Hoover Archives’ Polish Collections digitized

Thursday, March 3, 2011
Hoover Archives’ Polish Collections digitized

The bulk of Hoover Archives’ World War II–era Polish archival collections has been digitized and made available online by Poland’s National Digital Archives (Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe).  The digitized copies were made from the 1,599 reels of microfilm donated by Hoover to Poland a decade ago.  More than one and half million pages of Hoover documents can now be accessed on the NDA website www.szukajwarchiwach.pl.   The website is linked to the Hoover Library and Archives site and to the Online Archive of California, providing online access to Hoover finding aids.

The Hoover Institution holds the largest and the most comprehensive archival collections on modern Poland outside of Poland.   A large portion of that documentation which pertains to Poland during World War II was moved to Stanford by Free Polish authorities immediately after the war to protect it from dispersion and from falling into the hands of the Soviet-dominated government in Warsaw.  Thanks to the generous support of the Taube Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, these archives were organized and microfilmed.  Between 1999 and 2001 the contents of eighteen archival collections were repatriated to Poland.  The following collections were part of that project and are now available in digital format:

Anders (Wladyslaw) Collection
Mikolajczyk (Stanislaw) Papers
Poland. Ambasada (Great Britain). Records
Poland. Ambasada (Italy). Telegrams
Poland. Ambasada (Soviet Union). Records
Poland. Ambasada (U.S.). Records
Poland. Delegacja przy Lidze Narodow. Telegrams
Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Dublin). Records
Poland. Konsulat Generalny (Lille). Records
Poland. Ministerstwo Informacji i Dokumentacji. Records
Poland. Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych. Records
Poland. Poselstwo (Belgium). Records
Poland. Poselstwo (Czechoslovakia). Records
Poland. Poselstwo (Denmark). Telegrams
Poland. Poselstwo (Hungary). Telegrams
Poland. Poselstwo (Netherlands). Records
Poland. Poselstwo (Romania). Telegrams
Poland. Poselstwo (Switzerland). Telegrams

Among the many valuable resources in the Hoover Institution’s Polish holdings are the personal accounts and documents of Polish citizens who survived Soviet prisons, deportations, and labor camps during 1939–41, when Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany collaborated in the conquest of Poland and the rest of East Central Europe. Some thirty-three thousand survivors’ depositions, along with fifteen thousand original NKVD camp release certificates are preserved in these holdings. These unique documents have permitted Western scholars to chart the first detailed maps of the Gulag and provided valuable primary source material for three generations of researchers. This collage of release certificates is from Box 75 of the Anders Collection, reels 108–109 of the digitized microfilm.