A MASTER'S AUTHORITY. A TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR ALEKSANDER BIRKENMAJER ON THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH
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Aleksander Birkenmajer (1890-1967) was an outstanding personality and great authority, a man universally respected and admired for his knowledge and integrity. He was an eminent historian of science, but also distinguished himself as a theoretician and practitioner, bibliologist and librarian. The reputation Professor Birkenmajer had enjoyed since the inter-war period in the Polish and international academic world and library studies made it easier for him to establish (on 1 October 1951) and develop an autonomous course in library studies at the Warsaw University. He attracted the best people in the field to join the staff (including Adam Lysakowski, Krystyna Remerowa, Helena Hleb-Koszanska and Zofia Kossonoga). Birkenmajer himself taught the history of books and libraries as well as the history of science; he conducted graduate seminars and gave monographic lectures (e.g. on the history of paper, construction and furnishing of libraries, and printing techniques). Between 1954 and 1965 around 50 MA and 8 PhD degree holders got their degrees under his tutelage. At the same time he did not neglect research which was the essence of his life. During his university tenure (1951-1960) he published fifty papers, including the fundamental commentary to Book I of Nicolaus Copernicus 'De revolutionibus orbium coelestium' (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres. Book one, Warsaw 1953).
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