The events of World War II irretrievably destroyed most of the collection that Oktawia Głowacka, Bolesław Prus’s wife, donated to public institutions after the writer’s death. The museum named after him has been collecting memorabilia related to the life and work of the author of the Doll for sixty years. The collection of the institution includes unique photographs from the Głowacki family album, the original letters of the writer and his wife, postcards, manuscripts and typescripts of works. Particularly noteworthy is the rich collection of illustrations to the works by Prus, especially the series of prints by Edward Okuń to the Pharaoh. They were created in 1914, before that the artist went on a journey to Egypt to reflect the atmosphere of the ancient world as faithfully as possible. The outbreak of World War I thwarted the publishing plans of Gebethner and Wolff, as a result the first (and only) edition of Pharaoh with illustrations by Okuń was published a hundred years later.
The Museum’s collection of over two thousand volumes includes books that once belonged to Prus, proofreading and first editions of his works, their translations, also into relatively exotic languages, e.g. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Armenian, Finnish and Esperanto. The most interesting copies from the Museum’s book collection were displayed in a bookcase in the writer’s office.
Bolesław Prus’ glasses, his ivory letter opener, a plate from the door of Warsaw apartment, two 19th-century typewriters – these are only a part of the collection that can be seen in the permanent exhibition.The archives of the institution contain a rich collection of bookplates, as well as documents and photographs, thanks to which we learn not only about the life and work of our Patron, but also the history of Nałęczów.