How to use

Library trainings for international students

The University of Warsaw Library offers the international students at UW the following services:

  • library trainings in English:
  • library orientation – general information about the library and its services along with a tour of the building;
  • information sources and research tools – explaining the UW libraries online catalogue, UW electronic resources and other open sources of information, as well as bibliography manager Mendeley;
  • databases – presentation of licensed electronic resources available at the University of Warsaw;
  • Mendeley – bibliographic manager tool;
  • What to start with? Guidelines for writing a Bachelor’s/Master’s thesis.


A detailed information about the courses is available on the BUW website in the tab Training (Practical information – Training).

  • individual bibliographic and subject consultations in English

Contact: email:, tel. 55 25 181, 55 25 184, room 141

You can also receive help at the Information Desk of the library.



 Information Desk

Opening times: open daily during BUW opening times.

Services available at the Information Desk:

  • general information about BUW, its collections and services,
  • checking items in the library catalogues,
  • ordering searches,
  • ordering bibliometric analyses (contact),
  • extending the access time to the Internet,
  • issuing certificates of the library training completion,
  • booking student booths, collecting and returning keys,
  • submitting applications for accelerating the editing of a book,
  • collecting an entry pass to special collections,
  • help with copying and scanning,
  • ordering PhD dissertations from the UW Repository,
  • submitting written comments on the operation of BUW – entries bearing the name and email address are replied to within 2 weeks.


 Subject Area Information Desk

Subject librarians are responsible for:

  • developing the book collection in the Open Stacks (you may pass on any suggestions through the form Suggest to collections, available in the UW libraries online catalogue after logging in),
  • supporting information search,
  • library and subject area training,
  • guided tours of the library,
  • managing the subject areas.

Contact the subject librarian during their duty hours in the subject areas of Open Stacks and via emails:,

Duty hours of subject librarians.


You may join BUW at the Circulation Desk (stands 5 and 6) on level 1, on the left hand side.

Opening times:

  • Monday – Saturday 9-20
  UW students and employees holding an ELS (Electronic Student ID) and ELP (Electronic Employee ID)

Links to activate the library account remotely:
UW student account activation
Activating an Electronic Employee ID (ELP) as a UW library card

Your account shall be activated at 5 a.m. the next day.

If any problems with online registration occure, please contact:

 UW students and employees who do not hold an electronic ID (ELS/ELP)

Documents required to register:

To obtain a BUW library card you need to produce:

  1. in the case of a pass entitling the visitor to use collections on the premises (or, in special cases, of a one-day ticket):
    1. a passport or other photo ID (for instance a school ID card, a residence card or an ID card),
    2. or any valid photo ID with PESEL number;
  2. in the case of a pass entitling to use the collections on the premises and to borrow items outside the Library – the data placed in USOSWeb are checked. In addition, the following documents will be requested:
    1. UW students of all degrees – a valid student ID/PhD Student ID;
    2. students of UW postgraduate diploma courses – valid photo ID and, in the absence of an entry to USOSWeb, a student enrollment sheet with current semester entries;
    3. UW employees – valid photo ID (e.g. a passport, a residence card or an ID card), possibly an ELP card (Electronic Employee ID); and employment contract (in the absence of an entry to USOSWeb);
    4. visiting professors – a document with a photo (e.g. a passport, an ID card, a residence card), a certificate from a UW faculty;
    5. professors from other tertiary institutes and research institutes – a valid photo ID (a passport, a residence card or an ID card), and a document confirming the status of an independent research associate;
    6. persons doing short-term exchange studies (e.g. MOST), scientific internship or those participating in other programmes at UW– a valid photo ID (e.g. a student ID card, a passport, a residence card or an ID card) and a certificate from the academic unit of UW confirming the student status;
    7. UW extramural PhD students, who may only use a deposit account – a certificate from the UW advisor, photo ID (e.g. a passport, a residence card or an ID card), an application with the consent of the head of the Circulation Department or a person authorized to open an account;
    8. UW employees with the contract for mandate or for specific work, who may only use a deposit account – a certificate of employment, a photo ID (e.g. a passport, a residence card or an ID card), an application with the consent of the head of the Circulation Department or a person authorized to open an account;
    9. members of the UW Alumni Club – a valid Club membership card;
    10. students with a certificate of completion – a student ID or a passport or other photo ID (e.g. a residence card or an ID card), as well as the certificate of completion issued by a UW Faculty.

The library card entitles you to access BUW collections on the premises and to borrow books.

When joining BUW the reader obtains a library account password, which enables you to:

  • check your account status,
  • order books and periodicals from the UW libraries online catalogue and Web card catalogue from the closed stacks to the Main Reading Room or the Circulation Desk,
  • reserve borrowed books from the UW libraries online catalogue,
  • access electronic resources on home computers (only for UW students and employees),
  • use the Internet at BUW.

How and where can you change the password? At BUW – at the Circulation Desk and on the website of the UW libraries online catalogue after logging into your library account.

When joining BUW, the reader agrees to comply with the Regulations for accessing the collections.

  Other visitors

BUW cards can be issued to anyone over 18 years old who accepts the provisions of the Regulations for accessing the collections. However, visitors who are not UW students or employees may access the collections only on the premises, without the right to borrow books to take home. This does not apply to students of institutes taking part in the BiblioWawa programme.

Documents necessary to register (applies to foreigners):

  • a passport,
  • or a residence card.


  • setting up a library account and issuing a library card and/or its activation (for a year) – 20 PLN,
  • a duplicate library card – 20 PLN,
  • prolonging (renewal) of a library account – 10 PLN.

When joining BUW the reader receives a library card and a password.
The password allows you to order items from the UW libraries online catalogue and from digitalised card catalogues of books and periodicals from closed stacks to the Main Reading Room and to access the Internet at BUW.

Non-UW professors and holders of post-doctoral degrees may borrow books outside BUW, but when they join the library (or extend the validity of their library card), they are required to produce a document confirming their status of an independent researcher in their country of origin and a valid photo ID (a passport, an ID card).

 Renewal of library cards

Before coming to BUW, please check the validity of your account.

  • UW Students: If your account has expired, you need to come with a valid ELS to the Circulation Desk or to the Registration stand or to your faculty library.
  • UW Employees: The activation of an Electronic Employee ID as a library card guarantees you an automatic renewal of your library account on the basis of the data from the USOS system. Activate your ELP.
    If your library account connected to your ELP is not extended automatically, you need to send an e-mail to the address:, in which you need to give your library card number, your full name and your organizational unit. Please note! Extending the validity of your library card does not result in renewing your borrowed items! You must renew your items online or in person at BUW.
  • Professors and holders of post-doctoral degrees from other tertiary institutes, PAN (the Polish Academy of Sciences) and research institutes: to extend the validity of your library card please produce a valid photo ID.
  • Persons doing short-term exchange studies, scientific internship or those participating in other programmes at UW: to extend the validity of your library card please produce an appropriate certificate from the UW academic unit and your library card.
 One-day passes

One-day passes are issued only on Sundays at the Information Desk. On other days only holders of valid library cards may access BUW collections.
In order to receive a Sunday one-day pass, you have to sign a declaration form (available at BUW) and show your photo ID (a student ID, an ID card, a driving licence, a passport). One-day passes are free of charge. One-day passes allow you to access the collections in open stacks at the premises only. They do not allow you to use the Internet or order items from closed stacks.

How to borrow?

 How to borrow a book?

• In order to borrow a book from BUW you need to establish its location, that is you need to check if it is kept in open stacks (Wolny Dostęp) or in closed stacks (Magazyn) outside the reach of library members. You may find such information in the online catalogue.

Having found a book, click on its title and select the Copies tab:

  • if the record location says BUW Wolny Dostęp (open stacks) – you need to write down its LC Classification symbol, find the book on a shelf in the relevant subject area and bring it to the Circulation Desk or use the SelfCheck kiosks (situated next to the Circulation Desk),
  • if the record location says BUW Magazyn (closed stacks) – the book must be ordered through the online catalogue by clicking on the Request button.
  • If the Copies tab says Return and a date is given in the Status box, it means the book is borrowed. You may reserve it, using the Request button.
  • If the book fails to appear in the online catalogue but it appears in the BUW Web Card Catalogue (CKK), it means it is located in the closed stacks. In this case you need to order the book by clicking on the Order button on CKK website.
  • Books ordered from closed stacks shall be collected from the Circulation Desk within 5 days since placing an order.
 What can and can’t be borrowed?

In order to find out in the online catalogue if a book can be borrowed or if it can only be accessed on the premises, please check the Copies tab, Status box.

  •  “Available” means the book can be borrowed.
  • “Return date: Due 2018-12-26 21:00” means that the book is currently on loan and it can only be reserved.
  • “Non-circulating” means the book can only be accessed on the premises.
  • Status “Awaits pick-up” appears when the reserved book is returned to the library. The person who first reserved the book may borrow it. A library member receives an email with information on the possibility of borrowing the book.

At Open Stacks items that can be borrowed are marked with blue, white or yellow labels. Books that cannot be borrowed are marked with a red label or a red dot.

 BUW does not lend out:
  • items from reference collections of library departments and reading rooms,
  • items from special collections,
  • encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographic publications or any other publications of reference character,
  • periodical publications,
  • newspapers,
  • items published before 1950,
  • items in poor condition or unbound offprints and reprints of small size,
  • items that are rare, difficult to purchase or containing numerous tables, maps, illustrations and prints or files with loose sheets of paper,
  • prints marked as rare with Cim. symbol,
  • microforms,
  • items from Open Stacks marked with a red label or a red dot.
Borrowing limits
UW employees,
Doctoral students
20 books for up to 90 days
Independent researchers  from outside UW who are holders of an ID card issued in Poland 15 books for up to 60 days
UW Students of all undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes 10 books for 30 days
Other individual readers with borrowing rights 3 books for up to 30 days

Please note! Some books are lent for a shorter period to all Readers, regardless of their borrowing rights. An employee of the Circulation Department informs a reader if they wish to borrow such a book.

Change of borrowing rights:
If your borrowing rights are due to change, please inform the Circulation Desk or the Registration stand staff of this fact.

Where and when to return a book?
Circulation Desk Monday – Saturday 9-21
Information Desk Sunday 15-20
Leave a book on the trolley by BUW entrance (next to the security stand) daily 7-22
SelfChecks (level 1, next to the Circulation Desk) during opening hours
Return box (in the passage way) daily 8-21
  • Only books returned at the Circulation Desk shall be removed from your library account instantly.
  • Books left at the BUW entrance and at the Information Desk shall be removed from your library account within a few hours. Books returned after 9 p.m. shall be removed from your account on the following day.
  • Readers who wish to borrow other items on the same day are advised to return books at the Circulation Desk.
  • Security employees are not entitled to give out books left at the library entrance.
  • The Circulation Desk employees are not obliged to search books returned by readers onto the trolley at the library entrance and at the Information Desk.
  • Books may be returned personally or by any other person.
  • After returning a book please check if it has been removed from your library account within the next five days. If the book still appears on your account, please send an email to or refer the matter personally at room 143a (Requests and Complaints Office at BUW). The employees accept visitors from Monday to Friday 9-20 (breaks 11:30-12 and 16-16.30). In view of the above, please note that complaints will not be accepted after more than 3 days.
 Book renewal

Readers are informed by email if any of their items are due to be returned (if an email address has been provided beforehand).
You can renew your book after you log into your library account or in person at the Circulation Desk provided that an item has not gone overdue or it has not been previously reserved by another reader. There are five possible renewals.

 Reservation of a borrowed book

If a book is borrowed by another reader, you can reserve it. When the book is returned, its status changes from “In progress” into “Awaits pick-up” and the reader receives an email informing them of the possibility to borrow the book. Reserved books wait to be collected at the Circulation Desk for 5 days.

 Overdue items

Any borrower who fails to return an item or a Kindle reader on time will have their library account blocked.
Until you settle your obligations with the library, you won’t be able to borrow any more items, renew or reserve any other items.


  • PLN 0.40 for each day of failing to return an item in time since 1.02.2015,
  • PLN 0.25 for each day of failing to return an item in time before 31.01.2015,
  • PLN 1.00 for each day of failing to return a Kindle reader in time
  • PLN 5.00 for each day of failing to return a key to a self-service locker at the cloakroom

Please note! A fine is automatically charged for each day that elapses before the item is returned.

A fine for an overdue item, after returning the item, may be paid:

  • at the Circulation Desk (only by card) or
  • by a money transfer to a bank account (only in case of books borrowed from BUW):
    Uniwersytet Warszawski Bank Millennium S. A. – 69 11602202 0000 0000 6085 0087  (and in case of transfers from abroad: BIC/S.W.I.F.T.: BIGBPLPWXXX
    IBAN: P L 6 9 1 1 6 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 6 0 8 5 0 08 7) with a title „Opłata za przetrzymanie książek z BUW” (“Fine for overdue BUW items”).
    Please note! The information about your outstanding payments shall be removed from your library account after receiving the information about the payment (money transfer) made from the UW Bursar’s Office, which takes a few days.

Please note! Fines for overdue items borrowed from other UW faculty libraries are paid solely to the bank accounts given on the faculty websites!

Settlements with BUW

Annual settlements for UW students at the Circulation Desk

The Circulation Desk handles annual settlements through USOSWeb platform or in a paper form. To obtain an annual settlement the reader must settle their library account (no overdue books and no outstanding fees).

End-of-studies settlement with BUW

Settlement is performed by the deanery of each academic unit, either electronically through USOSWeb platform or on paper by issuing a circulation sheet.
Perfoming an electronic settlement may take up to 5 working days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays). A circulation sheet in a paper form is issued instantly at the Circulation Desk of BUW during its opening times.
To receive a settlement, the reader must settle their library account (no overdue items and no outstanding fees). The obligation to settle accounts with BUW applies also to UW students who did not use the University of Warsaw Library.

Settlement with BUW of UW Employees

UW Employees receive their settlement on paper in the form of a circulation sheet issued at the Circulation Desk during its opening times. To receive a settlement, the reader must settle their library account (no overdue items and no outstanding fees).

Settlement of BiblioWawa Users

The settlement is not provided in real time but performed via an online application. Logging to the settlement system is performed by providing the login and password established at registration to BiblioWawa. If you have any problem with logging, please report it to your home library.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Circulation Desk at

Complaints about loans or service, reporting lost items

Requests and Complaints Office at BUW responds to complaints and requests regarding the availability of collections and user service, complaints about loans, entries of lost and damaged books, matters regarding the accounts of members of the UW Alumni Club and deposit accounts.

Opening times:

  • Monday – Friday 9-20 (breaks at 11:30-12 and 16-16:30).

The office is located on level 1 in room 143a (go up the stairs, past columns with philosophers and turn right, past the Information Desk).
Matters regarding lost or damaged books, UW Alumni Club member’s accounts and deposit accounts are resolved within 14 days, whereas complaints about loans, claims and requests within 30 days.


 Circulation Desk

At the Circulation Desk you may borrow, renew or return books or Kindle readers, receive a yearly account settlement or end-of-studies settlement (so called circulation sheet, in Polish “obiegówka”) and pay your fines for overdue items (by card only).

Opening times:

  • Monday – Saturday 9-21

The Circulation Desk is located on level 1, on the left.

 Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan Office is located in room 137 (level 1).

Opening times:

  • Monday – Thursday 9-15
  • Friday 11-18

Requests from other libraries:

  • BUW may order books from other libraries outside of Warsaw (domestic or foreign libraries). The service is available to staff and students of the University of Warsaw. If an item is not available in any library in Warsaw – we order it from another library in Poland. If the item is not available in any Polish library – we order it from foreign libraries.

Requests for orders shall be placed personally in the Interlibrary Loan Office. There is a charge for interlibrary loan services stipulated in the Pricelist. An ordered book may be accessed in the BUW Reading Room.

SUBITO – Ordering articles from periodicals (paid service)
BUW serves as a go-between in ordering articles from foreign periodicals within SUBITO portal. The service is available to UW students and research employees. The system offers access to about a million titles of scientific periodicals from multiple disciplines (about 11 million articles!). It takes up tp 72 hours to complete an order.

SUBITO Association consists of libraries from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

A reader needs to place an order personally at the BUW Interlibrary Loan Office.
To order an article, please provide its exact bibliographic details:

  • name(s) and surname(s) of the author(s),
  • article title,
  • periodical title,
  • publication year, volume number, issue number,
  • ISSN,
  • page numbers.

Please note! Failure to provide any of the description elements may render the order impossible.

Collecting your order – A reader receives the document solely in the form of a paid print from an electronic copy. To collect the print please go to the BUW Interlibrary Loan Office.
As a rule, copies of articles are delivered to BUW by email. If for technical reasons the requested documents cannot be delivered to BUW by email, they are delivered by post. Please note! Delivering a document by post prolongs the waiting time.

The cost of the service – a fee charged by the delivering library + 23% VAT.

Lending BUW collections to other libraries:
BUW lends its own collections to other libraries in Poland and abroad for up to 30 days.
The Interlibrary Loan Office does not make copies of items from BUW collections (such requests shall be directed to the Reprographic Office).

The following materials must not be lent to other libraries:

  •  library materials not lent according to paragraph 6(4) of the Regulations for accessing BUW collections as well as materials indispensable for the didactic process at UW,
  • library materials published in a large format.

The basic rules of interlibrary loans:

  • orders are completed on the basis of an order slip submitted solely by email (1 email – 1 order),
  • the costs of sending ordered library materials by post is covered by BUW, and the costs of returning by the ordering library.

More information can be obtained at the Interlibrary Loan Office (phone (48 22) 55 25 209).

Reading Rooms

Main Reading Room

In the Main Reading Room you can use:

  • books and periodicals stored in the Closed Stacks,
  • microforms and microfilms,
  • CDs and DVDs,
  • PhD dissertations from UW Repository (please contact the Repository editorial section first – email:, phone (48 22) 55 27 139).

There are also area collections of General works. Library science. Members may also use the copying machines.

Opening times:

  • Monday – Friday 9-22
  • Saturday 9-21
  • Sunday 15-20

The Regulations for accessing collections at the Main Reading Room:

  • Orders to the Main Reading Room shall be placed through the UW Libraries online catalogue.
  • If you have not found the desired item in this catalogue, we advise you to use the scanned card catalgoue BUW – CKK.
  • Form, mode and time of delivery from the closed stacks
Form of ordering:
  • Request option in the online catalogue
  • Order in the Web Card Catalogue option
Order processing mode:
  • orders placed from Monday to Saturdays by 8 p.m. are processed on the same day,
  • orders placed from Monday to Friday past 8 p.m. are processed on the following day,
  • orders placed on Saturdays past 8 p.m. and on Sundays are processed on Mondays.
Order processing time:
  • from 30 minutes to 1 hour.


Current Periodicals Reading Room

Periodicals and newspapers from the current year are available in the Reading Room.

Opening times:

  • Monday – Friday 8-22
  • Saturday 9-21
  • Sunday 15-20

In the Current Periodicals Reading Room readers may use:

  •  current issues of scientific journals, arranged thematically. Periodicals coming to the Library are made available until the first issue of the following year is received, whereas the previous issues are transfered to the Closed Stacks or to the Open Stacks,
  • current official journals, central, Warsaw and regional press as well as foreign press.

Borrowing Kindle

BUW boasts one of the biggest collections of Kindle readers to be borrowed from a public library in Europe. Kindle readers are a gift from Amazon for the bicentenary year of the University Library in Warsaw.
Electronic books available for Kindle readers are divided into 19 subjects, corresponding to the research disciplines at the University of Warsaw. Kindle readers may be borrowed by UW students and employees for up to 30 days, with the possibility to renew the item three times, unless another person has ordered the device.
Information about the titles available on each Kindle reader is available in the online catalogue. In order to find an available device in the catalogue, please type: “Kindle”. Kindle readers are borrowed at the Circulation Desk, along with a cable and a protective cover.
Devices are equipped with a blockade to prevent purchases at Amazon shop.
Users may save their own books on the Kindle reader, however, before returning the device to the library, please remove all materials you have saved.
Borrowers bear full material liability for any lost or damaged Kindle reader. Failure to return the reader in time results in charging a fine of PLN 1.00 for each day that elapses before the device is returned.
Detailed rules for the use of readers can be found in the Regulations for access, whose acceptance is a must to borrow a reader.

BiblioWawa - Warsaw Reciprocal Borrowing Programme

Reciprocal Borrowing Programme for Warsaw academic libraries (BiblioWawa) is a joint project of 7 Warsaw academic libraries, which provides the Warsaw academic community with convenient access to circulating library resources of the cooperating libraries.

The BiblioWawa service is based on the following regulations:

  • Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement
  • rules for accessing the collections of each participating library.

Who can benefit from the service?

  • full-time and extramural undergraduate and postgraduate students (except students participating in exchange programmes, e.g Erasmus, MOST, MOSTAR);
  • students of postgraduate diploma courses;
  • academic staff, except individuals working under contract to perform specific tasks.

How to get access to BiblioWawa?
Library users become eligible for reciprocal borrowing after they apply to their home library for using borrowing privilages of cooperating academic libraries. The eligibility is registered in the on-line Registration System. This allows activating individual library accounts in each participating library.

How does it work?
The eligible user approaches directly the library whose materials he/she would like to borrow. A librarian of the host library verifies the eligibility and creates the individual library account which entitles the user to borrow the host library materials. Borrowers are responsible for complying with all rules of the library from which they are borrowing.

What documents are valid for identification in the BiblioWawa Programme?

  • Electronic Student ID;
  • Electronic PhD Student ID;
  • Electronic Employees ID;
  • Warsaw City Card – in the absence of the above mentioned documents.
    Is it possible to access electronic resources of the BiblioWawa participating libraries on-line?
    Electronic resources of the participating libraries are accessibly only to the home library users. Other users can access electronic resources on site in the host library.

How to settle with libraries?
BiblioWawa user can launch a process of final settlement via Registration System. In order to log in to the system, it is necessary to use the ID card and the password created while registering to BiblioWawa. If there occurs a problem with logging in, the user needs to contact the home library.

Is there a charge for the service?
Registration in the system is free of charge. However, there may be some fee for activating individual library accounts. This will depend on individual lending libraries policies and regulations.

More details – see Rules of Warsaw Reciprocal Borrowing Programme (BiblioWawa)

BiblioWawa website

Open Stacks

Open Stacks (in Polish: Wolny Dostęp) at BUW are open access areas with books and periodicals, located on two floors of the Library. There are mostly books published after 1980 and the most commonly accessed periodicials, ordered alphabetically at the beginning of each wide subject area.
The collections are set according to an American classification – Library of Congress Classification (LCC).

Library of Confress Classification outline
A General works
B Philosophy.  Psychology.  Religion
C Auxiliary sciences of history
D World history and history of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
E-F History of the Americas
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social sciences
J Political science
K Law
L Education
M Music and books on music
N Fine arts
P Language and literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Argiculture
T Technology
U Military science
V Naval science
Z Bibliography. Library science. Information resources (general)


Collections in the BUW Open Stacks are set in eight wide subject areas; in each there is a librarian on duty. Contact: Location of subject areas and information desks – see Interactive BUW floorplans.

Wide subject area Subject Location
P Language. Literature Level 1
B L Philosophy.  Psychology.  Religion. Education Level 1
AM C D-F GN700-875 History Level 1
G-GF Q R-V Geography. Mathematical, natural and applied sciences Level 1
K J Law. Political science Level 2
H GN1-673 GR-GV Social sciences. Anthropology Level 2
M N Music.  Architecture. Fine arts Level 2
A Z General works. Library science. Level 2
(Main Reading Room)
Library of Congress Classification

The Classification divides every wide subject area into classes and subclasses, corresponding to scientific disciplines, branches of disciplines and fields.
Example: the broad subject area Historical Sciences comprises the following classes and subclasses:

Class Historical sciences
E-F History of the Americas class
D World history and history of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc. class
C Auxiliary sciences of history class
AM Museums. Collectors and collecting subclass
GN 700-890 Prehistoric archaeology subclass


In class D there are the following subclasses, for example:

D History (General)
DA Great Britain
DK History of Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
DS Asia


In subclass DK numbers from 4010 to 4800 refer to the history of Poland. Books are arranged taking into account the form of the document, the specific field, time or place. The principle is the subject-related setting of publications from general to specific ones.

Here is an excerpt from the classification board DK 4010-4800 History of Poland (examples of encoding specific fields):

DK4010 Periodicals. Societies. Serials
DK4037 Guidebooks
DK4329 1763-1795. Partition period. General works
DK4440 History of Poland in 1956-1980
DK4600 Local history and description
DK4800 Local history and description.
Provinces, counties, historical regions, etc.


What do the stickers on the books in the Open Stacks mean?

Library of Congress Classification (LCC) allows to encode information on the content of the book, author’s name, publishing year and other information in the so-called classification symbol, which is uniquely assigned to each book. Items have consecutive numbers. The sticker on the book spine gives the full symbol of the Library of Congress Classification, which is shown as LC Classification in the UW libraries online catalogue.

An example of a book sticker with LC Classification:

DK History of Russia and Poland
4037 Travel guides to Poland
.J433 Encoded surname of an author (Jędrysiak)
2012 Year of publishing
t. 1 Volume number
cz. 2 Part number
egz. 1 Copy number


In each wide subject area at the Open Stacks the books are arranged on shelves as follows:

1. first alphabetically by the first letter D DK DK DK DK DK DK DK
2. then by number 720 15 18.8 18.8 18.8 18.8 4037 4037
3. then alphabetically by the letter and number in the decimal system .A7 .D43 .B35 .S2 .S22 .S22 .J433 .J433
4. by successive year of publishing 2015 2000 1996 2008 2011 2015 2012 2012
5. by volume or part number t. 1 t. 1 t. 2
6. last by copy number copy 1 copy 1 copy 1 copy 2


How to search in the Open Stacks?

First, check the UW Libraries online catalogue. If the book/periodical is in the collections of BUW, it is kept either in the open stacks, or in the closed stacks. In the catalogue publications marked as BUW Wolny Dostęp have LC Classification. It indicates where in the library the book/periodical is located. With the help of maps, you need to go to the bookcase in the appropriate subject area. On the side of each bookcase there is a board with Classification symbols. Please note! In the case of non-Latin aphabets American transcription has been adopted.
Books with a blue sticker may be borrowed home. The red color (red dot) means that books/periodicals can only be accessed on the premises. Accessed materials shall be put away on trolleys located in the subject areas.
Periodicals are arranged alphabetically at the beginning of each broad subject area.
Books without LC Classification with location BUW Magazyn must be ordered from the closed stacks by clicking first on the title and then on Request button. They may be fetched from the Main Reading Room or at the Circulation Desk. The online catalogue also gives information which books/periodicals can be found at UW faculty libraries. Regulations for accessing collections.
Titles which cannot be found in the UW Libraries online catalogue, one needs to search in the BUW Web Card Catalogue. It contains scanned catalogue cards, including the alphabetical catalogue of books obtained by BUW from 1801 to 1997.
It’s worth searching the Union Catalog of Polish Reasearch Library Collections NUKAT. You may order books from outside Warsaw through Interlibrary Loan department.

The Internet and computers at BUW

The wireless network (Wi-Fi) is located throughout the library. To use it, you must select BUW.Hotspot network and sign in by typing your library card number (or ELS/ELD/ELP) and the password assigned to your library account.
Password recovery – to obtain a new password you need to go to the Circulation Desk or use the Forgot your password? function available when you sign in to your Member’s account.

At BUW you can also use the wireless network EDUROAM, providing free Internet access to employees and students of the University of Warsaw and of other universities and academic units. Access to EDUROAM is located in the Music area. Architecture. Fine arts and in the Main Reading room.

If you are using computers available in the library, please note that after 3 hours you are automatically logged out. To use the Internet for a longer time, after the session timeout you need to go to the Information Desk with your library card. To check how much time is left before the session expires, you must press Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Back to work – press Delete. Press Escape to logg off from the computer. Please do not restart the computer.

Word processors

At BUW there are computers with access to the following software: MS Office package (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and LibreOffice.

Access to programs from MS Office package:

  • Users may use computers with access to the following programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook Express (but only on the station by the Circulation Desk).
  • Computers are also equipped with a CD/DVD drive (apart from the computer station in the Main Reading room) and USB ports.
  • You can record the results of your work on a USB stick or a CD/DVD (next to the Circulation Desk and in the Current Periodicals Reading Room), print or send by e-mail (on the computer stations next to the Circulation Desk and next to the Information Desk).
  • From computers at the Circulation Desk you may only access the resources available in the domain and e-collections; computers in the Main Reading room and in the Current Periodicals Reading Room are not connected to the Internet.

Icons: Freepik ( from, Retina Display Icons ( from The Working Group (