“This year we are celebrating Nicolaus Copernicus and I recommend reaching out not only for his own works, but also for the publications about him,” Agnieszka Kościelniak-Osiak from the UW Library says. As a part of the series #ReadwithUW Kościelniak-Osiak presents a book “Kopernik. Rewolucje” by Wojciech Orliński.

“Nicolaus Copernicus was born 550 years ago, probably on 19th February 1473 at 4:48 PM. This exact date of birth was established with the usage of a horoscope. However, it was set up when Copernicus was still alive, so he might have given this information himself. Some historic sources indicate that Copernicus’ date of birth is 1st March, because during his lifetime people still used the Julian calendar, replaced by the Gregorian (solar) calendar in 1582,” Agnieszka Kościelniak-Osiak, a custodian at the Promotion, Exhibitions and Cooperation Department of the University of Warsaw Library says.


In the third episode of the new edition of the series Read with UW Kościelniak-Osiak presents the 400 pages long book by Wojciech Orliński “Kopernik. Rewolucje”. She believes that one should always reach out for the books about Copernicus, especially in the year devoted to his memory.


“Copernicus is the author of the well-known work “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI…” (“On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”), published in 1543. The first and the later editions can be found in the magazines of the UW Library – Kościelniak-Osiak emphasises.



Hypotheses and speculations

Apart from being a famous astronomer Copernicus was also a mathematician, lawyer, doctor and an economist. However, there is little information about his studies, life and research.


That is why Orliński’s book is centered around various hypotheses and speculations regarding the astronomer. They are presented against a wide historical background, which includes such events as the beginnings of the Counter-Reformation and the rise of the Prussian state.


“Orliński describes various, less known facts from Copernicus’ life focusing for good reason on politics. The special missions entrusted to the astronomer may have contributed to the atmosphere of secrecy around his figure”, Agnieszka Kościelniak-Osiak adds.


The book “Kopernik. Rewolucje” by Wojciech Orliński is available at the University of Warsaw Library in the section: Science (open stacks).


Books on Copernicus available at the UW Library – selection:


  • Nicolaus Copernicus and his epoch / Jan Adamczewski, Warsaw: Interpress Publishers, 1972. BUW Magazyn: 320660
  • Copernicus : scholar and citizen / Marian Biskup and Jerzy Dobrzycki, Warsaw: Interpress Publishers, 1972. BUW Magazyn: 380449
  • Copernicus and his world : a biographical sketch / Wanda M. Stachiewicz, Montreal; New York: Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, Canadian Branch, 1972. BUW Magazyn: 937433
  • The Copernican achievement / ed. by Robert S. Westman, Berkely : University of California Press, 1975. BUW Magazyn: S.12746 [7]
  • Nicholas Copernicus the country and times / Maria Bogucka ; translated by Leon Szwajcer, Wrocław : Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1973. BUW Magazyn: 380673