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Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston Records

1937-1997
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 466

The oldest active Polish folk dance ensemble in the United States, the Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston was formed in 1937 by a group of young ladies of Polish heritage interested in promoting Polish culture through the mediums of song and dance. The club opened its membership to young men in 1947, and was offcially incorporated in 1957. Since its formation, the dancers have appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and Poland, and the group has received recognition and awards worldwide, including a special performance before his Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1983.

The collection includes programs for performances from the club’s earliest days, tickets, newspaper clippings featuring articles about the group, and copies of the organization’s constitution describing the group’s mission and membership.

Subjects

Folk dancing, PolishPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston
Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs Records

1949-1995
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 465

The Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs was formed in 1931 when Kolo Polek of Boston and Mrs. Frances Siluk as President hosted delegates representing 26 Polish women’s organizations in Massachusetts. The group’s object was to unite women’s clubs in the state whose members were of Polish birth or descent for civic, cultural, and educational purposes, and to foster an understanding of Polish culture.

The collection includes the organization’s newsletters and convention programs from the late 1940s through the mid 1990s.

Subjects

Polish Americans--MassachusettsWomen--Massachusetts--Societies and clubs

Contributors

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs
Polish American Collection

Polish American Collection

1940s-2000
5 boxes 5.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 464

Collection documenting Polish American culture, language, and history consisting of newspapers and news clippings, programs for Polish religious and cultural events, newsletters of Polish American organizations, and Polish publications including religious works and language textbooks.

Subjects

Polish Americans
Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts

Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts Collection

1990-2018
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 366

Founded in 1989, the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts is a not-for-profit organization devoted to encouraging and supporting research into Polish family history and more generally into Polish culture and history. The Society sponsors educational programs and publications and operates a research library at the Polish Center of Discovery in Chicopee, Mass.
The collection consists of a nearly complete run of the semiannual newsletter of the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts, Biuletyn Korzenie (Roots Bulletin).

Gift of the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Poland--GenealogyPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Types of material

Newsletters
Polish Jubilee

Polish Jubilee Catalogs and Souvenirs

1906-1988
5 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 057

Includes booklets containing parish and community histories, photographs, and local advertisements celebrating Jubilee, other anniversaries, and events in over twenty Massachusetts Polish American parishes; booklets furnishing histories and names associated with Polish American groups (such as the Brotherly Aid Society and Polish American Veterans); an historical paper on the Chicopee Polish Community; a pamphlet including songs and recipes; photographs; a booklet; and two books.

Subjects

Chicopee (Mass.)--HistoryPolish Americans--Massachusetts
Polish Soldiers Relief (Chicopee, Mass.)

Polish Soldiers Relief Correspondence

1941-1942
4 items 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 219 bd

Four postcards sent to Polish Soldiers Relief of Chicopee in 1941 concerning Polish prisoners of war in German camps.

Subjects

Polish Americans--MassachusettsPrisoners of WarWorld War, 1939-1945
Polish Women’s Club of Three Rivers (Mass.)

Polish Women's Club of Three Rivers Records

1924-1994
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 391

Polish-American women’s club located near Palmer, Massachusetts, that aims to encourage Polish women to become United States citizens and provide them with classes in the English language; to take an active part in local, state and federal politics; to support local Polish-owned businesses; to preserve and integrate Polish culture with those of other ethnicities present in the United States; to encourage higher education in the Polish-American community.

Includes meeting minutes (primarily in Polish), histories, anniversary programs, town and state citations, and government publications, documenting the activities, membership, and national recognition of the club over a period of seventy years.

Gift of Helen B. Grzywna and Sophie Wojtowicz-Valtelhas, 1995

Subjects

Americanization--History--20th centuryPalmer (Mass.)--Ethnic relations--20th centuryPalmer (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th centuryPoles--Cultural assimilation--Massachusetts--History--20th centuryPolish American friendly societies--Massachusetts--Palmer--HistoryPolish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th centuryPolish Americans--Massachusetts--PalmerPolish Americans--Political activity--History--20th century

Contributors

Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's ClubsPolish American Women Citizens Political Club of Three Rivers and Thorndike (Palmer, Mass.)Polish Women's Club of Three Rivers (Palmer, Mass.)

Types of material

Programs
Dobrowski, Elaine H.

Elaine H. Dobrowski Collection

ca.1935-1995
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 376
Depiction of Ogniko Polek (Polish Women's Club) at Blinstrub's Village nightclub, 1950
Ogniko Polek (Polish Women's Club) at Blinstrub's Village nightclub, 1950

Deeply involved in the Polish community in Boston, Elaine (Proborszcz) Dobrowski (1923-2009) was the wife of attorney Francis R. Dobrowksi and mother of two children. She was a resident of Dorchester and Milton, Mass., and a long-time member of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in South Boston.

Compiled by Elaine Dobrowski, this collection of photographs, printed materials, and news clippings documents the Polish community in Boston from the 1930s through the 1990s. The collection includes photographs of the Kosciusko Monument in the Boston Public Gardens, a children’s dance festival, and a Polish Women’s circle outing at Blinstrub’s Village as well as images of parades, receptions, and conventions.

Gift of Elain H. Dobrowski, Jan. 1995.
Language(s): pol

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customsPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Types of material

Photographs
Meyer, Helen C.

Helen C. Meyer Collection

ca.1911-2020 Bulk: ca. 1940-1995
9 boxes 8 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1084

Adolph and Helen Meyer, Mass. Federation Presentee Ball, at Hotel Statler Hilton Boston, 1959 Nov.

A founding member of the Massachusetts Federation of Polish Womens’ Clubs, holding every post in the organization, Helen (Gorecka) Meyer (1908-2003) was incredibly active in the Polish community in Boston, Cambridge, and later Cape Cod. Born in Poland, Helen came to America at the age of three, living with her parents in Lynn and Wilmington, before moving to Cambridge. She married Adolph Meyer in 1928, and both were important business owners (establishments included the White Eagle Restaurant in Cambridge, the Log Cabin Restaurant in Waltham, South Boston Liquors, and Al’s Bottled Liquors) and community members. Honored by the Mass. Federation of Polish Womens’ Clubs in 1963 as their “Woman of the Year,” Helen was also actively involved in the St. Joseph and Sacred Heart Societies of St. Hedwig’s Parish, local and national Polish Roman Catholic Union groups, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Presentation Balls.

Compiled from Helen Meyer’s papers by her nephew Stan Bartosiak, this collection of personal, family, and community papers – including published materials, photographs, slides, correspondence, audiovisual material, news clippings and ephemera – documents the Polish community in the Boston area from the 1930s through the 1990s. Some records concerning the Meyer, Gorecka, and connected families are from earlier. Various Polish clubs and organizations are represented through society badges, souvenir programs, financial records, correspondence, and photographs, with the Kosciuszko Foundation Presentation Balls particularly well documented. Additional audiovisual recordings document Bartosiak and his work an educator.

Gift of Stan Bartosiak, 2019-2020.

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customsPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Types of material

Audiovisual materialsPhotographsSouvenir programs
Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Janina Smiertka Davenport Papers

1918-1990
7 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 343
Depiction of Janina Smiertka, 1934
Janina Smiertka, 1934

Raised in a Polish American family from Greenfield, Mass., Janina Smiertka Davenport was the epitome of a life-long learner. After graduating from Greenfield High School in 1933, Davenport received degrees from the Pratt Institute in Food Management and from the Franklin County Public School for Nurses (1937). In 1938, she began work as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, receiving two special commendations for meritorious service during the Second World War. She continued her formal and informal education later in life, receiving degrees from Arizona State University in 1958 and UMass Amherst in Russian and Eastern European Studies (1982). Davenport died in Greenfield in March 2002.
The Davenport Papers contain a thick sheaf of letters and documents pertaining to her Navy service before and during World War II, along with assorted biographical and genealogical data, materials collected during educational trips to Poland and elsewhere, and approximately one linear foot of family photographs and photo albums.

Subjects

Nurses--MassachusettsPolish Americans--MassachusettsUnited States. NavyWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Davenport, Janina Smiertka

Types of material

Photographs