The extent and scale of the needs resulting from the situation the library and archival collections of Cieszyn found themselves at the beginning of the present decade, naturally influenced the choice of project aims and targets. It was decided that the project, focussed on the comprehensive protection of the collections against deterioration, ought, in addition, to facilitate their accessibility to wider scientific and cultural circulation.
It was also decided that the project’s implementation would be carried out in keeping with the following principles:
- Every measure implemented in the project should be characterized by comprehensiveness, coherence and longevity.
- The work of all the participating partners should be coordinated and confirm to a unified system of specifications.
- Measures taken to improve the collections’ safety ought to be combined with efforts to increase their availability.
Thoroughness became a fundamental characteristic of the project, including measures aimed at the optimisation of the collections’ storage conditions, but also increase the effectiveness of their physical and organisational protection, through re-evaluating their state of repair, and also measures taken to ensure maximum availability.
These principles were enshrined in detailed action plans, at various stages of implementation by the various partners and covering:
- Ensuring that all the Cieszyn collections would have suitable storage conditions by renovating and adapting their library and archival premises and modernising the technical infrastructure concerned with the collections’ storage and protection.
- Comprehensive protection of the library and archival collections by
- Disinfection, cleaning and bookbinding repairs of all the collections of the State Archives, the Museum of Cieszyn Silesia, Tschammer Library and Archives, and the Library and Archives of the Brothers Hospitallers (43 000 volumes and 900 linear metres of archival records),
- Complete restoration of the 133 most valuable and most damaged items (pre- 1801 imprints, manuscript codexes, archive materials and maps),
- Enlargement and improvements to Książnica Cieszyńska’s conservation workshop.
- Improving the safeguarding of the collections and simultaneously increasing their availability by:
- Processing and inventorying 34 000 printed works in all the Cieszyn libraries and the archives of the Lutheran Parish and Order of the Brothers Hospitallers (around 60 linear metres of records),
- Digitising several hundred of the most important but also most at risk and most often used library and archive items, in particular manuscripts and historical Cieszyn periodicals (in total around 580 000 pages).
- Making available information about the contents of the Cieszyn library and archive collections and their potential use in scientific and cultural activities.