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[[Image:Jozef Andrzej Zaluski.jpg|thumb|right|Bishop Józef Andrzej Załuski, founderof Polandmarker's first public library.]]Józef Andrzej Załuski (12 January 1702 9 January 1774) was a Polish Catholic priest, Bishop of Kiev, sponsor of science and culture, and known bibliophile. A member of Polish nobility (szlachta) of Junosza coat of arms, he is perhaps most famous as the founder of the Załuski Library, one of the largest 18th-century collections of books in the world [264405].

Together with his brother Andrzej Stanisław Załuski he was raised by his uncles (Andrzej Chryzostom Załuski, bishop of Warmia, and Ludwik Załuski, bishop of Płock). Józef was educated in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Warsawmarker, Gdańskmarker, Krakówmarker) as well as abroad (Sorbonnemarker in Parismarker). He took Holy Orders in 1727. In his career he was a Great Crown Referendary (referendarz wielki koronny) from 1728 and canon of Cracow. As a supporter of King Stanisław Leszczyński he accompanied him to France in the 1730s, where he was a royal chaplain on the royal court of Leszczyński's wife, Queen Katarzyna Opalińska. He controlled some of the Church's property in France; after his return to Poland he became the abbot of Wąchockmarker. In 1759 he became the bishop of Kievmarker and in 1762 he led the synod of the diocese.

He was active on the Polish political scene [264406], opposing King Stanisław August Poniatowski, as well as the interference of the Russian empiremarker in Polish domestic matters. For that, in 1767 (at the Repnin Sejm) he was arrested by Russian ambassador Nicholas Repnin, and until 1773 he was imprisoned in Kalugamarker, Russiamarker [264407].

The greatest passion of Załuski's brothers were books. Together with his brother Andrzej Stanisław Załuski (1695–1758, bishop of Kraków and crown chancellor) he obtained the collections of such previous Polish bibliophiles as Jakub Zadzik, Krzysztof Opaliński, Tomasz Ujejski, Janusz Wiśniowiecki, Jerzy Mniszech and Jan III Sobieski. From 1730s they planned the creation of a library and in 1747 the brothers founded the Załuski's Library (Biblioteka Załuskich), considered to be the first Polish public library [264408] and one of the largest libraries in the contemporary world [264409]. In all of Europe there were only two or three libraries which could pride themselves on having such a book collection [264410]. Located in Daniłowiczowski Palace in Warsawmarker [264411], it was one of the world's finest libraries, with a collection of about 400,000 printed items and manuscripts.

It also accumulated a collection of art, scientific instruments, and plant and animal specimens. After their death, the newly formed National Education Commission took charge of the library, renaming it the Załuski Brothers Library of the Republic. Twenty years later in 1794, in the aftermath of the second Partition of Poland and Kościuszko Uprising, Russian troops, on orders from Russian Czarina Catherine II, plundered the library [264412] [264413] and took its collection to Saint Petersburgmarker, where the Imperial Public Librarymarker was formed a year later [264414].

He was an important member of the Enlightenment in Poland, one of the founder of the Polish Literary Society (Towarzystwo Literatów) in 1765. He convinced Stanisław Konarski to start his work on Volumina legum. He was co-publisher of Warschauer Bibilothek (1753–1758). He supported the writer Benedykt Chmielowski [264415], historian Gottfried Lengnich, and sponsored the publication of many foreign books and magazines. He was also a translator himself (he translated French dramas). He was also the author of works from the fields of theology, history and library science (Bibliotheca poetarum Polonorum (1752, 1754), Bibliotheca Polona magnauniversalis (manuscript destroyed in 1944)).

After his death, the bishopric of Kievmarker was taken by Ignacy Franciszek Ossoliński [264416].

References

  • Piotr Nitecki, Biskupi Kościoła w Polsce w latach 965–1999 (Church Bishops in Poland from 965–1999), Instytut Wydawniczy Pax, Warszawa 2000


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