Napis. Pismo Poświęcone Literaturze Okolicznościowej i Użytkowej [Inscription. Periodical on Occasional and Applied Literature] was founded as an original and pioneering journal devoted to areas of literature not previously studied in detail. It was created in 1994 by researchers from the University of Warsaw, led by prof. dr hab. Janusz Maciejewski (editor-in-chief, 1994-2011). The first edition of the periodical concentrated on occasional literature of the Bar Confederation era. In the years that followed, the temporal range of the literary texts analysed has been significantly expanded, encompassing periods from the Old Polish times to the 21st Century. In the years 2011-2021 the yearbook was headed by prof. dr hab. Barbara Wolska, since 2021 the editor-in-chief is dr hab. Marek Pąkciński.
Throughout the years, the “Inscription” [“Napis”] has been modified. The subtitle of the magazine also changed slightly (in numbers I-XVI: "Volume on occasional and applied literature"). The form of the magazine developed: from issue XV (2009), professional covers closely related to the theme of the issue appeared, and from 2012 – coloured inserts with honoured works of students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
From issue XV (2009), the volume index was introduced, and from issue XVII (2011) abstracts of articles in English were added; metadata on the website began to be published from 2014, including: information on affiliations of authors (2013), their biographical notes (2014), attached bibliography at the end of the article (2014), key words (2014), DOI numbers registered in the CrossRef database (2018) and ORCID numbers (2019).
Data that were important for the better functioning of the journal on the web were successively supplemented, starting with the contents of individual volumes together with a description of the topic of the issue published on the publisher's website (from 1996 DiG Publishing House, and from 2013 at Publishing House IBL PAN).
In 2009, the yearly periodical was added to the list of scientific journals of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education; it scored 40 points in 2021 (journal scores by MEiN). The periodical is a beneficiary of the Ministry’s ‘Support for scientific journals’ programme in the years 2019-2020 (contract no. 67/WCN/2019/1), in 2021 Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport for 2021-2022 as part of the 'Journals' programme (contract no. 10962/21/FPK/IK). Originally published in print version, currently in electronic and print version. Full texts of all issues available on the website (see: Articles online), numbers in print version available for purchase from the Publishing House of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
The owners of the journal are two legal entities: the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (court order of the District Court in Warsaw VII Civil Division sygn. akt VII RS Rej Pr 1245/11 from 21 October 2011).
Since 2013, Napis has been published by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Science Press (previously published by DiG Publishing until 2012, previously in 1994-1995 the now defunct Latona Publishing House).
ISSN number: 1507-4153.
e-ISSN number: 2719-4191.
The periodical presents findings of research studies devoted to specific literary genres: occasional and applied literature. These are texts which are important testimony to the socio-political life in different eras, as well as a record of various events in the biographies and activities of public and private figures. The works include poetry and prose (from old to contemporary literature) – texts accompanying significant national events, documents of personal life (such as diaries, journals and letters), other forms of literature which are of a persuasive character (speeches, sermons and guidebooks, among other things), as well as metaliterary texts (notes, glosses, prefaces, afterwords and author’s comments, constituting an important element of the front matter and end matter of books). The periodical brings together studies on the ‘third areas of literature’ (including intimist and other types of expression).
The format of the yearly has been changing over the years, as it adapted to the new requirements faced by researches in the field of literature studies and, on a wider scale, by scholars of the humanities. Currently, it features the main part, entitled Essays and Materials, which contains uniform, thematic blocs of articles. The next three segments are Editorial and Textologist Passions and Skirmishes, in which inedita are published – the source materials in a critical edition and with an introduction, Varia, presenting interdisciplinary texts related to the general theme of the journal’s current edition, and Reviews and Discussions, with reviews of recently published monographs and critical editions, as well as information on any significant scholarly events taking place in the country.
The journal in Polish philology is dedicated mostly to texts situated on the border of literature and socio-political life, as well as to the conditions of their origin, dissemination and reception. The periodical serves to popularise scholarly knowledge on occasional and applied literature, and to provide information about ongoing research on such texts, including, among other things, information on editions of obscure source texts using innovating research methods in the age of new technologies (for example, employing digital editing).
Napis was envisioned as a forum for interdisciplinary scholarly gatherings of Polish philologists and Slavists – historians and theoreticians of literature, language scholars, sociologists, anthropologists and other researchers of intellectual and material culture. It is aimed at scholars and students from academic institutions in the country and abroad, who have an interest in researching expressions of occasional and applied creation, as part of various fields of the humanities.