piątek, 6 marca 2020

Polish Collections in the Hoover Institution





                  
 POLISH COLLECTIONS IN THE HOOVER INSTITUTION

                            LIBRARY and ARCHIVES




Aleksandra Ziółkowska-Boehm’s

Interview with
Dr. Maciej Siekierski
Senior Curator and Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

1
Nearly one hundred years ago, in 1919, the Hoover Institution was founded at Stanford University in California. What was the purpose?

-The founder was the most famous graduate of Stanford University and later thirty-first President of the United States (1929-33), Herbert Clark Hoover. Hoover was a mining engineer and economist by education, an international businessman, but also an amateur historian. It was he who in 1919 issued a check for $ 50,000 ($ 750,000 in current dollars) as the founding capital of what was then called Hoover War Library. The purpose of this facility, at Stanford University, was to create a collection of books and documents about the First World War and humanitarian and economic aid provided by the United States to Europe after the war.  The Library grew rapidly, bringing together materials documenting social, political, and economic developments taking place since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Currently known as the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, it is a research center devoted to the study of domestic and international affairs.

2
Witold Sworakowski was among the employees. You have been working at Stanford for over 35 years. You came to the United States with your parents as a small boy, completed secondary school and graduated from college. You defended your doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. Does the work of a curator in the Hoover Archives support your Polish historical interests?

-Witold Sworakowski, a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Second Republic of Poland, directed the library and archives of the Institute from 1947 until his retirement in 1968 (Sworakowski died in 1979). After him, the position of director of the library and archives, during 1969-81, was taken over by an American political scientist and diplomat of Polish descent, Ryszard Staar-Gwiazdowski. I was employed by the Hoover Institute in 1984, although I used the library's collections and knew Professor Sworakowski many years earlier. At the end of the 1970s, we worked  together in the Northern California division of the Polish American Congress, he as the president and I as the secretary.

       But you also ask about my earlier years. Yes, I came to California with my family in 1962, at the age of thirteen. After completing my high school and university studies in California, I defended my doctorate in history in 1984 at the University of California, Berkeley. One of my promoters was Czesław Miłosz. Thanks to him I became interested in the history and the literature of the Polish Golden Age. My PhD dissertation, which I researched during a three-year doctoral fellowship in Poland in the mid-1970s, was about the economic affairs of Prince Mikołaj Krzysztof “Sierotka" Radziwiłł, the author of the famous "Peregrination to the Holy Land" (which took place during 1582−84). I attended historical seminars held by professors Henryk Łowmiański and Jerzy Ochmański in Poznań, and I conducted research in the Radziwiłł Archives located in the Central Archives of Historical Records (Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych) in Warsaw. I completed my doctorate after returning to the States, and some years later (in 1991−92) my thesis was published in successive volumes of Acta Baltico-Slavica of the Polish Academy of Sciences. 
       I did not give up my earlier history interests. In recent years, I translated the entire "Peregrination" into English and now almost completed work on the footnotes. I expect the book to be released in 2019. This will be the first English edition of this monumental work of Polish and world travel literature. My preparation for work in the Institute, which is mainly dedicated to the history of the twentieth century, was as assistant to Wiktor Sukiennicki, a Wilno lawyer and political scientist, and émigré historian, employed at the Hoover Institution during the 1960s. For almost four years, I helped him finish his two-volume magnum opus on Eastern Europe during the First World War (East Central Europe During World War I: from Foreign Domination to National Independence) for publication. The book appeared after Sukiennicki's death, with a foreword written by Czesław Milosz, a former student of his.
       Undoubtedly, work at the Institute, access to rich library and archival collections, personal contacts with American and international historians, as well as with many historical figures, enrich my state of historical knowledge and encourage further research. The main obstacle is the lack of time. My task as a curator is to expand Hoover’s holdings. Given that I am responsible not only for the collections associated with Poland, but also the rest of Europe, it is a very big challenge.

3
Polish materials in the Library&Archives of the Hoover Institution account for approximately 5% (40,000 library items and approximately 400 archival collections) of the entire Hoover holdings (an 800,000-volume library and 6,500 archival collections) and are growing.  In your article[1] on the Polish library collections in the Hoover Institution Archives, you note three stages in the history of the Polish collection. It all began with the friendship of Herbert Hoover with Ignacy Paderewski. This seems to have been a special relationship. It began in 1896, when H. Hoover as a fourth-year student at Stanford University offered to organize a Paderewski concert. They met again they in 1919 in Paris; Hoover was then the director of the American Relief Administration. What do the collections of Ignacy and Helena Paderewski contain?

-Paderewski’s archives, unfortunately, are dispersed. What is at the Hoover Institute is perhaps one-third of the former Swiss archives of Riond-Bosson. There are also very significant fragments in the Central Archives of Modern Records (Archiwum Akt Nowych) in Warsaw, and in the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. In addition, there are smaller parts in the National Library in Warsaw as well as in the Polish Museum in Chicago. Our Paderewski collection consists mainly of correspondence, speeches, prints, photographs, fragments and clippings on many topics: musical career, political activity, real estate and finance. Also at Hoover are the archives of Ernest Schelling, a student of Ignacy, American intelligence officer in Bern during the war, and a cordial friend of the Paderewski family. In these papers I found the memoirs of Helena Paderewska from 1910−20, which I prepared for publication and published in 2015. The Polish translation was published in Warsaw by Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy and the English original by Hoover Institution Press.[2] We also have the papers of Zygmunt Iwanowski, a prominent Polish-American portrait painter, the military aide of prime minister Paderewski in the first years after World War I.

4
The Institute plans to offer a scholarship for Ignacy Paderewski's political and social research scholars. Please, tell us more about it.
-This program has already begun. It is for historians with a PhD and publications interested in researching our documentation on Ignacy and Helena Paderewski. The scholarship is intended to cover travel and expenses for a period of about two to three weeks. Those who are interested may contact me directly at siekierski@stanford.edu. The first scholarship recipient of this program will come to us in the current academic year: a professor of history from Poznań.

5
In November 2004, the Hoover Institution organized an exhibition in Poland with the theme of Herbert Hoover as a friend of Poland and Poles. Similarly, Woodrow Wilson was a friend of Poland.  As Jan Nowak Jeziorański said:
 …"I feel indebted towards the United States. Woodrow Wilson to some extent contributed to the fact that I grew up in independent Poland. His famous message and subsequent support for the principle of self-determination of Central and Eastern European nations stemmed from idealistic reasons, not political interest - because our region was then more distant from Washington's interests than at present.
After World War I, humanitarian help from Herbert Hoover saved Polish children from starvation. Even though I was a small child, I do remember the American food cans.
"[3]

In 1921, The Polish parliament voted honorary citizenship of Poland for President Wilson and Herbert Hoover.  As an act of gratitude in 1922, the Poles unveiled on Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw a monument, created by Xawery Dunikowski, dedicated to Hoover and American assistance, unfortunately it was bombed during the World War II. President Wilson has a square named after him in Warsaw.
In November 2004, the Hoover Institute organized an exhibition in Poland under the title "American friendship - Herbert Hoover and Poland". It centered on American aid to Poland after both world wars. Was this exhibition also shown in American centers? 

-The exhibition titled "American Friendship: Herbert Hoover and Poland", was presented in the Royal Castle in Warsaw from mid-November 2004 to mid-January 2005. Later it was shown in Krakow, Łódź, Katowice and Poznań. After returning to California, it was shown at the Hoover Institute, then in the large Polonia centers of New York and Chicago.
       As for Dunikowski's monument, its full name was the Monument of Gratitude to America (Pomnik Wdzięczności Ameryce) and was dedicated to Herbert Hoover, which is why it was frequently referred to as the Hoover monument.  It was composed of two statues of women hugging young children, symbolizing Poland and America. In my opinion, it was one of the less successful works of Master Xawery. Made of sandstone and placed in a fountain, after a few years it began to crumble. In 1930, the monument was disassembled to perform the necessary repairs and reconstruction, but never returned to its place on Hoover Square, and the statues were destroyed during the war. While residing temporarily in Warsaw in 1992, I succeeded in bringing back the name of the square by having an appropriately inscribed commemorative stone placed there. The monument commemorating the person and the program, which saved hundreds of thousands of Poles from death, mostly youngsters, undoubtedly deserves to be rebuilt.

6
The Hoover Archives has huge Polish collections from the period of World War II. The Institute took over, among others, the records of the Second Corps Documents Bureau (Biuro Dokumentow). The Polish Government in Exile transferred to Hoover three large deposits of materials, including valuable accounts of Poles about Soviet prisons and deportations. Some of these archives were previously stored in Dublin (Ireland, until 1970, did not recognize the communist PRL), so the documentation was safe there. Why were they moved to Hoover Archives?

-Yes, the records stored in Dublin were transferred to us as a twenty-year deposit in 1959. Ireland was a safe place at the time, but there were no more means to pay the rent for the warehouse. "Dublin Collections" was the deposit of Aleksander Zawisza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Republic of Poland in Exile. It consisted of the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which were evacuated to Romania in September 1939, and the Ministry of Information and Documentation from the period of World War II. Poland did not recover its independence during the period of deposit, so these records became the property of the Institution. In 1999, the Institution gave a complete set of microfilms of this documentation, free of charge, to Poland during the visit of Hoover directors and overseers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw.  The Ministry of Information records are in a major way complementary to what Hoover Archives received earlier from General Anders.  They include about 30,000 testimonies and release certificates from the GULAG.


7
Jan Karski played a very major role in the growth of Hoover Archives’ Polish collections. What materials are at Stanford thanks to his efforts?

-Jan Karski's contribution to collecting Polish historical documentation for the Hoover Institute was enormous.  As secretory to Jan Ciechanowski, Poland’s ambassdor in Washiungton, he assisted with the transfer of Polish diplomatic archives to Hoover, days after the Western Powers withdrew recognition from its Polish ally.  Later, commissioned as an “acquisitions agent” by Herbert Hoover,  Karski spent six months in Europe contacting Polish military and civilian authorities in England, France, and Italy. His biggest acquisition was the records of the Documents Bureau of the Polish II Corps, containing about 20,000 accounts of Polish exiles and prisoners of GULAG. Karski met several times with General Anders, in Rome and Ancona, convincing him that the Hoover Institute is the safest place to preserve the archival heritage of the Second Corps. Karski eventually also gave us his personal archive. The main "competitor" was the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, but my 1988 article in the Polish Review about the Hoover Institution and its collections on Polish-Soviet relations reminded him of his 1946 expedition and convinced that his own papers belong at Hoover as well. Karski's personal archive, consisting of  documents, correspondence, photos and press clippings, concerns mostly his activities and recognition after World War II, but will remain for long a key collection of sources for the hero's biography.

8
In 2017, an agreement was signed with the Witold Pilecki Center for Research on Totalitarianism (Ośrodek Badań nad Totalitaryzmem imienia Witolda  Pileckiego), established in 2016 in Warsaw. The Center has launched, among others the portal: www.zapisyterroru.pl - it is intended to be the largest collection of documents and witness testimonies on the Soviet totalitarianism and its crimes. What are the aims of the cooperation between the Hoover Institution and the Pilecki Research Center?

-The center intends to transcribe all of the 20,000 GULAG questionnaires and reports in the holdings of the Documents Bureau. Transcription and digitalization will enable full indexation of these materials. The last step will be translation into English. Access to these sources in English on the Internet will open these materials to historians from around the world.  Several thousand of these testimonies are already available on the Internet in the newly transcribed form, and several hundred testimonies have already been translated as well.

9
 The Hoover Archives are also home to the archives of Radio Free Europe.  These materials include broadcast recordings, scripts, and the RFE corporate records. How do they stand out in relation to materials provided by Jan Nowak-Jeziorański to Ossolineum?

-I did not examine Jan Nowak’s archives, so I do not know much about its contents. Nowak promised us that a copy of his archive will be forwarded to the Hoover Institute.  He repeated that promise in the summer of 2000, when we both attended the funeral of Jan Karski. This has not happened so far. Polish records of RWE are a part of the huge broadcast and corporate archives of the whole Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty organization housed at Hoover. The Polish part consists of many thousands of recordings and scripts of programs that I suppose are not in Ossolineum. Jan Nowak left RFE in 1976, and Polish broadcasting continued for another twenty years. On the other hand, Nowak's collection no doubt contains rich personal correspondence, which we do not have, but we cannot have everything!  In addition to Polish editorial and personnel documentation, the Institute has papers from over a dozen Poles who worked at RWE, including two directors of Polish RFE broadcasting who succeeded Jan Nowak: Zdzisław Najder and Marek Łatyński. Also, we recently acquired the Washington DC records of the Polish American Congress for the years 1971-2010, a good source of documentation on Jan Nowak’s political activities after his RFE years.


10
Does the Hoover Institute also have materials from the Polish Library in Paris? If so, what do they contain?

-The Institute does not have the materials of the Polish Library in Paris. Immediately after the Second World War, the directors of Polish Library in Paris, fearing a Communist take over in France, wanted to transfer its holdings to Stanford.  The internal archives of the Hoover Institution and Library & Archives, include correspondence and memoranda about this matter dating to 1946−48. Franciszek Pulaski, the director of the Polish Library actually visited Herbert Hoover in New York, but fortunately, nothing came of this; the Library stayed in Paris. Herbert Hoover was rather opposed to this acquisition because most of these materials in the Polish Library did not fit into the 20th century collecting profile of our institution, and besides, the costs of housing and managing such huge collections (with an estimated shipping volume of 800 crates) exceeded the Institute's financial capabilities at the time.

11
Further collections from the 1960s and 1970s - the émigré collections of premier Stanisław Mikojaczyk, Józef Frejlich, the “Lwowska Fala,” as well as Stefan Korboński, and many others. What do they contain? Zofia Korbońska, Stefan's wife, however, donated her materials to the Warsaw Uprising Museum.

-I, unfortunately, do not have time to examine and study all our Polish collections. Mikołajczyk's and  Korboński's papers are rather typical immigrant collections, created mostly abroad, and important because they were gathered by eminent representatives of political immigration. Frejlich’s collection contributed dozens of very rare Polish and Polish-American socialist imprints, and Lwowska Fala materials consisted mostly of books published outside of Poland, many of which filled gaps in our library holdings.  As for Zofia Korbońska’s decision—she did what she thought was right when she donated her papers, including many photocopies sent to her from the Hoover Archives, to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. This is not a problem.

12
You collected the materials published underground during the Solidarity period. The Hoover Institute has a rich collection of independent periodicals, brochures, monographs. In Poland, large collections of such materials are held by the National Library and KARTA; does it matter that they are duplicating your holdings?
-Undoubtedly, most of what we hold is now duplicated in Polish collections. That was not the case in the 1980s. We collected, with the help of various contacts and channels, as long as it made sense, when collecting such materials was illegal in Poland, and many Western researchers benefited from our holdings.  We deemphasized such collecting after 1989.  In 1992, we handed over a lot of our duplicates to KARTA. Now they and the National Library have collections which are richer than ours.  I can only congratulate.  I am especially impressed with KARTA—its continuing commitment to its historical documentation mission and its many accomplishments.

13
What Hoover collections stand out - when it comes to the amount and range of materials - e.g. towards the collections of the Ossolineum, the National Library, the Central Military Archives, the Emigration Museum in the Library of the University in Toruń?

-It's a bit like comparing apples with oranges; national archives have their collections and their mission and we have ours. We can only compare ourselves with collections outside the country, such as the Sikorski Institute in London, or the Piłsudski Institute in New York, or maybe with the Yale or Harvard universities. We are richer than all these institutions in terms of both the volume of Polish collections and their diversity. They of course have documentation that we do not have, but what we have, generally far exceeds their holdings.

14
The Hoover Institute also has, for example, the archives of an émigré historian and journalist Andrzej Pomian (Bohdan Sałacinski), ambassadors of Romuald Spasowski and Zdzisław Rurarz. Who has the archives of Kukliński?

-The CIA undoubtedly has the “archives” of Ryszard Kukliński or whatever papers he was able to take out of Poland. I talked about it with Józef Szaniawski, his friend and associate in Poland, who several years ago died in somewhat suspicious circumstances. The situation is similar with the "archives" of ambassadors Spasowski and Rurarz. What we have are almost exclusively materials created after they "chose freedom."

15
You write in your quoted earlier article that you collaborated with Jerzy Giedroyć and his Institute Littéraire in Paris and Zdzisław Jagodziński and the Polish Library in London (POSK). What has emerged from this cooperation? You emphasize that the Hoover Institute maintains good relations with the KARTA Center. What are the effects?
-Cooperation with Jerzy Giedroyc and Zdzisław Jagodzinski largely focused on underground publishing of the Solidarity era. We bought some of the publications that reached them in Paris and London. Giedroyc sometimes asked me to search for something in our archives. He would occasionally  publish it later in Zeszyty Historyczne.  During the mid-1980s he suggested a close institutional arrangement with Hoover which would assure the survival and security of his archives after his death. The positive turn of events in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s made such plans no longer necessary.  As for KARTA, I have known Mr. Zbyszek Gluza from the time when he was managing the underground Eastern Archives (Archiwum Wschodnie, AW), the precursor of KARTA. We gave him copies of county studies on Soviet-occupied Eastern Poland, the originals of which are in the records of the Ministry of Information and Documentation. In return, we received copies of testimonies of Polish survivors of Siberian exile and GULAG photographs collected by the Eastern Archives.

16
The Institute has archives of Bolesław Bierut, Zygmunt Berling, Jakub Berman, Władysław Gomułka and others. Please tell me what they contain?

-These collections consist of such items as letters, memoranda, notes, photos, etc. Of the more spectacular, I can mention the original interrogation records of Władyslaw Gomułka when he was imprisoned in Miedzeszyn, or a congratulatory letter from Józef Stalin to Zygmunt Berling, with a characteristic blue crayon signature and an envelope with the great wax seal of the Soviet Polituro. These are really traces of archives that have been destroyed or are still hidden somewhere.

17
In the 1990s, Hoover purchased from Gen. Czesław Kiszczak photographs and films from Zawrat, Magdalenka and the Round Table discussions. It is also said that in 1991 at the charity auction in Warsaw, organized by Mrs. Kiszczak, the general's uniform was purchased. Is it shown in Stanford?

-Yes, we showed the uniform a couple of times as part of exhibitions on the opposition movements and changes in Eastern Europe during the 1980s. I should like to add that we have some other police paraphernalia that came to us in various ways: batons, helmets, shields, etc.  These artifacts have only exhibition value. Speaking of police archives, we can also boast of the records of the Paris office of the Russian tsarist  Okhrana, which contain a lot of Polonica, such as photos and wanted posters  for "Ziuk" Piłsudski and his comrades.

18
The Institute acquired the archives of Edmund Osmańczyk, in whom, as you quoted the widow in your article, no one in Poland showed any interest. The Institute also acquired the archives of Leopold Tyrmand. What do these collections contain?

-As I was able to determine, Mrs. Osmańczyk passed a small part of her husband's archive to the Ossolineum and to the University of Opole, but the vast majority of his papers went to us. It is practically everything: correspondence, typescripts, notes, receipts, etc. Undoubtedly, this is an interesting material for a future biographer about this "unaffiliated" political writer and journalist who started his career before the Second World War and ended it as a senator of the emerging Third Republic, managing always to stay clear of significant political difficulties. Of course, the biographer will have to supplement this material with the contents of the files in the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). We received Leopold Tyrmand's archives from his American widow. It contains correspondence, typescripts, including the original of Dziennik 1954; its photocopy, sent by us to the Institute for Literary Research, made the first edition in Poland possible in 1999.

19
Among the collections are also the archives of Mieczysław Rakowski, including the original texts of his dairies that were published in Poland during 1998—2005.  Hoover Archives also has the papers of Jerzy Urban. Can you tell us what they contain and how they found themselves in this place?

-Both decided to transfer of their private papers to the Hoover Archives. We do not question the  motivations of donors; we accept papers from creators and witnesses of history as well as from collectors of historical materials. Acceptance of a donation does not indicate an approval for particular people and their political preferences. We collect raw source material for historians. Rakowski's Diaries are interesting because we have them in three consecutive versions before the final publication. They show how this daily record turns into memoirs, supplemented by later documents and considerations. Jerzy Urban’s collection includes family documents, typescripts of articles signed by "Kibic", "Rem", and others. The materials of Jerzy Urban as the government spokesman and the secretary of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, according to Jerzy Urban, were transferred to the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

20
Is there a kind of competition in the archival field— to whom should personal papers be offered?
How a person possessing valuable materials should choose, having at their disposal well-known institutions - repositories in Poland (Ossolineum, National Library, Immigration Museum in Torun, and others), or outside of Poland (Piłsudski Institute, Polish Army Veterans Association in New York). For example Zbigniew Brzezinski during his lifetime gave his archives to the Library of Congress in Washington.

- I never considered Hoover as “competing” against other institutions.  The donor has to decide what he or she wants to do with their archival legacies without any pressure from the recipient. In 2019 we will celebrate the centenary of our existence. We offer a safe, modern, well-established archival facility and we guarantee that the materials will be stored and made available to researchers under the best possible conditions and according to the rules adopted by both parties in the agreement. We are not competing with anyone, though I should add that we are quite selective in what we accept into our holdings.
Since you mentioned Professor Brzezinski, I will say that he held the Hoover Library and Archives in very high esteem. He did a good part of his dissertation research in the early 1950s at Hoover, and remembered Witold Sworakowski’s help in finding the materials he needed.  He began transferring his archives to the Library of Congress some years ago, in part because the Washington area is also home to the National Archives, where so much of his government papers are located.  Nonetheless, I received a letter from him several weeks before his death in May 2017, in which he indicated he was still considering leaving a small portion of his papers to the Hoover Archives. Since he left no written disposition in that regard, his family completed the transfer to the Library of Congress. However, some of his writings are still available at Hoover in the papers of various scholars and diplomats he corresponded with. Recently while going through some unprocessed papers of Zygmunt Nagorski, I came across correspondence between him and Zbigniew Brzezinski. 

21
To take advantage of the Stanford collections, the researcher must apply for scholarships and financial support. More accessible places, from the standpoint of Polish Diaspora, would be New York or Chicago. New York, for example, is the location of the headquarters of the Association of Veterans of the Polish Army in America (SWAP), an organization existing since 1921. The SWAP archives include personal file of over 20,000 veterans from World War I and II, a list of tens of thousands of volunteers from the United States, Canada to the Polish Army in France from 1917-1919 (the Blue Army/Armia Błękitna), a collection of photographs and audiovisual recordings, as well as the reminiscences of veterans. Do you think that the distant location of Hoover collections makes access to archives difficult, or this is not so important, because what counts is the potential user’s determination to gain access to materials?

-Unfortunately, we are where we are, because our founder Herbert Hoover decided to locate his creation at his California alma mater. Our relative isolation was one of the factors why General Anders or the Government of Poland in Exile decided to deposit their archives here—in a secure, private institution, founded by a proven friend of Poland, in distant California. Here, they seemed safer and less vulnerable to threats and pressures from the east. We have the largest and most comprehensive collection of historical sources on modern Poland outside Poland, and we are committed to making this documentation available to all interested researchers. We encourage direct access, we answer all letters and emails, we offer financial help, but I don’t know what else we can do. Nonetheless, as much as I know about Polish archives outside of Poland, even those in significant Polonia centers−they are not besieged by multitudes of Polish historians.

22
How many people does the Hoover Institution employ? How many Poles? How many researchers, including how many Poles, use materials per year?

-The Hoover Institute employs about 200 people. Of that, about fifty people work in the Library and Archives; this number includes three Poles. Over 200 researchers use Polish collections annually. We do not collect information on citizenship or ethnicity of users, but it is safe to assume that about half of these 200 people are Poles living in Poland or abroad. For example, at the beginning of February 2018 we hosted five historians from Poland simultaneously: two people from Gdańsk, two from Poznań, and one from Warsaw. In a few days we will host a researcher from Lublin in our reading room..

23
The archives of the Piłsudski Institute in New York, as well as the archives of the Jerzy Giedroyć (Institut Littéraire) are digitized; digitization of the SWAP publication "Weteran" started (it exists since 1921); they are therefore available to the general public. Are there similar intentions for the Polish collections in the Hoover Archives?

-As far as I know, neither the complete collections of Piłsudski's Institute nor the Institut Littéraire are fully digitized and available on the Internet. These are works in progress.  It's the same with us. In the years 1999−2001 we gave Poland eighteen of our most important collections from the Second World War. These collections represent one and a half million pages of documents. The Polish side, the Directorate-General of Polish State Archives, with our consent, digitized these microfilms and posted them on the website
www.szukajwarchiwach.pl.  This represents nearly half of the volume of our Polish collections. In recent years, several more collections were given to Poland. Digitization, enabling access on the Internet, electronic storage, as well as the subsequent periodic "migrations" of electronic resources are very expensive. I am an archivist of the old school; I believe that paper and microfilm will still be the basis for archival activities for some decades to come.
I would like to take this opportunity to draw the readers' attention to the Hoover Library & Archives’ page, as well as to the site where our archive inventories are located:

The POLISH REVIEW, NY,  January 2019




[1] Maciej Siekierski, Zarys historii polskich zbiorów Biblioteki i Archiwum Instytutu Hoovera w Kalifornii [w:] Z badań nad książką i księgozbiorami historycznymi. Polonika w zbiorach obcych, 217, Polskie Bractwo Kawalerów Gutenberga, Warszawa 2017.
[2] Helena Paderewska, Wspomnienia, 1910−1920, opracowanie i przypisy Maciej Siekierski, tłumaczenie z języka angielskiego Ludmiła Bachurska, Warszawa, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 2015.
Helena Paderewska, Memoirs, 1910−1920, edited with an introduction and annotations by Maciej Siekierski, foreword by Norman Davies, Stanford, Hoover Institution Press, 1915.
[3]  Aleksandra Ziółkowska, „Korzenie są polskie”, Warszawa 1992, s. 82; „The Roots Are Polish”, Toronto, 1994, p.. 80

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