The Kórnik Library is part of the Polish Academy of Sciences, one of the most important scientific institutions in the country, and has extensive collections of manuscripts, documents and old prints. This institution dates back to the mid-19th century, when one Tytus Działyński became the owner of Kórnik.
Count Tytus (actually Adam Tytus) Działyński (1796-1861) was born in Poznań. He was thoroughly educated in both the humanities and technical subjects but his burning passion was books – he was a fanatical bibliophile and an amateur archivist. He proceeded to catalogue the family archive on his own initiative. From 1817, Tytus Działyński began to systematically assemble a massive (by the standards of the day) book collection. He imported books, brought them back from his own travels, and scoured archives and monastic libraries all over the former Commonwealth.
These collections had to be stored somewhere. Tytus Działyński became the owner of Kórnik in 1826 as a result of a property division. Putting the castle in order absorbed a lot of money and effort. This was where the book-loving Działyński’s collections were stored as well. His son Jan Kanty Działyński (1829-1880) carried on the work, and in 1924, his grandchildren, Władysław Zamoyski and his sister Maria, donated the collections to the nation in compliance with the terms of his will.