It is this year that the Polish National Branch of IAML celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The Branch was officially established at the IAML Conference in Bologna in 1972.
In celebration of the Golden Jubilee, special events were held during the 15th National Conference of Music Librarians ‘The Music Library – An Idea Tuned to the Times', jointly with the 9th National Conference of Sound Archives ‘To the Great Polish Musicians of the Interwar Period’, at the Karol Lipiński Music Academy in Wrocław on 29-30 November 2022.
The opening session of the Conference was fully devoted to this anniversary. The inaugural paper, entitled '50 Years of the Polish National Branch of IAML (1972-2022)', was presented by Stanisław Hrabia. The history of the foundation of the Polish Branch was shown in the context of the international activities of music librarians in the 1950s, when the University Library of Warsaw, as the first library in Poland, began cooperation with the International Inventory of Musical Sources (RISM) and became a member of IAML. From the early 1960s, Polish delegates have been regularly participating in IAML Conferences, three of which have been held in Poland, in 1966 and 2005 in Warsaw, and in 2019 in Krakow. The Polish representatives have been active in many IAML professional bodies since the 1970s. It is worth mentioning that Karol Musioł, from the Library of the Higher State School of Music in Katowice, was an initiator of the Commission on Libraries for Music Pedagogy and Performance and its first chair for two terms (1970-1978). Over the years, the main aspects of the international activity of the Polish Branch were focused on the commitment to the "R" bibliographic projects - RISM, RILM, RIPM, and RIdIM, which have been particularly important for the preservation and promotion of musical heritage in Poland.
The establishment of the Polish National Branch of IAML was a milestone in the history of music librarianship in Poland. The current Polish activity within IAML is a continuation of work begun more than 50 years ago aimed at bringing the music librarians' community together through professional activities and participation in IAML’s projects. On the basis of the experience and achievements of our predecessors, we have the opportunity now to continue these efforts, boldly take on the challenges, and proudly represent the Polish National Branch in the structure of IAML, its Board, and the committees and commissions mixte of international bibliographic projects.
A central point of the celebration was the address of the President of IAML, Pia Shekhter, who sent a video message to the members of the Polish IAML Branch. The presence of the IAML President (although virtual) was of particular significance to us, highlighting strong ties with a 'big' IAML. The address can be seen at this link.
The celebration was accompanied by a commemorative exhibit. Various archival documents, IAML conference programs, and photos were presented, as well as occasional publications expressly prepared for the IAML Kraków 2019 Congress, such as 'Polish music culture resources in libraries and archives' (also available in the online version as a PDF).
The activities marking the 50th Anniversary Celebration were capped with an evening concert performed by the Big Band of the Karol Lipiński Music Academy in Wrocław, followed by a gathering over a glass of wine.
Apart from the celebration, the joint conference programme consisted of more than 25 papers on different topics such as jazz in Poland, music resources, digitization and musicology research, selected collections, film music, and sound archives. During the General Assembly, there was also an opportunity to summarize the activities of the past five years and to conduct the election of the new Board. On the second day, the conference participants visited the Music Collections Department of the University of Wroclaw Library.
As members of the Polish National Branch of IAML, we greatly appreciate the opportunity of working together in a collaborative atmosphere with our colleagues around the world and are thankful for all expressions of support and friendship.