Poland Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

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Encyclopedias can have information on all branches of knowledge or treat a specific topic comprehensively, usually in articles arranged alphabetically. they often contain information of interest for genealogical research, including articles about towns and places, prominent people, minorities, and religions. They can give information about topics such as record-keeping practices, laws, customs, commerce, costumes, occupations, and archaic terminology.

The library has general knowledge encyclopedias in Polish and encyclopedias that address specific topics, such as Encyclopedia of Warsaw, which are often in English. Both types of encyclopedias are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under:


The following encyclopedias and dictionaries may be particularly helpful in your research:

  • Polish Encyclopedia, 3 vols., New York Times: Arno Press, 1972. (FHL book 943.8 H6p.) A collection of monographs on various social sciences related to Poland, including language, literature, history, demography, geography, economics, etc. Not alphabetically arranged.
  • Encyklopedia Warszawy (Encyclopedia of Warsaw). Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1975. (FHL book 943.84/W1 A5.) Contains entries on prominent people of Warsaw, local economy, streets, buildings, churches, and so on.
  • Orgelbrand, Samuel. Encyklopedia powszechna (General encyclopedia). Warszawa: [s.n.], 1898-1912. (FHL films 0997501-18.) From the end of the 19th century. Excellent source of information about places, religions, old occupations, and old Polish terminology.

For information on language dictionaries, see Poland Language and Languages.

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