Lviv’s Bookstores. Continuing History
Later, a unique phenomenon in the history of Lviv was the formation of what researchers call the Street of Bookstores - the former Batorija street (modern day Knjaza Romana Street). Over the course of nearly 80 years, the most well-known of Lviv’s bookstores and antique dealers were located on this relatively small street. Between 1866 and 1944 there were 65 bookstores, sometimes two in a building (as in №2-34), on Batorija Street.
From the first third of the 19th
century, the area around Batorija Street was saturated with different
types of educational establishments - schools, private educational
establishments, gymnasiums and seminaries.
The main reason for the dynamic development of bookstores was the significant increase in the number of residents (1850 - 68 325 residents; 1900 - 149 544 residents) and different types of educational establishments.
On the turn of the 20th century the term antique (from the Latin Antiquus - or old) bookstores and bouquinistes (from the colloquial French bouquin - book); specialized bookstores also made an appearance followed by bibliopole dynasties.
The bibliopole family Jablonski held an important place in Lviv’s cultural environment during the 19th century. Their bookstore operated from 1816 to 1868. Bartholomew Jablonski’s bookstore was located at 1 Shyroka Street (modern day Kopernika Street).
Jablonski sold and traded antique book collections, manuscripts, parchments; collected autographs of authors and famous people, coins and other antiques and published book catalogues.
In 1842 Kaetan Jablonski took over the family bookstore, publishing and antique
Kaetan’s bookstore was located at 6-7 Ferdinand Square.
Among the many works that K. Jablonski published many were by Leopolitans:
- Ludwik Zieliński. Karol XII, król szwedzki, we Lwowie 1704. 1842.
- Dionizy Zubrzycki. Kronika miasta Lwowa. 1844.
- GALICYA pod względem topograficzno - geograficzno - historycznym.
skreślona przez Hippolita Stupnickiego. Z mapą Galicyi, łącznie z
obwodem krakowskim i Bukowiną. Lwów. Z drukarni Zakładu naukowego
imienia Ossolińskich, przy ulicy Ossolińskich nr. 23 1/4. 1849.
- Maciej Bogusz Zygmunt Stęczyński. Album "Okolice Galicj". 1847–1848.
Franz Heinrich Richter (1837-1883) left his
mark on the history of bookstores and publishers; he was the
bookseller, publisher, and printing house owner located at Mariaсka
Square 4 (modern day Miсkiewicz Square).
- Series called "Biblioteka Narodowa" (1868-1880) and "Biblioteka Teatrów Amatorskich" (1870-1880).
- Periodicals: Tydzień Literacki, Artystyczny, Naukowy i Społeczny (od 1879 nr.3 - Tydzień Polski ), an illustrated periodical "Strzecha: pismo ilustrowane dla rodzin polskich"
edited by Franciszek Waligórski (1868), an illustrated magazine for
children and youth "Promyk"
edited by Władysław Bełza (1872-1874), the newspaper "Kurier Lwowski", a calendar "Chochlik"
In 1873 Richter’s bookstore distributed the
Viennese publisher Artaria & Co.’s new edition Map of Lviv
(Plan von Lemberg).
In 1880 Franz Richter sold his bookstore and book
lending establishment to his former assistant Herman Altenberg
In his first five years of book publishing Herman
Altenberg had published nearly twenty works which were regarded as
the best of Polish classical literature, elaborately illustrated by
famous Polish artists.
After his death his heirs continued the business;
in 1903 they divided the family business; the bookstore and
publishing house located at 4 Mariaсka
Square was run by Alfred
Because of the threat of bankruptcy in 1912 A.
Altenberg recruited several friends to jointly establish the H.
Altenberg and Associates bookstore in the hotel George.
In 1913 the Association started to expand and by
1920 the bookstore was called H. Altenberg, H. Zeifart, E. Vende and
After Alfred’s death
his widow Jadwiga Altenberg ran the business out of 14 Akademicka
Street (modern day Shevchenko), and H. Altenberg ran the
Publishing House Bookstore out of 6 Panska Street (currently I.
Local works published by Altenberg include:
- Władysław Łoziński. Sztuka lwowska w XVI i XVII wieku: architektura i rzeźba. 1889.
- Barański F. Przewodnik po Lwowie z planem i widokami Lwowa. 1902.
- A monograph by
Artur Grotther, edited by A. Potocki and many illustrated albums of
the artist’s work. 1904.
- Series "Historical Library": Franciszek Jaworski.O szarym Lwowie. 1917; Władysław Łoziński. Życie polskie w dawnych wiekach. 1907; letters by Leon Sapieha.
- A photo album by Russian Captain Nabokov called "Lviv. Winter 1914/15".
- Stanisław Rossowski. Lwów podczas inwazyi. 1916.
- Facsimile publication of Russian posters.
The renowned book company "Gubrinowicz and Schmidt" functioned from 1868 to 1939. Its founders and owners were Władysław Gubrinowicz and Władysław Schmidt.
In 1868 they entered the book business by purchasing the well-established Kallenbach Bookstore. From this bookstore they introduced their own range of products, opened a publishing bookstore and kept an inventory of musical notes at 10 Teatralna Street.
Among the vast array of popular and scientific literature which they published there were also some local works that they sold such as:
- Antoni Schneider. Przewodnik po Lwowie. 1875.
- The works of well-known Lviv historians: Władysław Abraham, Oswald Balzer, Kazimierz Chłędowski, Antoni Malecki, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Ludwik Kubala, and Izydor Szaraniewicz.
- Władysław Łoziński. Patrycyat i mieszczaństwo lwowskie w XVI i XVII wieku. 1892.
- Stanisław Schnür-Pepłowski. Obrazy z przeszłości Galicyi i Krakowa (1772-1858). 1896.
In 1898 Władysław Gubrinowicz built a facility at 9 Teatralna Street; on the 1st and 2nd floors he set up his bookstore and book lending establishment.
The façade on the corner of the building, facing the intersection, was decorated with the busts of famous Polish writers Jan Kochanowski and Adam Mickiewicz, and Zygmunt Krasinski, Juliusz Słowacki, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski and Adam Asnyk on the Kilinskiego Street side. The busts were sculpted by Piotr Harasimowicz.
Bernard Poloniecki’s renewed Polish bookstore held an important spot in the city’s cultural tapestry for 50 years.
The book seller (Berl Pordes, 1862-1943) started
his professional biography in 1879 in a bookstore of one of Leon
Israel Pordes’s older brothers which had been operating out of 1
Trybunalska Street since 1879.
In 1896 the bibliopole converted to Catholic Church and changed his name to Bernard Poloniecki.
In 1897 he moved his bookstore to 11 Mickiewicza Square and in 1901 moved it to 3 Akademichna Street/1 Tanska (Rudanskoho).
The bookstore funded a tourist map of Lviv which
depicted the most important structures in the city as 3D miniature