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Collecting Policy of the Museum of Warsaw


Artefact: any work created by a human being as opposed to creations of nature.

Collection: a group of artefacts collected according to specific distinctive criteria.

Patrimony: a group of artefacts left behind by a person, family or an organisation.

Collected items: individual artefacts, collections, and patrimonies owned by the Museum.

Rules of collecting items

Selection criteria:

Artefacts collected by the Museum should meet at least one of the following criteria:

1. Be Warsaw-related through the thematic content of the work:

  • Warsaw as urban space delineated by historical and administrative borders;
  • inhabitants of Warsaw and their activities;
  • events taking place in Warsaw.

2. Be Warsaw-related through its provenance (place of creation).
In justified cases, the Museum may acquire an artefact which does not meet the above criteria.

The Museum acquires:

  • individual artefacts,
  • collections,
  • patrimonies.

Using the above criteria, the Museum creates its collection, which encompasses:

1. Warsaw Vistas Collection – works depicting the town and documenting its transformations in full scope (panorama) and in fragments (streets, squares, buildings);

2. Historical and Genre Scene Collections – works depicting important events and scenes from everyday life and holidays, concerning representatives of various social classes living in Warsaw;

3. Portrait Collection – portraits of Warsaw natives or people connected to Warsaw;

4. Warsaw Mermaids Collection – depictions of the symbol of the town;

5. Monument and Open-Air Sculpture Miniatures Collection – reductions, models, graphic designs realised or unrealised in urban space;

6. Bronze Collection – decorative and everyday items made in Warsaw-based workshops and companies;

7. Silverware and Plated Ware Collection – decorative and everyday items made in Warsaw-based workshops and companies;

8. Souvenir Collection – items serving as tourist souvenirs, connected to Warsaw-related places and events;

9. Packaging and Advertising Items of Warsaw Companies Collection;

10. Watch Collection – items from Warsaw-based workshops and companies;

11. Clothing and Accessories Collection – items from Warsaw-based companies and clothing designers, documents concerning fashion design, product range offered by Warsaw’s fashion shops, and clothing worn by the inhabitants of Warsaw;

12. Decorative Fabrics Collection – items from Warsaw-based companies, particularly from the fabrics produced by the “ŁAD” Artists’ Cooperative.

13. Guild Heritage Collection – keepsakes from Warsaw’s guilds;

14. Historical Keepsake Collection – items of particular value for the history of Warsaw, connected to its inhabitants, events taking place in the town, specific places and institutions;

15. Patriotic Accessories Collection – items connected to cultivating the memory of Polish history, shaping the national identity;

16. Medal Collection – medals, plaquettes, medallions, and other engraved items constituting small sculptures, as well as models and forms;

17. Photograph Collection – photographs (including negatives), photo albums;

18. Deltiology Collection – individual postcards and complete series and collections, postcard albums, printed albums;

19. Architectural Detail Collection – original elements of Warsaw’s buildings and street furniture;

20. Architectural and Urban Designs Collections – realised and unrealised architectural and urban concepts for Warsaw, architects’ sketchbooks, theoretical treatises, inventory and study materials, photographs documenting the design and implementation process, scale models;

21. Cartography Collection – maps, photogrammetry materials, cartographic documentation;

22. Korczak Collection (Korczakianum) – artefacts documenting the life and writing of Janusz Korczak, history of the institutions he created, fates of people who were closest to him, Polish and foreign reception of his work and characters;

23. Warsaw Documents Collection – manuscripts and prints, excluding archival materials included in the fonds of the Museum Archive;

24. Audiovisual and Audio Collection – artistic, amateur, and documentary audio and audiovisual materials (including film) on analogue and digital storage devices;

25. Archaeology Collection – medieval and modern artefacts discovered during archaeological research carried out within the administrative borders of Warsaw and the documentation of the research;

26. Museum of Printing Collection (branch of the Museum) – artefacts connected to printing, graphic, and bookbinding techniques, artistic prints, and materials concerning companies and people operating in the generally understood book production and distribution industry (printing shops, bookshops, publishing houses, bookbinding enterprises);

27. Museum of Pharmacy Collection (branch of the Museum) – artefacts connected to Warsaw’s pharmacies, analytical laboratories, pharmaceutical industry until the end of the 20 th century, and the professional and academic activity of Warsaw’s pharmacists;

28. Palmiry Museum – Memorial Site Collection (branch of the Museum) – historical and martyrological artefacts connected to the history of the site, executions of the inhabitants of Warsaw and nearby localities during the German occupation;

29. Museum of Field Ordinance Collection (branch of the Museum) – artefacts connected to the history of the field ordinance of the Polish Army and the activity of the clergymen of all denominations who belonged to it.