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New documents in the collection of the IPN Archive

A press conference on obtaining valuable documents from abroad for the resources of the IPN Archive was held at the IPN’s Educational Center in Warsaw on 2 October 2019. The latest additions to the Archive’s resources were presented, their origin and significance were discussed.

During the conference attended by Timothy L. Kuzma – the President and CEO of the Polish Falcons of America, Dr Jarosław Szarek – the President of the IPN and Marzena Kruk – the Director of the IPN Archive, unique documents submitted to the IPN by the Polish Falcons in Pittsburgh as part of the IPN’s Archive Full of Remembrance project, were presented. They testify to the institution's over one hundred year- long activity and its contribution to the struggle for Poland's independence.

Under an agreement concluded in June 2019 with the Polish Falcons in America, in August this year the archivists of the Institute of National Remembrance started their work at the headquarters of the Falcons in Pittsburgh, where they secured the historical documentation produced and collected by the Falcons and prepared it for transport to Poland.

The Polish Falcons’ Archives have collected important source materials on the Polish community in North America. They include files concerning, among others, Teofil Starzyński (1878–1952) – Colonel of the Polish Army and long-term President of the Falcons, including Starzyński’s posthumous military promotion and a copy of the Memorial handed to US President Thomas Woodrow Wilson by Starzyński in 1915.

The IPN Archive  also acquired a unique document, a letter written by Helena Paderewska to Agnieszka Wisła  (1887–1980). The latter was a Polish-Soviet War  participant and a Polish community activist in the United States, devoted to helping Polish veterans. She was the organizer of the recruitment campaign to the Polish Army in France and a nurse of the Polish White Cross. Among the materials was a never-before-published letter from Helena Paderewska to Agnieszka Wisła during the siege of Warsaw.

The collection also includes the documents drafted by the "Falcon" Gymnastic Society from the Lviv region, private photographs of Polish soldiers alongside with a set of newspapers and magazines which have been issued by the Falcons since the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover, there are unique archival films documenting the Falcon’s trips to their Homeland from America in 1925 and 1929.

At the IPN, the archivists will register and preserve the documents in accordance with archival methodology standards, and then subject them to the process of digitization. The digital copies of the files will be provided to the Polish Falcons free of charge.

 

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Since July 2016, the Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance has acquired nearly a million documents. This is the result of cooperation between the Institute of National Remembrance and numerous foreign institutions. Many of the newly acquired archival materials have so far been unavailable to Polish researchers.

 

In addition to the above-mentioned documents, there are also:

 

Scans of documents regarding crimes committed by the the NKVD against Poles in 1937–1938 in the Soviet Union, including interrogation reports and orders of the NKVD. 

Documents about the activities of Anna Poray-Wybranowska, the initiator of the creation of a Committee for the Commemoration of Poles Saving Jews and the construction of a monument dedicated to these heroes. Thanks to her work, many (estimated to be around a hundred) Poles saving Jews during World War II were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Unique photographs and documents concerning Fr. Zdzisław Peszkowski, prisoner of Soviet camps, chaplain of the Katyn Families.

Archival materials on Józef Unrug’s exile in France, where he died in 1973 while staying at the Nursing Home in Lailly-en-Val.

A unique film dating back to 1927 "From a trip of the Veterans Association to Poland", on the journey of former soldiers of the army of Józef Haller to reborn Poland.

 

 

The IPN cooperates with such organizations as:

 

 State Archive of Khmelnytsky Oblast

 State Archives of the Odessa Oblast

 State Archive of Vinnytsia Oblast

 The Polish Library in Paris

 The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York

 The Józef Piłsudski Institute of America

 The US Holocaust Museum

 The Polish Museum in Raperswil

 The Pontifical Institute for Church Studies in Rome

 The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America 

 The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences in Canada

The Polish Army Veteran’s Association in America

The Polish Underground Movement Study Trust in London

 Polish Humanitarian Fund in France

In addition to cooperation with foreign organizations, the Archives' mission is also to obtain materials from donors. As part of the "Archive Full of Remembrance" project, the IPN's resource has increased by 53.5 mb of documentation portraying Poland’s latest history and the fate of Poles scattered around the world.

 

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