Collecting area: Immigration & ethnicity

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).

Acquired from Susan Kislo via Stanley Radosh, 1989
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Art, Polish--Massachusetts--20th centuryFlorence (Mass.)--BiographyImmigrants--Massachusetts--FlorencePolish American artists--Massachusetts--FlorencePolish Americans--Massachusetts--FlorenceUnited States. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Contributors

Kislo, Michael Z., 1896-1978

Types of material

DiariesNotebooksWatercolors (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.

Gift of Barbara Kopiecki Stathis, Apr. 2008

Subjects

Polish American friendly societies--MassachusettsPolish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th centuryPolish Americans--Massachusetts

Contributors

Kopiecki, Sophie D. Zmijewski
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
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

1908-1925
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 131
Depiction of Nun and two girls at first communion, ca.1920
Nun and two girls at first communion, ca.1920

Polish immigrants Jan Lesinski and his wife Weronika (Rusin) settled in Easthampton, Massachusetts, in 1909 and worked in the textile mills there for decades. Married in 1922, the couple raised a son and daughter in their home on Franklin Street. Weronika Lesinski died in Northampton in 1961, her husband following twelve years later.

The Lesinski and Rusin family collection reflect the lives of an average working-class Polish family from Easthampton, Mass., during the early twentieth century. Numerous family photographs document important occasions for the families, such as baptisms, first communions, and weddings, and the photographic postcards and commercial postcards document their relationships, interests, and travel.

Gift of Mary Ryan, June 1990
Language(s): Polish

Subjects

Lesinski familyPolish Americans--Massachusetts--EasthamptonRusin familySoldiers--Massachusetts--Easthampton--PhotographsWorld War, 1914-1918--Photographs

Types of material

PhotographsPostcardsScrapbooks
Libera, John

John Libera Collection

1934-1988
1 flat box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 048
Depiction of Polish Tigers baseball team, ca.1935
Polish Tigers baseball team, ca.1935

A member of the Polish community in Southbridge, Mass., John Libera (1919-2007) was a long-time employee of American Optical Company, but was best known as a promoter of polka music and dancing. A performer, song writer, and host of a radio show for over thirty years, Libera was inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame in 1982 and invited to perform at the American Folklife Festival in 1988.

The Libera collection consists of four photographs of the Polish community in Southbridge during the 1930s along with fourteen photos, a videotape, and some correspondence and ephemera relating to the American Folklife Festival.

Subjects

Baseball teams--Massachusetts--Southbridge--PhotographsPolish Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge--PhotographsSouthbridge (Mass.)Women--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts--Southbridge--Photographs

Contributors

Libera, John

Types of material

Photographs
Lipski family

Lipski Family Collection

1927-1990
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 357
Depiction of Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940
Stanley Lipski on the Finnish front, 1940

Antoni Lipski emigrated from Grodno, now Belarus, in 1907, and settled in the Oxbow neighborhood of Northampton, Mass. An employee of the Mount Tom Sulphite Pulp Company, he and his wife Marta had a family of twelve, ten of who survived to adulthood. Their oldest child Stanley Walter Lipski graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1935 and was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis in July 1945.

The slender record of two generations of a Polish immigrant family from Northampton, Mass., the Lipski collection includes two documents relating to Antoni Lipski and four photographs, two letters, and news clippings relating to his eldest son, Stanley Walter Lipski, a naval officer who was killed in action aboard the USS Indianapolis during the Second World War.

Gift of Anthony Lipski, Oct. 1991

Subjects

Polish Americans--MassachusettsUnited States. NavyWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Lipski, Antoni, 1882-1953Lipski, Stanley Walter, 1911-1945

Types of material

Photograph albumsPhotographs
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
Massachusetts Indian Association. Stockbridge Auxilliary

Massachusetts Indian Association Stockbridge Auxiliary Records

1886-1909
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 151 bd

The Stockbridge Auxilliary of the Massachusetts Indian Association was formed by prominent local women in western Berkshire County who sought to aid in educational and missionary work for and among Indians, and to “abolish all oppression of Indians within our national limits.”

Records include minutes that document the group’s committees, meetings, dues, and contributions to Indians on reservations nation-wide, accounts, membership lists, and a letter.

Subjects

Indians of North America--Arizona--Social conditionsIndians of North America--Government relations--HistoryIndians of North America--Missions--HistoryIndians of North America--Social conditionsIndians, Treatment of--United States--HistoryLake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the IndianLake Mohonk Conference of Friends of the Indian and Other Dependent PeoplesStockbridge Indians--Social conditions

Contributors

Carter, Henry JMassachusetts Indian Association. Stockbridge Auxiliary
Meyer, Helen C.

Helen C. Meyer Collection

ca.1911-2020 Bulk: ca. 1940-1995
4 boxes 1.5 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, correspondence, 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 are particularly well documented.

Gift of Stan Bartosiak, 2019-2020.

Subjects

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

Types of material

PhotographsSouvenir programs