Poland & Polish Americans (30 collections) SCUA

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Bajgier Family

Bajgier Family Papers, 1925-1986.

2 boxes (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 400
Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937
Joseph and Martha Bajgier at Bell Market, Chicopee, 1937

On March 13, 1903, Joseph Michael Bajgier was born in Odrzykon, Poland, the youngest of three sons in a farming family. Schooled only through the third grade, Joseph served as a young man in the First Air Division of the Polish Army before following his older brother in emigrating to the United States in 1927. Settling in Chicopee, Mass., with its large and active Polish community, Bajgier began work as a slaughterer of pigs for a meat processing company, but within a few years, he had saved enough money to purchase a small grocery store in Longmeadow. In about 1935, he returned to Chicopee, purchasing a grocery and deli, Bell Market, that his family ran for 36 years. Bajgier was deeply involved in the local Polish community as a member of the Polish National Alliance, the Holy Name Society of St. Stanislaus Parish, and an organization of Polish veterans in exile (Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantow). He and his wife Martha (Misiaszek) had two sons, Casimir and Edward

The Bajgier collection documents the lives of a Polish family in Chicopee, Mass., from the time of immigration through the 1970s. The core of the collection surrounds the life of Joseph Bajgier, and includes a number of documents and a diary from the time of his emigration in 1927, a fascinating series of letters from relatives in Turaszowka, Poland before and after the Second World War, and several photographs of the family and their business in Chicopee.

Subjects

  • Chicopee (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945

Contributors

  • Bajgier, Joseph M

Types of material

  • Photographs

Bernhard, Michael H.

Michael H. Bernhard Solidarity Collection, ca.1975-1989.

3 boxes (4.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 575

A member of the Department of Political Science at Penn State University, Michael Bernhard specializes in the comparative history of institutional change in East Central Europe and the political economy of democratic survival and breakdown. Since receiving his doctorate from Columbia University in 1988, Bernhard has written extensively on various aspects of the democratic transition in Poland and East Germany.

The Bernhard Collection contains photocopies and some original materials of underground publications by the Solidarity Movement in Poland, most of which were crudely published and illegally distributed. The collection also includes a series of posters for Solidarity candidates during the first post-Communist election.

Subjects

  • NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization)
  • Poland--History--1945-
  • Underground press publications--Poland

Contributors

  • Bernhard, Michael H

Borkowski, Edward A.

Edward A. Borkowski Autobiography, ca.1980.

1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 124 bd

124-page handwritten autobiographical account written in Polish by 100 year-old Edward A. Borkowski of Turner Falls, Massachusetts.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Turners Falls
  • Turners Falls (Mass.)--Social conditions

Contributors

  • Borkowski, Edward A

Types of material

  • Autobiographies

Buczko, Thaddeus

Thaddeus Buczko Photographs, ca.1960-1980.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 299

Former Massachusetts legislator, state auditor, and justice in the Essex Court, active in the Boston, Massachusetts-area Polish community. Fifty-five photographs including portraits of Judge Buczko with Pope John Paul II, Robert and Edward Kennedy, Carl Yastrzemski, Francis Sargent, Hubert Humphrey, and various Massachusetts politicians and friends.

Subjects

  • Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978
  • John Paul II, Pope, 1920-
  • Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-
  • Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • Sargent, Francis
  • Yastrzemski, Carl

Contributors

  • Buczko, Thaddeus

Types of material

  • Photographs

Czaja, Mrs. Joseph

Josephine Czaja Papers, 1936-1987.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 189

Born in Poland, Josephine Latonsinska emigrated with her parents to the U.S. at the age of two. After studies at the Booth and Bayliss Commercial College in Waterbury, Connecticut, Josephine worked as a secretary for a Waterbury firm. Married to Joseph Czaja in 1926, the couple moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where Joseph worked as a druggist. Trained as a musician, Mrs. Czaja was an active member of the St. Cecilia Choir and the Ladies Guild, both of Our Lady of the Rosary Church.

The collection consists of photocopies of news clippings, probably compiled as a series of scrapbooks by Mrs. Czaja, depicting the activities of Polish community of Springfield from 1936 to 1987.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Social conditions

Types of material

  • Scrapbooks

Dobrowski, Elaine

Elaine Dobrowski Boston Polish Community Collection, ca.1935-1995.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 376

Compiled by Elaine Dobrowski, this collection of photographs, printed materials, and news clippings documents the Polish community in Boston during the 1930s through the 1990s. 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.

Subjects

  • Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Dobrowski, Elaine

International Brotherhood of Paper Makers. Eagle Lodge

Eagle Lodge, International Brotherhood of Paper Maker Records, 1901-1978.

1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 081

First organized as Eagle Lodge in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the United Brotherhood of Paper Makers was granted a charter by the AFL in May 1883. Almost as soon as the union was established, however, it faced a serious struggle for power from within. Hoping to maintain their higher economic and social status, the machine tenders ultimately organized their own union, and the two remained separate for a number of years until they finally merged in 1902 as the International Brotherhood of Paper Makers.

Records of the Eagle Lodge, Local 1 include by-laws, minutes, correspondence, contracts, a ledger, and three histories of the local and the early days of the union.

Subjects

  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Paper industry workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Paper industry workers--Massachusetts--Holyoke

Jakubowska-Schlatner, Basia

Basia Jakubowska-Schlatner Solidarity (Solidarnosc) Collection, 1979-1989.

26 boxes (38.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 723

As a university student in Warsaw, Poland, in January 1977, Barbara Jakubowska-Schlatner made the decision to join the democratic resistance to the Communist regime. For more than twelve years, she was an active member of the Solidarity (Solidarnosc) movement, organizing opposition to state oppression, producing and distributing underground literature, and working with the pirate broadcasts of Solidarity radio.

Recognizing the importance of the underground press to the Solidarity movement, Jakubowska-Schlatner went to extraordinary lengths to collect and preserve their publications. At various times, the collection was kept in the basement of her mother’s house, spread around among a series of safe locations, and sometimes even secreted in small caches in back lots. The collection of over 1,500 titles is centered on the underground press in Warsaw, but includes titles published in Wroclaw, Gdansk, Krakow, and other cities. These include a startling array of publications, from fliers, handbills, and ephemera to translations of foreign literature, newspapers and periodicals, a science fiction magazine, and instructions on how to run a small press.

Subjects

  • NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization)
  • Poland--History--1945-
  • Underground press publications--Poland

Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978

Michael Z. Kislo Notebooks, 1954-1974.

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 246

After emigrating from Dzieciekowo, Poland, Michael Kislo found work in a Northampton basket shop and later as a machinist at International Silver Company. He was a resident of Florence, Mass.

The Kislo collection contains nine volumes of Kislo’s writing (mostly in Polish and thematically religious, patriotic, personal, and autobiographical) and artwork (drawings and paintings with religious allusions, Polish costumes, weapons, imaginary animals and fanciful landscapes).

Subjects

  • Art, Polish--Massachusetts--20th century
  • Florence (Mass.)--Biography
  • Immigrants--Massachusetts--Florence
  • Polish American artists--Massachusetts--Florence
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Florence
  • United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Contributors

  • Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978

Types of material

  • Diaries
  • Notebooks
  • Watercolors (Paintings)

Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski

Sophie D. Zmijewski Kopiecki Papers, ca. 1950-1990.

8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 553

An active member of a number of women’s Polish American clubs in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women’s Clubs, Sophie Kopiecki was a schoolteacher and mother in the eastern part of the state. Documenting her contributions to the various clubs of which she was a member as well as her activities as a teacher, this collection includes publications, programs, memorabilia, and student assignments.

Subjects

  • Polish American friendly societies--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th century
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski
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