Coloring books have long stopped being fun only for children – adults also gladly reach for crayons. During the pandemic, when home, traditional entertainment returns to favor, we offer you one of our last year’s publications – “Gdansk in the 17th century. For coloring”.

In 1612 in Gdansk, a Latin-German-Polish phrasebook by Nicolaus Volckmar was published. It contained conversations that the then townspeople had on the market, on the way to church, while having fun at the wedding, visiting the city bath or tailor, struggling with illnesses, spending time on meetings and social games. Ordinary conversations of people like us – only in the 17th century.

Thanks to the publisher, you can feel the atmosphere of the Hanseatic, merchant Gdansk. You find yourself thinking “Nothing has changed”, but also say “Uff, good that so much has changed”. The publication is a source of knowledge about the city, customs, language (even three languages ​​at the same time). Until recently, this type of antique printing was available in the reading rooms of a few scholarly libraries. Now, we can read them on the screens of our computers or smartphones. What does this change?

Wide access to digitized collections increases the potential for its reuse. We decided to choose from the most interesting Volckmar’s phrasebooks and illustrate them in the form of coloring books. Discover Gdansk in the 17th century from a slightly different perspective – not from the one of high-born townspeople who host kings in their houses, but from the level of small merchants, townspeople, servants, housekeepers and bargemen trading grain. We wanted to show a unique and complete historical source that’s available to everyone thanks to the best Polish digital library polona.pl. We invited Maria Apoleika – creator of the popular comics Dog’s rusk, to prepare the illustrations. Responsible for substantive consultation is prof. Edmund Kizik.

Coloring books for printing can be found at: szukamy.org/gdansk-do-kolorowania/

Insytut kultury Miejskiej 2016