'Searching Polish archives How to find out what is available in Polish Archives How are archival holdings organized and arranged in Poland? A basic principle followed while acquiring archive materials, i. e. the principle of territorial pertinence devoted to respecting the relationship between archival fonds and the territory of their creation. Another principle is the principle of respecting historical holdings. The above observations imply that without any previous preparation users can hardly move around archival holdings searching for required documents.
A system of archival information has been developed to facilitate archival requirements. Printed search aids are an important part: guides to archive, publications of the holdings, mostly lists of fonds, archival inventories, and thematic guides. They are accompanied by some, limited in number though, archival finding aids of a higher level of specificity, such as catalogues, thematic inventories (PRADZIAD), or summaries. A lot of information on archival records in Poland is to be found in monographs and source publications, scientific periodicals, notably the above-mentioned, a bi-annual publication of the Polish State Archive Head Office. (The Bibliography of Polish Archival Studies Up Till 1970) is another valuable source.
Each state archive posseses a list of fonds, a card-index of fonds and archival inventories for the classified part of the holdings and various lists covering selected fonds. The state archives also gather information and copies (microfilms and photocopies) of all kinds of materials relating to Poland kept in foreign archives. Almost all archives have their own web sites. Databases on the National Archival Holdings, on-line SEZAM and Inventories.
The Department of Information of the State Archives Head Office keeps a central card-index of archival fonds preserved in the state archives. It also collects the copies of archival inventories transferred from the state archives. The Centre's Library contains Polish and foreign periodicals dealing with archive science, printed archival manuals and other publications on archival holdings in Poland and abroad.
The basic information on addresses of archives, opening hours and conditions of accessibility to archival material in Polish archives as well as in institutions of Polish communities abroad is contained in our address book "Archiwa w Polsce. Informator adresowy" (Archives in Poland. The archival directory). The newest version of this publication was published in 2004. You can find current information concerning the Polish state archives at the State Archives section.' - The Head Office of the State Archives (Poland)
Information on collections of the Polish state archives and the Polish communities abroad preserving archival materials can be obtained from the:
Archival Information Centre 2D Rakowiecka Street, 02-517 Warszawa, fax. +48 (22) 565 46 14; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org