The Jerzy Peterkiewicz Educational Foundation, in conjunction with Torun University and the Polish Émigré Archives, is offering up to five literary bursaries per annum to a maximum of £2000 each. The bursaries are to enable young Poles or people of Polish descent to carry out research or to realise a writing project. Candidates must be 18-25 years old when they make their application and all applications must be received in full on the official application form.
The proposed project should fall into one of the following fields:
a) Polish-English language studies
b) literary history (Polish or English - preference will be given to those concerning the life and work of Jerzy Peterkiewicz)
c) translation (the translation of Polish literary works into English, and English into Polish, with preference given to the works of Jerzy Peterkiewicz)
d) Polish-English historical and literary connections
e) work on Polish émigré life (literary, artistic, or musical)
f) for young writers and poets who need time, in Poland or abroad, to realise their creative plans.
Applications for each academic year starting in October will be invited in March of that year, and must be received by May 15th of the same year. The grants awarded will be announced by the end of June. Each recipient may choose at what point in the 12 months following the award the money granted will be used, and at the end of that period must send within 3 months a detailed report of the work undertaken with the benefit of the bursary. This report may be published.
Any publication resulting from receipt of the bursary must acknowledge the assistance of the Jerzy Peterkiewicz Educational Foundation.
Report on Fieldwork funded by the Jerzy Peterkiewicz Educational Foundation
Stipend holder: Monika Ostrowska
Purpose: Search for materials needed for a Master’s thesis titled ‘A Survey of Sources on Poles in the Province of Quebec, Canada’
Place: Montreal, Canada
Period: 30th July 2014 – 18th September 2014
Between 30th July and 18th September 2014 I undertook fieldwork in Canada. The purpose of my visit was to explore the archives of the Polish diaspora across the Province of Quebec, with a particular focus on Montreal. I rented a room in the house of Flora Liebich, a Polish Canadian who granted me access to her private archive. This archive includes the papers of my landlady’s late father, Andrzej Liebich, a colonel of the Polish Army. Having fought in the Polish-Soviet War, he became the military attaché in the Baltic countries and Turkey, and finally acted as the general secretary of the National Treasury Committee [Komisja Skarbu Narodowego] in Canada.
I spent the first week of my stay (31st July – 6th August) getting used to the new place and time zone. Nonetheless, I also visited the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Library in Canada. There I discussed my work with the librarian Stefan Władysiuk, who also happens to be the chair of the Society of John Paul II Foundation. During this week I visited the Polish cemetery in St Saveur, some 40 miles from Montreal, which is the final resting place of Wacław Babiński (1887-1957), Tadeusz Brzeziński (1896-1990), Andrzej Bronisław Liebich (1893-1958), Antoni Szylling (1885–1971), and Tadeusz Romer (1894-1978), among many others.
In the second week (7th – 13th August) I got in touch – by telephone, e-mail and personally – with Maria Zaścińska, the president of the Polish Aid Committee for Children [Komitet Pomocy Dzieciom Polskim] and the Aid Section for the Elderly [Sekcja Pomocy Ludziom Starszym] in Montreal. I also attended the Polish Festival, and explored the archive of the Polish Social-Cultural Foundation [Polska Fundacja Społeczno-Kulturalna].
Several meetings during my third week (14th – 20th August) allowed me to get a better sense of the archival sources. I talked to Henryk Wójcik, director of the headquarters and of group X of the Polish-Canadian Association of Mutual Support [Polsko-Kanadyjskie Towarzystwo Wzajemnej Pomocy w Montrealu, PKTWP]; Fr. Miodek, pastor of the Holy Trinity parish; Fr. Józef Brzozowski, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish; Fr. Władysław Matejka, pastor of the St. Michael and St. Anthony Parish; Teresa Romer, daughter of the late Tadeusz Romer; Barbara Seguin, chair of Korporacja Quebek – Polska dla sztuki; Leokadia Magdziarz, artistic director of the ‘Podhale’ dance group; Maria Bargiel, director of the Lachman choir (disbanded in 2005), and Bożena Szara, a journalist for the Polish-language programme ‘Jedynka’ on radio CFMB – 1280 AM.
Over the course of week four (21st – 28th August) I had meetings with Lidia Pacak, chair of the Polska Rada Szkolna w Montrealu [Polish School Board in Montreal]; Józef Fołtyn, chair of the Polish War Veterans Society of Marshal J. Pilsudski [Związek Weteranów Polskich im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego]; Krystyna Jędrzejowska, president of the ‘Tatry’ dance group; Maria Strońska, a former teacher at the Konarski Polish school (now closed). Maria Strońska also runs the 10-minute radio programme Polska Fala with fellow Polish community activist Bernard Kmita, the former chair of the Polish Chamber of Commerce [Polska Izba Handlowa], and his wife, Czesława Kmita (born Jagiełło). I also talked with Janina Jacob – a social activist and former employee at the Polonijna Kasa Kredytowa [Polish Credit Bank], Marek Przykorski, the director of an organisation supporting the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ [NSZZ ‘Solidarność’] as well as Cezary Stawski, who is in charge of the Eagle Scout group in Boy Scouting [Hufiec Męski – Orlęta].
In week five (29th August – 4th September) I had meetings with Mirka Motyka, the president of the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland and Polonia [Polska Liga Katolicka], with representatives of the Quo Vadis Conference Series [Konferencja Quo Vadis], which aims to foster a world-wide network of motivated Polish youth, as well as with Edward Śliz, chair of the Polish White Eagle Society [Towarzystwo Białego Orła] and the Canadian-Polish Congress [Kongres Polonii Kanadyjskiej].
In week six (5th – 11th September) I talked to Krystyna Kosiorowska, the president of the dance group ‘Tęcza,’ who also participates in the drama group ‘Razem’. I visited the parish of the Holy Cross and met with Teresa Brylewicz, director of the Polish Patriotic Society of Fraternal Benefit [Polskie Towarzystwo Patriotyczne Bratniej Pomocy] and the Canadian Polish Welfare Federation [Polsko Kanadyjska Federacja Dobroczynności]; Jolanta Duniewicz, who chairs the Montreal Chapter of the Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada [Kanadyjska Fundacja Dziedzictwa Polsko-Żydowskiego]; with Maciej Głodowski, the archivist of the Canadian-Polish Welfare Institute, as well as with Teresa Włodarczyk, president of the Friends of Polish Scouting [Koło Przyjaciół Harcerstwa].
Week seven (12th – 18th September) saw me participating in the harvest festival organised by the Polish White Eagle Society. I met with Józef Grabas, the president of the White Eagles Sports Club [Klub Sportowy Białe Orły] and former director of the Polish White Eagle Society as well as of the Canadian Polish Welfare Federation. I also talked to Zbigniew Wasilewski, editor of the Kronika Montrealska [Montreal Chronicle], as well as Janusz Mazur, chair of the Wiesław Dymny Cultural Foundation [Fundacja Kulturalna im. Wiesława Dymnego] in Montreal.
Everyone mentioned here granted me either full or partial access to their organisations’ documents, which will serve as source material for my master’s thesis. I was able to view documents pertaining to other associations, archived by the organisations listed above. These are: division VII of the Polish Combatants' Association in Canada [Stowarzyszenie Polskich Kombatantów, oddział VII], and the 310 Wilno Wing of the Polish Air Force [310 Skrzydło Wilno Lotnictwa Polskiego], both housed at the Polish War Veterans Society of Marshal J. Pilsudski, as well as all associations that work with the Polish churches in Montreal, such as parish choirs, drama and dance groups.
For reasons beyond my control I was not able to access documentation on those organisations that had already ceased to be active. My informants were not able to direct me to their current locations.
In spite of my best efforts, I found no documentation on the Montreal Branch of the Polish Home Army Ex-Servicemen Association [Koło Byłych Żołnierzy AK] or the now defunct Committee for Polish Relief [Komitet Pomocy Polsce], which is said to have merged with the Polish Aid Committee for Children, but my search revealed no traces of it whatsoever). I also failed to locate any materials pertaining to the Polish Canadian Women’s Federation [Federacja Polek w Kanadzie] and its Montreal branch. I found out, however, that yearly reports were kept until to the death of the last president, and that they are held in the centre in Ottawa. It was impossible to locate materials relating to Polish schools. Only four out of eleven schools continue to exist, and no documentation on the ones that have closed has been preserved. Similarly, out of the ten groups of the PKTWP only three continue to function, but materials relating to the defunct groups were not passed on to the centre. The archive of group 1 was the only one I managed to explore. The PKTWP’s centre remained closed to me since the person in charge happened to be in Poland during the entire duration of my visit. I was therefore unable to ascertain the state of those sources, which date back to 1934.
The fact that my visit fell into the summer vacation period was a major obstacle. Jerzy Adamuszek, who organises meetings under the slogan ‘They are with us’ [Są wśród Nas] was abroad; similarly, Sławomir Kowalczyk, president of the Montreal branch of the Friends of the Catholic University of Lublin Society in Canada [Towarzystwo Przyjaciół KUL-u], was in a different province and unable to come to Montreal to show me his archive.
For reasons that were not communicated to me I was not granted access documents at the main office of the Canadian-Polish Congress – one of the most important institutions of the Polish community in Canada (since 1944).
I accomplished 95% of my goals. I established working connections with most of the Polish community organisations in Montreal and I managed to obtain the materials I needed. Nonetheless, I believe my trip would have been more effective if I hadn’t gone during the summer vacation period. Some meetings had to be rescheduled multiple times, which hampered my progress. My archival research was also slowed down by the fact that some archival materials were not ordered, but presented in boxes (sometimes up to twenty).
During my stay I got the impression that the Polish community in Montreal does not attach great importance to preserving Poland’s cultural heritage. There is little awareness of the value and significance of these materials, and there is a lack of storage space. Above all, intense social work results in a lack of motivation to collect and preserve these materials.
Written by Monika Ostrowska
Research Scholarship Report
My archival research in Paris was made possible by the kind and generous support of the Jerzy Peterkiewicz Educational Foundation in conjunction with Nicolaus Copernicus University and the Archives of Polish Emigration [Archiwum Emigracji] in Toruń. I spent one month – from the 22nd of November until the 22nd of December 2014 – researching the life of Zofia Hertz, one of the four founders of the Paris Kultura and the Literary Institute [Instytut Literacki] in Maisons-Laffitte. Zofia Hertz, a close collaborator of Jerzy Giedroyc, became the director of the publishing house and editor-in-chief of Zeszyty historyczne after Giedroyc’s death in 2000. My research informs my doctoral thesis, now titled ‘Zofia Hertz (1910-2003): A Life devoted to “Kultra” ’ [Zofia Hertz (1910-2003). Życie na miarę “Kultury”].
I explored two collections, namely the archive of the Literary Institute in Maisons-Laffitte, and the Polish Library in Paris. I began by exploring the Polish Library, where I was able to locate a considerable amount of material on the Polish émigré community and various aspects of its organisation. I studied the papers of ambassador Kajetan Morawski, in particular his correspondence with the editors of Kultura – Jerzy Giedroyc, Józef Czapski and Zofia Hertz (BPP tymcz. 21). Interesting information was to be garnered from documents concerning the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its background and context (BPP tymcz. 25). Władysław Pobóg-Malinowski’s papers are of particular value, as his correspondence with Maria Czapska, Jerzy Giedroyc, Zofia Hertz and Zygmunt Hertz sheds light on Kultura’s editorial policies (BPP 1968–BPP 1981). I also examined the typescripts of Malinowski’s broadcasts on Radio Free Europe, which represent an excellent historical source. Maria Pobóg-Malinowska’s correspondence with the Literary Institute also offers fascinating material (BPP 2004–BPP 2013). Aleksander Kawałkowski’s papers, comprising his correspondence with Jerzy Giedroyc, Zofia Hertz, Juliusz Mieroszewski and Gen. Władysław Anders, make a significant contribution to the history of the Polish publishing house in the suburbs of Paris, and they offer valuable accounts of the organisation of the Polish community’s political and cultural affairs. I was no less interested in the impressive amount of letters that Jan Brzękowski, a long-time collaborator at Kultura, exchanged with members of the editorial team – Zofia and Zygmunt Hertz as well as Jerzy Giedroyc. This correspondence offers a glimpse of their work in the ‘kitchen,’ behind the scenes. What is more, I made arrangements with the Polish Library to examine, in the near future, the correspondence between Witold Zahorski and Zofia Hertz.
As I had expected, the vast majority of materials that I find valuable for my research is housed at the archive of the Literary Institute in Maisons-Laffitte. I explored the entire collection of papers left by Zofia Hertz (PoZiH 01-PoZiH 25), with the exception of the documents that had been returned to Poland in accordance with the wishes of Zofia Hertz’s only heir, Anna Olszewska. I studied Zofia Hertz’s private correspondence with Maria Danielewicz-Zielińska, Józef Czapski, Aniela Mieczysławska and Czesław Miłosz. Her correspondence with Jerzy Giedroyc (1946-81), which has awaited publication for several years, is especially interesting. Their letters from 1946 and ’47 shed light on the beginning of their acquaintance as well as on their emerging idea of founding the Literary Institute (initially in Rome). Further information on Zofia Hertz’s family relationships in prewar Poland – before the Kultura period – can be gained from her correspondence with her father, Ludwik Neuding. They corresponded from 1945 until his death in 1958, Neuding’s second wife Eleonora then took up correspondence with Zofia Hertz, and continued to write until 1968. Zofia Hertz’s correspondence with Agnieszka Osiecka opens an entirely new perspective on the life of my subject. Besides these letters, I also examined Zofia Hertz’s private papers, related for instance to inheritance issues after the death of her husband in 1979, or to her private financial records. I also took advantage of the opportunity to explore her unpublished interviews with Zdzisław Kudelski (she eventually decided not to authorise them). Another interesting find is a collection of Teresa Torańska’s recorded interviews with Zofia Hertz and Jerzy Giedroyc. These ten hours of recorded interviews offer an invaluable source of information. Jerzy Giedroyc’s archival passion resulted in the preservation of a vast collection of press clippings on the Literary Institute and its circle, so I was able to compile a sizeable collection of articles and interviews. I also looked at Zygmunt Hertz’s papers. Due to a shortage of time, I was not able to explore the entire collection. Forced to prioritise, I focused on his letters to Zofia Hertz (1945-79) and to Agnieszka Osiecka, which also present a very interesting source.
Having completed my research at the archive of the Literary Institute in Maisons-Lafitte and at the Polish Library in Paris, I now have a good general idea of Zofia Hertz’s life. The rich archival materials I have studied – and continue to study – have allowed me to formulate propositions that I will confirm or revise in the course of my on-going work. I will for instance, explore Zofia Hertz’s personal relationship with Jerzy Giedroyc, especially in the first years of their acquaintance, and I will follow up on rumours that suggest that certain Polish works that list her as a French translator were in fact translated by someone in Poland whose identity needed to be protected.) My research has also led me into the arcana of Polish émigré institutions, and it has allowed me to get to know the historical background directly, through authentic sources.
Thanks to my own research and with the help of the employees at the above-mentioned institutions I was able to access letters, documents, notes, recordings, articles and books on Zofia Hertz’s biography, and I am more than satisfied with the amount of material that I found. The one source that I did not manage to locate is the collection of Zofia Hertz’s letters to her husband Zygmunt. It is possible that they have come into the possession of Zofia Hertz’s heir, Anna Olszewska. Nonetheless, I am planning to use a selection of the materials I have at my disposal to write an article for Archiwum Emigracji. This article will relate to my biographical research.
Thank you very much for your support.
REPORT ON A RESEARCH TRIP TO LONDON, UNDERTAKEN AS PART OF A SCHOLARSHIP FROM THE ARCHIVES OF POLISH EMIGRATION [ARCHIWUM EMIGRACJI] AND THE JERZY PETERKIEWICZ EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
The initial goal of my research trip to London, which took place from the 1st through the 28th of August 2014, had been to collect materials for my master’s thesis on Witold Gombrowicz’s novel Pornografia. By the time of my departure, however, my work had seen dynamic progress and I had gained admission to study for a PhD on the same writer.
Considering my allowance, the greatest part of my budget was spent on rent and living essentials in London. Another major expense was the acquisition of publications related to my doctoral research. Given that I intend to situate Gombrowicz in a broad cultural context (demonstrating that this author anticipates many of the debates that dominate today’s humanities), I decided to purchase certain key works by English and French philosophers – a quest made possible by my sojourn in London.
First of all, I undertook library research to locate secondary literature on Gombrowicz in English and French that I had previously not been aware of. I also accessed English translations of Gombrowicz’s work. I used these materials – esp. the English translation of Gombrowicz’s Diary – in my paper ‘The Animal that therefore I Am: Witold Gombrowicz, Jacques Derrida and Philosophy in the Eyes of Animals,’ at the international academic conference ‘Animals and Their People: The Fall of the Anthropocentric Paradigm?’. Organised by the Institute for Literary Research [Instytut Badań Literackich] at the Polish Academy of Sciences [Polska Akademia Nauk] as part of a research grant from the National Science Centre [Narodowe Centrum Nauki], this conference took place in Warsaw on the 12th through the 14th of March 2014. The goal of my presentation was to rethink Gombrowicz’s work from what is known in contemporary humanities as a non-anthropocentric perspective.
My library research also allowed me to study secondary literature that I had not been aware of before, such as Rosine Georgin’s Gombrowicz, Michal Oklot’s Phantasms of Matter in Gogol (and Gombrowicz), as well as Gregory De Vleeschouwer’s article ‘Gombrowicz: Rope-Walker Between Maturity and Immaturity’.
But I did not limit my research to London’s libraries. Hunting for specific works (not only in English) that I had put on my bibliography, I found many of them in second-hand bookshops. I ended up spending a significant portion of my bursary on books, and I to acquire a large collection – several dozen works – to which I previously had had no access. I used my collection to write a paper for the international conference ‘Non-transparency of Normality: Pictures of Order and Organization in Polish Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries’ [(Nie)przezroczystość normalności. Obrazy ładu, porządku w literaturze polskiej XX i XXI wieku’ organised by the Section of Anthropological Issues of Literature [Pracownia Antropologicznych Problemów Literatury] at the Institute for Polish Literature [Instytut Literatury Polskiej] in collaboration with the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2013. My presentation was titled ‘The Collapse of the Instance of Order: Witold Gombrowicz’s Pornografia’ [Krach instancji ładu na przykładzie <Pornografii> Witolda Gombrowicza], and it gave rise to a chapter in the volume (Nie)przezroczystość normalności w literaturze polskiej XX i XXI wieku [The (Non-)Transparency of Normality in Polish Literature of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century], ed. by Hanna Gosk and Bożena Karwowska (Warsaw: Elipsa, 2014).
The materials I collected in London will inform two further conference presentations. On the 8th of June 2014 I am to give a paper titled ‘Traumatised Reality: Fear in Witold Gombrowicz’s Pornografia’ [Rzeczywistość straumatyzowana. Strach w Pornografii Witolda Gombrowicza] at the international research conference ‘Culture of Affect – Affect in Culture: The Humanities after the Affective Turn’ [Kultura afektu – afekty w kulturze. Humanistyka po zwrocie afektywnym] organised by the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Culture Research at the Jagiellonian University [Katedra Antropologii Literatury i Badań Kulturowych Wydziału Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego] as well as the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities [Centrum Studiów Humanistycznych]. In October 2014 I will give a paper at the international research conference ‘Gombrowicz Front and Back’ [Gombrowicz z przodu i z tyłu] co-organised by the Witold Gombrowicz Museum in Wsola (a chapter of the Literature Museum in Warsaw). Even a brief description like this should indicate that my time in London has provided great intellectual stimulation. It was useful in terms of what I learned as well as effective in the longer term, as it gave rise to a range of publications and enhanced my activity within the scholarly community after my return to Poland.
Locally, my scholarship seems to have contributed to a greater interest in Polish-British relationships in the fields of literature and culture. I should mention that a few of my fellow students at the Polish Department are now planning to apply for next year’s competition. Unlike me, these candidates wish to focus on Polish-English literary exchanges, especially in the seventeenth century. It was through me that they first heard about the scheme and I encouraged them to apply.
I remember that during our conversation in London you asked me to consider the scholarship’s current parameters and to make any suggestions for their improvement. I must say I have no such suggestions – probably because my trip to London went exactly as planned, without any hiccups whatsoever.
Other people might consider it a flaw that scholarship students are not provided with guaranteed accommodation, but I consider it a definite advantage to have been able to find a place that was conveniently located and where the atmosphere was conducive to study (unlike in the student halls and hostels where students from abroad are often put up).
I also appreciated that I was able to decide for myself where I wanted to work. This is not to be taken for granted. For instance, the Polish Library in Paris denied me a scholarship because I had proposed to spend most of my time not at their archive but at that of Kultura.
I could go on listing the benefits of this scheme.
There is perhaps one point to be made about the way in which the bursary is paid into the student’s bank account. In my case, as you might remember, the situation was unusual, as I had already booked my flights before I was granted the scholarship. In general, however, I would suggest that it would be most convenient if the bursary were transferred directly into the student’s bank account, so that he or she could withdraw money as needed, either in Poland, before embarking on their field trip, or abroad.
To sum up, I consider my trip to have been extremely fruitful, and I am convinced that the scholarship programme should be continued. There is no doubt that it measures up to the intentions of its founders as well as its patron, Jerzy Peterkiewicz.
Research Scholarship Report
Thanks to the generosity of the Jerzy Peterkiewicz Educational Foundation and the Archives of Polish Emigration [Archiwum Emigracji] in Toruń, I was able to undertake fieldwork in London between the 4th and the 26th of September 2013. My initial goal had been to research the biography of general Julian Stachiewicz, with the proposed title ‘Gen. Julian Stachiewicz, 1890-1934: Historian and Close Associate of Józef Piłsudski’ [‘Gen. Julian Stachiewicz 1890-1934, historyk i bliski współpracownik Józefa Piłsudskiego’]. It turned out, however, that another researcher had already completed a very similar project, based on the same sources that I had planned to examine in London. Having consulted my advisor I decided to undertake biographical research on another well-known associate of Piłsudski, namely the outstanding historian and diplomat Michał Sokolnicki, who died in exile. Thus the title of my work came to be ‘A Biography of Ambassador Michał Sokolnicki [‘Biografia ambasadora Michała Sokolnickiego 1880-1967’].
My research focused on two institutions in London: the Józef Piłsudski Institute [Instytut Józefa Piłsudskiego] at 238-246 King Street and the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum [Instytut Polski i Muzeum im. gen. Władysława Sikorskiego] at 20 Prince’s Gate. Their collections contain a great number of interesting materials that turned out to be very useful for my project. In the archive of the Piłsudski Institute I focused on Michał Sokolnicki’s papers. The first two folders in his file contain mostly typescripts of works that were to be published, such as his famous Ankara journal [Dziennik Ankarski]. The collection’s most valuable materials are of course those that are otherwise unknown. I found the future ambassador’s rich correspondence from World War I (folder 3: correspondence 1914-1916; and folder 4: correspondence 1916-1918). Sokolnicki, who was at the time the secretary of the Supreme National Committee [Naczelny Komitet Narodowy, NKN], corresponded frequently with Józef Piłsudski, Ignacy Daszyński, Artur Śliwiński, Władysław L. Jaworski, Władysław Barański, Stanisław Wędkiewicz, Walery Sławek, as well as with Bp. Bandurski. These sources are extremely instructive, not only regarding Sokolnicki’s biography and the history of the NKN, but also with respect to Piłskudski’s associates and their activities during World War I. The collection also contains documents that are directly related to Sokolnicki’s work at the NKN. He took notes on protocols of the NKN’s Executive Committee [Komitet Wykonawczy] as well as on their discussion rounds and presentations, and his memoranda include an unpublished text titled ‘The Beginnings of the Polish Military in the Pre-Legionary Era’ [‘Początki wojskowości polskiej w okresie przedlegionowym’]). The institute has also preserved – though on a much smaller scale – Sokolnicki’s documents from before the Great War. There are, for instance, texts in which he recalls his first meetings with Gen. Piłsudski and the writer Stefan Żeromski. Another very interesting discovery is Sokolnicki’s correspondence – unfortunately incomplete – with Gen. Kazimierz Sosnowski from 1939 through 1961 (file 52/10/6B), which may make a tremendous contribution to the history of the Polish diaspora after 1939. These documents focus not so much on Piłsudski’s political camp but on the General as a person. The collection also contains a detailed description of the ambassador’s personal history, which will be useful to his biographers (file 52/3/d/7). I also accessed the collection of Władysław Pobóg-Malinowski at the Józef Piłsudski Institute, where I found Sokolnicki’s previously unknown preface to the second volume of Pobóg-Malinowski’s History of Poland [Historia Polski].
The second archive that I visited in London – that of the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum – allowed me to access a great number of materials. Among the most noteworthy are ambassador Sokolnicki’s unpublished private letters to minister Józef Beck from 1946-49, which concern both diplomatic and personal matters (A.11.E.1504). In the Ambassador Michal Sokolnicki Papers [Archiwum ambasadora Sokolnickiego] (A.11.E.1579) a few documents deal with Sokolnicki’s financial difficulties towards the end of his life in Turkey. I also examined the detailed reports he wrote to the ministry of foreign affairs in 1943-45, while he was ambassador to Turkey (A.11.3Bl.Wsch.1). There are also about a dozen ciphertexts, letters, reports and analyses that Sokolnicki wrote for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Polish Government in Exile, especially in 1944 (A.11.49/TI). Many of the ambassador’s other ciphertexts, detailed reports and analyses for 1944 are also preserved (A.11.E.605). Furthermore, I was able to locate documents on the financial management of the Polish embassy and consulate in Ankara and Istanbul (A.11.E.448). There are also several dozen report-like documents that Sokolnicki collected for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Poland in the years 1947-54 (A.11.E.1139). A few documents from his time as a diplomat in Ankara are also held in the files of the Council of Ministers (PRM 51 and PRM 81.5).
To sum up, the scholarship for my fieldwork in London allowed me to examine several hundred documents, letters, notes and other kinds of texts. My notes, photographs and photocopies will form the basis of the doctoral thesis I intend to write on Michał Sokolnicki’s biography. I am also going to use this material for other publication projects related to Sokolnicki. For instance, I am currently working on a presentation/article titled ‘Michał Sokolnicki’s Views on Poland and the Poles’ [‘Polska i Polacy w myśli Michała Sokolnickiego’] for the academic conference ‘With Deep Concern for the Welfare of the Fatherland… Ideological and Political Disputes about Poland’s Form from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Century [W zatroskaniu o Ojczyzny dobro… Ideowe i polityczne spory o kształt Polski XVIII-XX w.], organised by the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University and the Foundation of National Pantheon [Fundacja ‘Panteon Narodowy’] in Krakow in January 2014. I am also working on a text titled ‘Michał Sokolnicki – General Secretary of the Supreme National Committee: A Contribution to his Biography’ [Michał Sokolnicki – Sekretarz Generalny Naczelnego Komitetu Narodowego 1914-1916. Przyczynek do biografii], which I am planning to publish next year. I am also considering possibilities of making the source materials more widely accessible, i.e. to edit and to publish in print Sokolnicki’s letters to Józef Beck as well as his correspondence with Gen. K. Sosnowski (which I would submit to the Archives of Polish Emigration [Archiwum Emigracji]). What is more, I am considering ways of publishing materials from the Józef Piłsudski Institute in London and the Józef Piłsudski Institute in the US (with professor Mariusz Wołos’s support), as well as from the National Archives [Archiwum Narodowe] in Krakow. The working title of this project is ‘Sources on the History of the Supreme National Committee: Correspondence, Reports and Notes of the NKN’s General Secretary Michał Sokolnicki, 1914-16 [Źródła do poznania dziejów Naczelnego Komitetu Narodowego: korespondencja, raporty i notatki sekretarza generalnego NKN Michała Sokolnickiego 1914-1916].