Źródła do odbudowy państwa polskiego w archiwach polonijnych w USA

  • Anna Krochmal The Head Office of State Archives, Warsaw
Keywords: Belvedere Archives; Józef Piłsudski; The Józef Piłsudski Institute of America; 1918; Ignacy Jan Paderewski; Blue Army; Józef Haller; Ukrainian Military Mission


Sources for restoration of the Polish state in Polish diaspora archives in the USA

The article discusses the role of Polish and Polish diaspora organizations in the USA, and the role of their archives, libraries, and museum deposits in the study of the first years of the independent Polish state. The most important ones, created in the USA in the 19th and the 20th century by Polish immigrants, are the Józef Piłsudski Institute of America (located in New York), the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (located in New York), the Polish Army Veterans’ Association in America (located in New York), the Polish Museum of America (located in Chicago), the Polish Archive in the Polish Catholic Mission in Orchard Lake near Detroit, and the Polish Music Center in Los Angeles. The key role in the study of the restoration of the Polish state in 1918-1923 plays the Józef Piłsudski Institute of America, established on 4 July 1943 as a descendant of the Institute for Research into the Modern Polish History functioning in Warsaw between 1923 and 1939. The institute holds the so-called Belvedere Archives, saved in 1939 from Warsaw and taken from Europe to New York. It contains the documents of the Adjutancy Commander in Chief from the years 1918-1922, illustrating the struggle for the borders of the restored Polish state; documents of the Ukrainian Military Mission, showing Polish-Ukrainian cooperation in the face of the threat from Bolshevik Russia; documents from three Silesian uprisings, and archives of well-known supporters of Piłsudski, e.g. General Julian Stachiewicz and Marshal Rydz-Śmigły. Other additional sources from the years 1918-1923 are stored by Polish diaspora institutions, including priceless and understudied documents concerning the prominent composer, diplomat, and politician Ignacy Jan Paderewski, as well as unique materials concerning Polish volunteers from the USA fighting along with General Józef Haller’s so-called Blue Army.