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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

Katzman, Lillian Hyman

Lillian Hyman Katzman Papers, 1952-1989
1 box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 611
Lillian Hyman Katzman Papers image

When Lillian Hyman volunteered to work with the Democratic Party in New York City in 1948, she was sent over to the office of W.E.B. Du Bois to assist him with some secretarial work. From that beginning, she was hired as a secretary, remaining in Du Bois’s employ for several years until she, regretfully, left for higher pay. Hyman later earned her masters degree and taught in the public schools in New York, starting the first class for children diagnosed with brain injury.

The Katzman Papers contains a series of letters and postcards sent by Du Bois during the early 1950s when Hyman worked as his secretary. Friendly and informal, they concern lecture tours by Du Bois and his wife, Shirley Graham, out west, and arrangements for his home at Grace Court in Brooklyn. The collection also includes a handful of publications by Du Bois, newspaper clippings, and some congratulatory letters to Hyman on her marriage.

Gift of Carol L. Goldstein, April 2009
Contributors
  • Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
  • Katzman, Lillian Hyman

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
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.

Gift of Barbara Kopiecki Stathis, Apr. 2008
Subjects
  • Polish American friendly societies--Massachusetts
  • Polish Americans--Ethnic identity--History--20th century
  • Polish 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, 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.

Lerner, Steve, 1946-

Steve Lerner Papers, 1994-2011
15 boxes (22.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 673
Steve Lerner Papers image
Diamond, La.

For decades, the writer Steve Lerner has been a significant contributor to public awareness of the issues surrounding environmental justice. Immersed in the environmental movement through his work as research director at Commonweal, a health and environment research institute founded with his brother Michael in 1976, Lerner earned wide recognition for his first book, Eco-Pioneers (1998), about “practical visionaries” who developed pragmatic solutions to environmental problems. In two subsequent books, Lerner turned to an examination of the impact of environmental toxins and industrial pollutants on low-income communities and people of color and the rise of grassroots opposition within those communities. In Diamond (2006), Lerner explored the impact of a Shell Chemical plant in Louisiana as a microcosm of the broader environmental-justice movement, and more recently, Sacrifice Zones (2010) traced the organization and resistance against industrial and chemical pollutants in a dozen communities in the eastern United States. In 2007, Lerner left his position at Commonweal, but continues his research and writing on environmental issues.

The research notes, interviews, photographs and other documentation comprising the Lerner collection form the basis for Lerner’s three major books.

Subjects
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmentalism
Types of material
  • Audiotapes
  • Photographs

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

John Libera Collection, 1934-1988
1 flat box (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 048
John Libera Collection image
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--Photographs
  • Polish Americans--Massachusetts--Southbridge--Photographs
  • Southbridge (Mass.)
  • Women--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts--Southbridge--Photographs
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

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