts, old prints, etchings, paintings, sculptures and objects of daily use and complemented by over a hundred applications and multimedia presentations create an impressive invitation to a conversation about Polish culture and the history of struggle for an independent country. Exhibitions dedicated to “witnesses of history” – Jan Nowak-Jeziorański and Władysław Bartoszewski, as well as a rich educational and art programme of the Museum expand the perspective and offer a chance to enter a real dialogue with the most interesting themes in contemporary culture.
The Manuscript of “Pan Tadeusz” introduces us into Adam Mickiewicz's poetic vision of the early 19th century Polish gentry, on the fascinating background of Polish and European Romanticism and the tumultuous history of Europe in those times. We take out guests on a journey during which they will learn about key inspirations, the history of writing the poem, the world depicted in Mickiewicz's epic and its reception. We also present the manuscript of „Pan Tadeusz” – the most precious object in Ossolineum's collection and one of the most valuable treasures of Polish culture.
Mission: Poland is an exhibition about the Romantic idea of freedom transferred into the context of World War II and post-war era. Using the examples of Jan Nowak-Jeziorański and Władysław Bartoszewski's biographies, we present the story of a generation which grew up in a country free after 123 years of partitions, but in 1939, they had to face the necessity to fight for independence and later – for sovereignty of Poland in modern Europe. Both witnesses of history have donated to Ossolineum priceless collections of documents about their lives, events which they participated in, as well as artworks and archives.
Pan Tadeusz Różewicz is the third permanent exhibition, opened in October 2021. It is a bridge between the literary and historical parts of the museum, e.g. the content and context of the Mickiewicz work and the “Mission: Poland” display. It tells the story of another 20th century hero, who also fought in the WWII, but when it ended, refrained from political engagement. Tadeusz Różewicz wanted to give voice to an anonymous human, at the same time being an astute observer and commentator of the reality, and a great poet. The exhibition presents a selection of objects from the collection given to the Ossoliński National Institute, including precious manuscripts, documents, everyday artefacts and impressive library. There are also art works on loan from other institutions and private persons, and photographs.
Opened thanks to the support from the Norwegian and EEA funds from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as Polish funds, but also thanks to the citizens of Wrocław, the Pan Tadeusz Museum has been visited by over 300.000 people, up till June 2023. In 2019 it received a special commendation of the European Museum of the Year Award.
The Ossolineum is one of the largest scientific libraries in Poland, second to none as far as the collections in the field of the humanities are concerned. The acquisitions profile has been defined as humanistic with special stress being laid on Polish and Slavonic history, culture and literature. In this respect, the Ossolineum collections are unique not only in Poland but also worldwide. The Ossolineum is a presence library and the items collected are available on-site only in eight reading rooms.
Supported by the Norwegian and EEA funds from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as Polish funds.