LUTHERAN PARISH IN CIESZYN
The library and archive collections belonging to the Lutheran Parish in Cieszyn function as an institution bearing the name the Tschammer Library and Archives, financed from parish funds and governed by a statute. In its care is also a museum collection, kept in the Museum of Protestantism in Cieszyn Silesia, and founded as part of this project.
The origins of the Tschammer Library extend back to the middle of the 18th century, when the Cieszyn Lutheran Parish received a donation in the form of a book collection numbering several dozen specimens created by Baron Jerzy Fryderyk Bludowski (1655-1730). At the end of the 18th century, the library gained a collection of several hundred books which were bequeathed by the Cieszyn lawyer and long-serving treasurer of Cieszyn’s Lutheran Parish, Bogumił Rudolf Tschammer (1711- -1787). Since Tschammer had decreed that the parish would not only receive his books but also a sum of money for their upkeep, the library was named in his honour. The parish collection continued to grow in subsequent years owing to donations, mainly received from local pastors and teachers. The library, which today numbers around 22 000 volumes, including around 5 000 pre-1801 imprints, is not only the largest and most important historical Lutheran library in Poland, but has also functioned the longest uninterruptedly. Also important are the archives, which function and are evolving in parallel with the library and consist of more than 60 linear metres, made up of various types of materials. They represent a primary source of fundamental importance for research into the history of Cieszyn Lutherans, the largest Protestant community in Poland. Since their founding, the library and archives have occupied aisles in the Church of Jesus, where the Museum of Protestantism is also housed.