“Spreading the Word” in the Polish People’s Republic: the British Council and the English Reading Room at the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków, 1946-1989

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Abstract

The British Council's library work in Communist Poland remains relatively unknown. This paper contributes to a better understanding of British cultural influence in that part of Europe by examining the British Council's efforts in sharing the works of British culture, literature, and science with Polish society in the context of sometimes turbulent Cold War cultural relations between Poland and Britain. Particular attention is given to the Jagiellonian Library English Reading Room, which for decades remained the only British Council-sponsored regional reading centre outside Warsaw. It offers insight into the Council's library work in the university setting, reassuring, if only indirectly, the principles of academic and intellectual freedom.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-193
JournalLibrary and Information History
Volume36
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • British Council Poland

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