Poland Archives and Libraries
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There are several regional state archives. These collect civil records and civil transcripts (copies) of church records. Recent records, generally those less than 100 years old, are kept at local civil registration offices (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego).
The State Archives of Poland are not open to the public. Limited access is offered only to scholars who have first acquired permission from the state archive where they plan to visit. Some of the materials you need may be found in local church and civil offices.
Microfilm copies of many records at the Polish State Archives are available at the Family History Library, but the State Archives have several records that have not yet been filmed. If the records you need are not in the Family History Library collection, you may request information from, or photocopies of, the records you need by writing to the Directorate of the Polish State Archives (Naczelna Dyrekcja). They will forward your request to the appropriate state archive.
Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Panstwowych ul. Dluga 6
00-950 Warszawa skr.poczt. 1005
Fax: 48 22 831-75-63
Internet: The Head Office of State Archives:Panstwowych
- To do a search on their holdings go to the following site:Archiwa Panstwowe:The SEZAM database in English or Polski
- Naczelna Dyrekcja has published two books about the holdings of all the national archives in Poland:
- Biernata, Andrzeja and Anny Laszuk. Archiwa panstwowe w Polsce, Przewodnik po zasobach (State Archives in Poland, Guide to Resources). Warszawa: "DiG," 1998. (FHL book 943.8J54a 1998.)
- Laszuk, Anna. Ksiegi metrykalne i stanu cywilnego w archiwach panstwowych w Polsce, Informator (Parish and Civil Registration Records at State Archives in Poland, Directory).Warszawa: Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwów Panstwowych, 1998. (FHL book 943.8 J53k.)
- For the vital records at the State Archives in Poland: See the PRADZIAD database. Enter the name of the town where the parish, the public registry office or the religious community were located, or enter the name of the commune on the territory of which the town searched for is located, or the county on the territory of which it was located before the war; select the name of the province within the 1975-1998 or 1918-1939 borders; select the denomination or religion in respect of which the register was kept; select the type of event.
- Archiwum Zabużańskie Urzędu Stanu Cywilnego Warszawa Śródmieście, ul. Smyczkowa 14, 02-678 Warszawa. For catholic records check the Register of Vital Records of Roman Catholic Parishes from the Region beyond the Bug River by Edward A. Peckwas.
More records at the state archives:
The State Archive in Lomza The Registry of Residents since 1899 –For some of the towns within the province –for details we have to contact the archives.
The State Archive in Torun The Residents Registration Records 1865-1930, Police Records –Passport Applications 1920-1939, Lists of Residents for surrounding area (Chelmza)
The State Archive in Krakow The List of Residents in the City of Krakow from 1921 (1850, 1857, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910). Go to: ELA database - under „tytul spisu” put "spis ludnosci")
The State Archive in Przemysl The Greek-Catholic Church Records from the area of Przemysl and Rzeszow (you can find more detail information about it in the “East European Genealogist” Winter 1997).
At State Archive in Olsztyn you can perform searches or go directly to State Archive in Olsztyn / Szukaj where you will find over 550 digitized books (with Polish headings). Within these books, the digitized documents for births, marriages, and deaths are written in German.
Please scroll down to see more links to archives under the Archives heading.
Branches of State Archives of Poland
Regional branches of the State Archives, located in major cities, collect records of the area they serve.
Addresses of these archives are available on several Internet sites:
For a listing of Polish archives with connections to the Internet see:
- Polish State Archives in Warsaw
- State archives of Katowice
- State archives in Wrocław State archives in Wrocław
- Staatsarchiv Breslau
- Information about the State Archives in Breslau and information about Kreis Oels.
- State Archives in Torun and Woclawek
- Naukowy Portal Archiwalny
- Archiwa Państwowe na portalu
- Poznań w Dokumentach
- Biblioteka Kórnicka
- For Slask area
- Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from Poland as well as information on archival institutions throughout the European continent.
Provincial or County Archives
In Poland many provinces have their own repositories for records pertaining to their area that are separate from those of the national government.
Many records of genealogical value are kept by these archives, including:
- Birth, marriage, and death records
- Census records (when available)
- Land records
- Some church records
The provincial archives of Poland are not open to the public. Limited access is offered only to scholars and those who have received specific permission in writing from the Polish Directorate of the Polish State Archives in Warszawa.
Local Civil Offices
In Poland, records created by the local government less than 100 years ago—including birth, death, and marriage records—are kept in local offices. These records are not available to the public. For more information about these offices (which are comparable to county courthouses and town halls in the U.S.) and their records, see Poland Vital Records.
Church archives collect records generated by the church, such as parish registers. Each diocese has its own policies regarding gathering records into the archive of the diocese. Generally, older records are found in the diocesan archives; more recent records are found at the local parish.
Some Catholic dioceses have gathered older records into a diocesan archive. You can write to these archives and request brief searches of their records. See Poland Church Records.
Protestant church records can be difficult to locate in Poland. Many have been lost due to wars and boundary changes, especially so in former Pomerania regions. Many other records have been filmed and are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog. In a few cases, records still exist in the local church but have not been microfilmed (e.g. Lublin Lutheran). For a complete listing of Protestant Church archives and repositories, see references in Poland Church Directories. Some Lutheran records for former Prussian regions are held in Lutheran Church Archives in Berlin. Protestants should not hesitate to look into Catholic records for their information. If no Lutheran or other Protestant church existed in a particular area, the residents would have been civilly obligated to register their b/m/d at the nearest Catholic Church.
Many church records are kept by local parishes, which may also have earlier records. You can write to local parishes and church archives for information. See Poland Church Records.
Genealogical Societies with focus on specific regions of Poland can often help to find records that may be particularly elusive.
Catholic Archives Addresses
Catholic Church Archives
Archives of Archives in Białystok, 15-087 Białystok, ul. Kościelna 1
Częstochowa: Archdiocesan Archives in Częstochowa, 42-200 Częstochowa, Al. Sacred. Virgin Mary 54
- Old Records (prior to 1945): ul. Saint Barbara's 41
Drohiczyn: Diocesan Archives in Drohiczyn, 17-312 Drohiczyn n. Bug, ul. Church 10
Gdańsk: Archdiocesan Archives in Gdańsk, 80-330 Gdańsk-Oliwa, ul. Cystersów 15
Gniezno: Archdiocesan Archives in Gniezno, 62-200 Gniezno, Cathedral
Katowice: Archdiocesan Archives in Katowice, 40-043 Katowice, ul. Wita Stwosza 16
Kielce: Archive of the Kielce Diocese, 25-013 Kielce, ul. Jana Pawła II 3
Krakow: Archives of the Metropolitan Curia in Kraków, 31-004 Kraków, ul. Franciszkańska 3
Lubaczów: Archdiocesan Archives in Lubaczów, 37-600 Lubaczów, ul. Mickiewicza 85
Lublin: Archdiocesan Archives in Lublin, 20-950 Lublin, ul. Prym. Wyszyńskiego 2
Łódż: Diocesan Archives in Łódż , 90-458 Ł ódż, ul. Ks. Shells 1
Łomża: Diocesan Archives in Łomża, 18-400 Łżża, ul. Sadowa 3
Olsztyn ( Warmiński) : Archives of the Diocese of Warmińska, 10-512 Olsztyn, ul. Copernicus 47
Opole: Diocesan Archives in Opole, 45-032 Opole, ul. Cardinal Kominek 1
Pelplin: Diocesan Archives in Pelplin, 83-130 Pelplin, ul. Bishop K. Dominika 11
Płock: Diocesan Archives in Płock, 09-400 Płock, ul. Abpa AJ Nowowiejskiego 2
Poznań: Archdiocesan Archives in Poznań, 61-108 Poznań 22, ul. Lubrański 1
Przemyśl: Metropolitan Archives in Przemyśl, 37-700 Przemyśl, pl. Cathedral 4a
Sandomierz: Diocesan Archives in Sandomierz, 27-600 Sandomierz, ul. Siennial 2
Siedlce: Diocesan Archives in Siedlce, 08-100 Siedlce, ul. Piłsudskiego 62
Szczecin: Archives of the Szczecin-Kamieńska Diocese, 72-400 Kamień Pomorski, pl. Cathedral 8
Tarnów: Diocesan Archives in Tarnów, 33-100 Tarnów, ul. Katedralna 3
Warsaw: Archidieczjalne Archives in Warsaw, 00-278 Warsaw, ul. Kanonia 6
- Archives of the Metropolitan Curia in Warsaw, 00-246 Warsaw, ul. Midowa 17/19
Włocławek: Diocesan Archives in Włocławek, 87-800 Włocławek, ul. Gdańska 2/4
Wrocław: Archdiocesan Archives in Wrocław, 50-328 Wrocław, ul. Kanonia 12
Zielona Góra Diocesan Archives in Zielona Góra, 65-075 Zielona Góra, pl. Powstańców Wielkopolskich 1
Some useful sources, such as local histories, city directories, maps, newspapers, and genealogies, are available in major libraries in Poland and the United States. Contact these libraries and ask about their collection, hours, services, and fees.
Historical and Genealogical Societies
Very few historical and genealogical societies exist in Poland. Such societies may maintain libraries that collect genealogical records. Some North American societies are also working at indexing and/or extracting data from Polish records of various types. For more information, including addresses of some societies, see Poland Societies.
Inventories, Registers, and Catalogs
Many archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit an archive so that you can use your time more effectively.
The Family History Library has copies of several published inventories, catalogs, directories, and guides of other libraries. These records are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under:
POLAND - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
POLAND, (COUNTY) - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
- The Archives Portal Europe provides access to information on archival material from Poland as well as information on archival institutions throughout the continent