Skip to main content

Web Content Display Web Content Display

The "To Touch Culture" (Dotknij kultury) Guidebook

A guidebook featuring historical exhibits housed by Collegium Maius, “To Touch Culture” was created in 2012 and is available in Braille format with tactile graphics and in an enlarged-print version.

Two versions

The publication for blind users includes descriptions which take into account the perception of those blind from birth yet such information can be of high interest also to non-disabled persons as it was prepared by an art historian. The guidebook for partially-sighted visitors, in turn, is printed using a much enlarged font and features large color photographs of the historical exhibits described in the publication.


The guidebook has been written by Róża Książek-Czerwińska, an art historian from the JU Museum, assisted by: Małgorzata Perdeus, Jadwiga Bobeł, Anna Tańcula, Professor Krzysztof Stopka, Anna Jasińska, PhD. Photography by Grzegorz Zygier. Illustrations/relief tactile graphics by Lech Kolasiński, a graduate at the Academy of Fine Arts. Text editor: Marta Bylica.


The English translation of the guidebook To Touch Culture is a result of cooperation between the Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication, Museum and Disability Support Service of the Jagiellonian University. It has been translated by students as part of their translation course led by Dr Olga Mastela, a lecturer at the JU Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication.

Download guidebook

Download PDF file or browse through the guidebook online.

Excerpt from the “To Touch Culture” (Dotknij kultury) guidebook

On the photos: on the left - King Casimir the Great; Kraków, circa 1380; limewood sculpture; height 104 cm; on the right - its tactile graphic adaptation.

"(…) Until the 1700s, a small altarpiece dedicated to St Leonard stood at the bay window and today that very place houses a diminutive sculpture of King Casimir the Great made in 1380 (illustration below). Before the 1930s, the statuette was kept in the collegiate church of Wiślica. This polychromed sculpture is made of limewood. The smallish figure of the king stands on a high console which resembles a stone column in shape and colour. Casimir the Great is shown wearing silvery armour with a golden cloak on top, tied up at his neck, and long pointed shoes, slightly twisted to the opposite sides. On his head sits a gold crown encrusted with precious stones, in its upper part cut out in the shape of stylised lily flowers. In his hands he is holding the gold insignia of regal power: a sceptre in the shape of a long thin cane and a ball-like apple topped with a small cross. The ruler’s noble face resembles the king’s portrait made of stone on his sarcophagus at Wawel. His dark and long curly hair is flowing heavily onto the king’s narrow shoulders whilst the thick beard puts additional emphasis on his long face. As shown here, Casimir the Great has got large brown eyes, a long slim nose and narrow lips. The moustache and eyebrows were added with a dark paint of a hew similar to that of the hair and beard. The king’s head is disproportionally large compared with the torso. It is likely that the sculpture had been originally placed at a considerable height so that one could see it only when looking up, and so the beholder’s perspective would be much foreshortened. Casimir the Great was an exceptional king who codified Polish law. He founded not only our university but also numerous towns, churches and castles. A well known saying has it that ascending the throne he found a Poland of wood and left a Poland of stone. He is the only Polish king to be referred to by the word «great»."

Publishing and citing texts lifted from the guidebook on other websites may be done conditional upon giving the source or a link to this page, while all other uses of this material must be agreed with the Jagiellonian University Disability Support Service.