In December 1981, when Poland’s communist authorities declared martial law and arrested thousands of Solidarity activists, two distinguished Polish diplomats protested by renouncing their allegiance to the Moscow-dominated government in Warsaw and seeking political asylum in the United States. One was Romuald Spasowski, ambassador to the United States; the other was Zdzisław Rurarz, Poland’s ambassador to Japan. The Spasowski papers came to Hoover nearly two decades ago, the Rurarz archives only now. That both collections ended up here and not in Poland or elsewhere reflects the donors’ confidence in the strength and the credibility of the Hoover Archives, which are already home to the largest and most comprehensive holdings on modern Poland outside Poland.
The newly renovated archives reading room reopened on March 31, with seats for sixteen more researchers--and their laptops and cameras. It can now hold fifty-five researchers: forty of those working with paper-based collections, eight computer workstations for those using digital collections, six microfilm readers, and a DVD viewing station. More computer workstations and microfilm readers may be added in the future.
Thanks to a 2013 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, five unique amateur films from the William P. Miller papers have been preserved. Those films, made from approximately 1943 to 1945, feature footage of the North African and European theaters during World War II.
A work of art by Belgian artist Floris Jespers was unveiled today at the Leuven Museum as part of its exhibition Ravaged: Art and Culture in Times of Conflict, commemorating the centenary of the beginning of World War I and the devastation it brought to Leuven.