Archiwum Seminarium Polskiego w Orchard Lake w latach 1978-2008

Roman Nir

Abstrakt


The Archives of the Orchard Lake Schools consists of documents from the Polish Seminary which was opened in Detroit in December 1885. These collections were enlarged as the years passed, especially when the Seminary was relocated to Orchard Lake in 1909. The main roles of this part of the Archives are as follows: a) collecting and preserving documents and photographs of the three schools which comprise the Orchard Lake Schools ( SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, St. Mary’s College and St. Mary’s Preparatory School) and of its Centers (the Pope John Paul II Center, the Polish American Liturgical Center, Center for Polish Studies and Culture, and the Center for Pastoral Studies; and b) collecting biographical material about students and faculty.

The archives of American Polonia and Polonia in other countries contains a variety of material generated both here and abroad. This large collection was catalogued in four major groups: 1. Political immigration; 2. Economic immigration; 3. State by state geographical immigration; and 4. Past and present statistics of immigration. The groupings reflect the culture and history of Polonia.

Polish parishes played a very important role in the life of Polish immigrants. They were dynamic centers. Documents from Polish parishes form the largest collection in the Archives. In these documents we find jubilee books parishes; jubilee books of priests; jubilee books of parish associations. There is also a very large collection of photographs of churches, priests, schools, banquets; parish lay activities, and parish life such as processions, traditions, and organizations.

These organizations always have been very important in the life of Polonia. The Archives has many sources for the history of Polish organizations. However, we can say that the Archives has documentation of about 1000 organizations. Interest in biographies of lay and religious activists and also outstanding Polish activists led to creating a special category of biographical materials. The biography section is catalogued in alphabetical order. Another special category contains Polish bishops and priests. Polish newspapers remain a primary source for scientific research. The Archives has 2000 titles of Polish newspapers published in the United States and countries other than Poland. There are 2500 titles of newspapers published in Poland.

In the years 1978-2008 was organized the following archives, museums and libraries: The Museum of Fr. Józef Dąbrowski. This Museum contains material concerning the founder of the of the Polish Seminary, Fr. Józef Dąbrowski, rectors, professors, and students; Museum of the Polish Army Second Corps. The Archive consists of documentation of personal acts of soldiers from the Second Corps. Folders contain identity cards, letters, diplomas, distinctions, correspondence and pictures from the battlefield; Archive and Museum of the Polish Army Veterans’ Association of America. The Archive owns a great number of diverse reports and minutes from sessions of the Society’s directors and plenary meetings of the board of the Society of Polish Army Veterans in America; Archive and Museum of Polonia Radio and TV. Material donated during the past ten years by Polonia radio stations from Boston, Chicago, and New York. The collection of Rev. Msgr. A. Rojek consists mostly of recordings of the TV program „Winds from Poland”; Archive, Library, and Museum of the First Polish Armored Division. The Museum consists of sections: I Polish Tank Division, the Voluntary Polish Army in Canada, and Women Soldiers AK. Each section has its own archive, library, and collection; Archive, Library, and Museum of the Polish Home Army AK. It contains a serious collection of original documents, printing, maps, and pictures; Archive, Library, and Museum of the Polish Air Force. This collection is composed of reports and minutes of air force groups. Personal folders are filled with identification cards, photographs, and various documents; Museum of the Singers Alliance of America-Circuit 4. The material pertainso three choirs, which exist in the Detroit area: Choir Lutnia, Choir Filaret, and Choir Polonez; Museum of the Polish National Alliance. This Museum contains the entire collection of A. Mazewski, along-time chairman of the Polish American Congress, and the Polish National Alliance; Dr.Loda and Edward C. Różański Collection. This collection contains documents and materials concerning the Różański family, the Polish National Alliance, the Polish American Congress, trade union publications; Museum of the Polish Association of Former Prisoners of German and Soviet Concentration Camps. The archive contains documents of actions that were undertaken by the Association in order to help all former prisoners of German and Soviet camps gain legal status; Archive and Museum of the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland. Bishop A. Abramowicz from Chicago, served as executive director of the League for many years, and it is evident by the massive amount of materials, photographs, illustrations and file cabinets of records he donated for this collection.

The Polish American Archives of the Orchard Lake Schools serves a humble role as a research center for the studies of Polonia. It serves for Polonia as an American Poland. It is an historical heritage of Polonia.


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