Archives of Polish Emigration
University Library, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
ul. Gagarina 13
87-100 Toruń
Tel. (56) 611 43 91
Free admission
Tuesdays: 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesdays – Thursdays: 9 am – 3 pm
Advance booking required. Please send an email to make an arrangement.
Director: Senior Curator,
Mirosław A. Supruniuk PhD
Staff: Joanna Krasnodębska MA, curator, Izabela Maćkowska MA, curator, Grażyna Kwaśnik MA, curator

The Archives of Polish Emigration is an independent archival and research establishment within the Main Library of the University in Toruń which was established in 1994. It gathers together the legacy left by Polish writers, publicists, publishers and people associated with the sciences, art and culture. The collections include archives of Polish institutions abroad: editorial offices of newspapers and magazines, book publishing houses and other social and cultural institutions active in the 20th century – theatres, music ensembles, veterans’ groups, art galleries, radio stations, etc. Furthermore: sound recordings and films, souvenirs, items of material culture (uniforms, cold steel weapons, badges, medals,
memorabilia), as well as book collections. In the years 1994–2020, thanks to the help of many outstanding Polish personages abroad (in particular Stefania Kossowska and Jerzy Giedroyć) and the reputation gradually earned by the Archives of Polish Emigration, it has been possible to amass more than 450 archival collections, both books and works of art from the ‛Polish’ diaspora around the world, thus becoming the most significant centre for documenting the cultural achievements of Polish émigrés in the 20th century. The most important collections are the archives of the Polish literary weekly Wiadomości (published in London in the years 1946–1981). It is the largest and richest archive in Poland
relating to émigrés. Other collections include sets of documents and keepsakes from: the Libella and Galerie Lambert bookshops (Paris), the ‛Syrena’ theatre (London), Wydawnictwo Książnica Polska publishers (Glasgow), SPK in Germany, the Polish–Scandinavian Research Institute (Copenhagen), the ‛Dana’ choir (USA), Drian Gallery (London) and the archives of more than 400 writers, journalists, publicists, artists, people connected with the theatre, music and radio, as well as famous people from society and the world of culture who left Poland after 1939, such as: Konstanty Brandel, Józef Bujnowski, Michał Chmielowiec, Juliusz Englert, Stanisław Frenkiel, Natan Gross, Wacław Iwaniuk, Konstanty A. Jeleński, Tamara Karren, Stefania Kossowska, Janina Kościałkowska, Jan Marian Kościałkowski, Jan Kott, Janusz Kowalewski, Irena Krzywicka, Witold Leitgeber, Leo Lipski, Mela Muter, Marek Oberlaender, Jerzy Pietrkiewicz, Tadeusz Polanowski, Janusz Poray-Biernacki, Zofia Romanowiczowa, Juliusz Sakowski, Olga Scherer, Henryk Skolimowski, Wojciech Skalmowski, Felicjan Sławoj Składkowski, Władysław R. Szomański, Stanisław Szukalski, Wiktor Trościanko, Leopold Tyrmand, Jan Ulatowski, Wojciech Wasiutyński, Tadeusz Wittlin, Stanisław Wujastyk, Paweł Zaremba, and Władysław Żeleński. The archives also has in its collections the Library of Maria and Józef Czapski, The Polish Library in Coventry and several historical book collections. The documentation concerning the life of Polish artists abroad is of particular value. Another separate, important category are the items belonging to the publishing house of Stanisław Gliwa: printing machines and type cases with movable type. The archives carry out research into the academic, cultural and artistic achievements of Polish émigrés. The result of this are conferences, seminars, academic publications and exhibitions. Since 1995 a series of works has been published under the title Archiwum Emigracji. Źródła i materiały do dziejów emigracji polskiej po 1939 roku, edited by S. Kossowska and M. A. Supruniuk, consisting of more than 90 volumes. A second series – a ‛literary’ one – where literature, poetry, essays, journalism and literary criticism which have been written abroad was also published. The works of Jerzy Pietrkiewicz and Danuta Mostwin are published separately. Many books are published outside the series: coffee table books, bibliographies, art catalogues. In 1998 publication of an academic periodical Archiwum Emigracji started. Archiwum Emigracji acts as a forum for discussion between young researchers in Poland studying the history of emigration and the émigrés who have created culture and who participate in social and cultural life in exile; it is the only Polish periodical that is entirely devoted to studies on various aspects of Polish culture abroad in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since 2014 it has also been engaged in researching into émigrés from Central Europe. Since 2000, Archiwum Emigracji awards a prize for the best MA dissertation and doctoral thesis on the subject of emigration. The aim of the prize is to promote basic academic research on the various issues related to the history and achievements of the Polish émigrés. It is awarded for
outstanding work in the fields of: literature, history, history of culture and sociology and history of art. The need to have a prize of this kind was also perceived by outstanding members of the émigré community who agreed to supervise it by forming an honorary board: Józef Bujnowski, Maria Danilewicz-Zielińska, Andrzej S. Ehrenkreutz, Jerzy Giedroyć,
Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, Leszek Kołakowski, Stefania Kossowska, Jan Kott, Jerzy Krzywicki, Jerzy R. Krzyżanowski, Danuta Mostwin, Olga Scherer and Tymon Terlecki. Tadeusz Walczak funded the first prize, and the
financing was later taken over by the Polish Senate. The collections of the archives of Polish Emigration are constantly being supplemented and expanded and incoming materials are organized and processed. However not all the documents are made available; some donors reserve the right to decide when the materials they donate will be available to readers. The staff respect their wishes.
Mirosław A. Supruniuk PhD