Poland & Polish Americans (30 collections) SCUA

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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, Polish
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Krakowiak Polish Dancers of Boston

Kszepka, Joseph A., collector

Joseph A. Kszepka Collection, 1906-1949.

8 items (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 276

Collection of printed materials, primarily the constitutions and by-laws of Massachusetts Polish-American organizations, including publications of the Pilsudski Polish-American Citzens Club in Southbridge, St. Stanislaus’ Polish Lyceum in Three Rivers, and the Polish American Citizens’ Club also in Three Rivers, which contains study questions for the U.S. citizenship exam. Also a prayerbook (1906) and a textbook for parents and teachers, Masturbation in Men and Women and Its Effects (1912), translated to Polish from German.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Kszepka, Joseph A.

Lesinski-Rusin family

Lesinski-Rusin Family Papers, ca.1910-1925.

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 131

The Lesinski and Rusin families represent the average working-class Polish family settled in the Pioneer Valley during the early twentieth century. Numerous family photographs document important occasions for the families, such as baptisms, first communions, and weddings, while photographic postcards and commercial postcards document their relationships, interests, and travel. The collection also includes Polish-language textbooks and a Polish-English dictionary, which suggest that learning English may have been both a challenge as well as a priority.

Subjects

  • Lesinski family
  • Rusin family

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks

Libera, John

Southbridge Polish American Photograph Collection, 1934-1988.

1 flat box (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 048

Photographs from the 1930s of members of local Polish communities in Massachusetts, including images of the Polish Women’s Club, the Polish Tigers, and the Polish Boy Scouts. Also includes photographs, correspondence, and brochures documenting the Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. in 1988.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • Southbridge (Mass.)

Contributors

  • Libera, John

Types of material

  • Photographs

Lipski, Stanley

Stanley Lipski Papers, 1939-1990.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 357

Born in 1911, Commander Stanley Lipski was an Annapolis graduate and Naval intelligence officer. A Russian language expert, Lipski had been stationed in Finland prior to the start of World War II and was in Riga, Latvia during a Russian invasion in 1940. He died in the Philippine Sea when the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a Japanese submarine in July 1945.

The Stanley Lipski Papers contain newspaper articles about Lipski, a letter informing his family that he was killed in action, as well as information pertaining to the court martial of Charles McVay, captain of the USS Indianapolis. Also included are photographs of the Polish officer corps that Lipski took with him when he escaped Latvia in 1940.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts
  • World War, 1939-1945

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--Massachusetts
  • Women--Massachusetts--Societies and clubs

Contributors

  • Massachusetts Federation of Polish Women's Clubs

Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Joseph Obrebski Papers, 1923-1974.

48 boxes (24 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 599
Obrebski in Macedonia, ca.1931
Obrebski in Macedonia, ca.1931

A student of Bronislaw Malinowski, the Polish ethnographer Jozef Obrebski was a keen observer of cultural change among eastern European peasantry in the years before the Second World War. After working with the resistance in Warsaw during the war, Obrebski went on to do additional ethnographic research in Jamaica (with his wife Tamara), taught at Brooklyn and Queens College and C.W. Post University, and from 1948-1959, he was senior social affairs officer with the United Nations. He died in 1967.

The Obrebski collection consists largely of ethnographic data collected by Obrebski in Macedonia (1931-1932), Polesia (1934-1936), and Jamaica (1947-1948), including field and interview notes, genealogies, government documents relating to research sites, and ca. 1000 photographs; together with correspondence (1946-1974), drafts of articles, analyses of collected data, and tapes and phonograph records, largely of folk music; and papers of Obrebski’s wife, Tamara Obrebski (1908-1974), also an ethnologist and sociologist.

Connect to another siteView the gallery of images taken by Obrebski in Macedonia, 1931-1932.

Subjects

  • Anthropologists--Poland
  • Ethnology--Jamaica
  • Ethnology--Macedonia
  • Ethnology--Poland
  • Peasantry--Macedonia
  • Peasantry--Poland

Contributors

  • Obrebski, Joseph, 1907-1967

Types of material

  • Photographs

Panus, Mary Lou

Mary Lou Panus Polish American Collection, 1895-1997.

3 boxes (1.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 378

Mary Lou Panus documented Polish American life in Massachusetts by collecting newspaper clippings, business cards, programs, and Polish language prayer books and prayer cards.

The Panus collection includes photographs of Polish churches in Massachusetts, reflecting the important role religion played in the culture and in various communities. The collection also includes a doll dressed as a nun.

Subjects

  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Panus, Mary Lou

Pelczynski, Walter, 1916-2000

Walter Pelczynski Papers, 1983.

1 envelope (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 148 bd

Walter Pelczynski was a native of Adams, Massachusetts and the second native-born American to be ordained by the Congregation of Marians, which has its roots in Poland. He served as head of the Marians at Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for many years.

Included in this small collection is a photocopy of Pelczynski’s typewritten memoirs, written in 1983, that cover the years 1934 to 1983.

Subjects

  • Catholic Church--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History
  • Marian Fathers. St. Stanislaus Kostka Province
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Stockbridge
  • Stockbridge (Mass.)--Biography
  • Superiors, Religious--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Biography

Contributors

  • Pelczynski, Walter, 1916-2000

Types of material

  • Autobiographies

Plata, Jakob

Jakob Plata Memoir, 1936.

1 envelope (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 184 bd

Photocopy of Jakob Plata’s autobiographical account of his emigration from Poland originally written in 1936 for the Institute for Social Management in Warsaw, which published several such accounts.

Subjects

  • Immigrants--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Plata, Jakob

Types of material

  • Autobiographies
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