Selected by members of the Polish American Librarians Association, this list of “Great Websites for Polish Americans” is designed to help librarians locate materials and programs for the Polish American community as well as to interest general library patrons in Polish history and culture. The resources below can be useful to librarians who are developing book or film collections or planning programs and exhibitions, workshops, or seminars. Quoted descriptions are taken from the organization’s website. Send ideas for additions to this list to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Institute of Polish Culture
“The aims of the Institute are twofold: first, to share with all Americans the rich heritage of Poland, which has contributed in important ways to Western civilization; second, to establish a center of educational facilities and resources for the encouragement and promotion of the scientific and aesthetic endeavors of Americans of Polish descent.”
The premier “independent publisher specializing in publishing, in English, the Polish World War II experience—a part of World War II which is virtually unknown in the West.”
Dubbed “the Chene Street Project,” this website documents the infamous power grab that resulted in the destruction of Immaculate Conception Polish Roman Catholic Church and Detroit’s Poletown neighborhood, whose main street was Chene.
The three Polish consulates, as well as the embassy in Washington, are essential resources for services to the Polish American community and to immigrants seeking answers and assistance with visas, passports, and other legal matters. They are also good sources of news about Polonia.
Shop this Chicago bookstore in person, by phone, or online for Polish bestsellers, English-language titles in translation, prize winners, and children’s books.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., “the Embassy staff is divided into the Political, Economic, Cultural, Science and Technology, Press, Trade and Investment and Administrative Departments. The Embassy organizes a wide variety of cultural events, panel discussions, conferences and hosts numerous official delegations visiting Washington from Poland.”
The National Library of Poland presents this list of “Polish Child and Young Adult Literature,” a collection-building bibliographic tool, with links to the holdings of source libraries.
Family History Library
The premier genealogy archive in the world, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City has branches in Illinois, one of which has produced “Finding Your Ancestors in Poland Using Online Resources,” an invaluable tool for genealogists looking for their Polish roots.
Hamtramck Historical Museum
Located in this historically Polish community, the museum “is designed to be more than just a repository and display venue for historical items,” including “Portrait Studios of Detroit’s Polonia: The Face of Polish Immigration.”
The State University of New York at Buffalo offers a wide variety of resource for librarians, teachers, and students, including annotated links to Poland-related information on the Web. This “clearinghouse of information about Poland, Polish Universities, Polish Studies, etc.” is an invaluable collection development and programming aid with extensive listings of potential speakers.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and to increase American understanding of Polish culture and history.
Jan Karski Foundation
“The mission of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation is to instill in people–especially youth–the values of leadership, courage and integrity, as exemplified by the life of Jan Karski.”
Adam Mickiewicz Institute
“We want to lend permanent credibility to Poland’s role as an essential player in international networks circulating ideas, values and cultural goods of the highest quality.” The Mickiewicz Institute offers a dynamic website and email newsletter sign-up at Culture.pl.
Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland
“The Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened its doors to the public in April 2013. It currently functions as a cultural and educational center with a rich cultural program, including temporary exhibitions, films, debates, workshops, performances, concerts, lectures and much more.”
Poland in the Rockies
“History, Politics, Culture, Media, Identity, Networking, Lectures, Discussions, Films, Hiking, Campfires, Friendships, “an intensive trans-national Polish experience in the beautiful Canadian Rockies”
Polish American Cultural Center
Located in Philadelphia, “the Cultural Center and Exhibit Hall…display Polish history and culture for the general public.”
Polish American Journal
The premier national newspaper in English “dedicated to the promotion and continuance of Polish American culture.”
Polish American Librarians Association
“The mission of the Polish American Librarians Association is to positively impact services provided to library patrons of Polish descent and individuals interested in Polish culture.”
Polish American Studies
“The Polish American Historical Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt, interdisciplinary organization devoted to the study of Polish American history and culture.”
Polish Art Center
Located in Hamtramck, Michigan, the Polish Art Center is one of the country’s premier emporiums of Polish cultural and traditional goods.
The Polish Bookstore
Offers the “largest selection of Polish books to customers in United States. Our mission is to make access to Polish books easier for everybody, including those of us living outside of Chicago and New York.”
Polish Film Festival in America
Premiere showcase for new films out of Poland.
Polish Library in Washington. D.C.
“The Polish Library is a circulating library serving the needs of the Polish community in Metropolitan Washington as well as Polish-Americans and others interested in Polish literature, culture, history, and present day Poland.”
Polish Museum of America
“The Polish Museum of America is the ‘crown jewel’ of the Polish American community. Established 80 years ago it has preserved and exhibited the history and culture of the Polish American community and our ancestral homeland–Poland. Its all-inclusive exhibits are both educational and entertaining. Its Library and extensive Archives have rendered invaluable services to historians, researchers, students and genealogists.”
Today, after forty three years we can claim the honor of being the largest Polish bookstore in America. We are the main source of Polish publications and happen to be one of the most significant suppliers of English language texts on Polish subjects to university libraries, public libraries and the American public in general.
Polish genealogy source that covers all areas that were historically part of the Polish Commonwealth, from the 16th through the 18th centuries, throughout the years of partitions by Prussia, Russia, and Austria, through its rebirth in 1918, subsequent domination during World War II and post-War occupation, to its present freedom and struggle for independence through the latter 20th Century.
Polish Bookstore in Chicago. Shop for books, music, movies, audiobooks, magazines.
The Society for Arts
“The Society for Arts was established in December of 1981. “The organization is dedicated to “to stimulating the exchange of ideas in all areas of art and culture, the educational programming at the society for arts encompasses lectures and panel discussions, workshops and meetings with leading artists and scholars.” The objective of the organization is “to assist in supporting the most ambitious cultural projects (and) also to provide assistance to individual needs of art collectors and enthusiasts of European art and culture. (Aldona)
University of Buffalo Polish Room
“The collection includes over 12,000 volumes. Its strengths are in literature and history, but the genealogical literature and the language sections are very strong for a collection of this size.”
University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee Libraries
Milwaukee Polonia, the Roman Kwasniewski Photographs.”This digital collection draws from the work of studio photographer Roman Kwasniewski to illustrate the history of Milwaukee Polonia from the early 1900s through the 1940s. The archive consists of over 32,000 images.”
Provides an excellent summary of what it means to be Polish American, with lots of links to other sites.
“History of the Poles in the United States.”
Writing the Polish Diaspora
“News and information for Polish Writers and Writers of the Polish Diaspora.”
Yad Vashem Archives
“As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.” More Poles are honored at Yad Vashem as “righteous gentiles” than any other nationality for their courage and sacrifice during World War II.