The Pilecki Institute Archives gather digital versions of documents that describe the fates of Polish citizens who experienced two totalitarianisms – the German and the Soviet – in the 20th century. In this way documents from the collections of numerous Polish and foreign institutions, such as the Bundesarchiv, the United Nations Archives, the British National Archives and the Polish State Archives, are all available in one place. We are building a knowledge base and a hub for research on the Second World War and the dual occupation of Poland – for scholars, journalists, people of culture, families of the victims and witnesses to the crimes, as well as all history enthusiasts.
Through our web portal you can access the collections catalog. They are available in their entirety in the reading rooms of the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw and Berlin. Come visit us!
Over one million: the number of documents so far included in our digital archives, ready to be launched with an international online conference on 12-13 January 2021.
The library of the Pilecki Institute
ul. Stawki 2, 00-193 Warszawa
Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 15:00
(+48) 22 182 24 75
The library of the Berlin branch of the Pilecki Institute
Pariser Platz 4a, 00-123 Berlin
Pon. - Pt. 10:30 - 17:30
(+49) 30 275 78 955
Ever since it was established, the Witold Pilecki Institute of Solidarity and Valor has been collecting and sharing documents that present the multiple historical facets of the last century. Many of them were previously split up, lost, or forgotten. Some were held in archives on other continents. To facilitate research, we have created an innovative digital archive that enables easy access to the source material. We are striving to gather as many archives as possible in one place. As a result, it takes little more than a few clicks to learn about the history of Poland and its citizens in the 20th century.
The Institute’s website contains a description of the collections available in the reading room as well as the necessary information to plan a visit. The documents themselves are only available in the Institute’s reading room, a public space where material is available free of charge to researchers and anyone interested in the topics collected there. The reading room also offers a friendly environment for quiet work.
The materials are obtained from institutions, public archives, both domestic and international social organizations, as well as from private individuals. The collections are constantly being expanded. A full-text search engine that searches both the content of the documents and their metadata allows the user to reach the desired source with ease. Another way to navigate the accumulated resources is to search according to the archival institutions from which they originate and which contain hierarchically arranged fonds and files.
Most of the archival materials are in open access on computers in the reading room. Some of our collections, e.g. from the Bundesarchiv, are subject to the restrictions on availability resulting from agreements between the Institute and the institutions which transfer them. An appropriate declaration must be signed upon arrival at the reading room in order to gain immediate access to these documents.
Before your visit, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the scope and structure of our archival, library and audio-visual resources, as well as with the regulations for visiting and using the collections.
All those wishing to access our collections are invited to the Pilecki Institute at ul. Stawki 2 in Warsaw. The reading room is open from 9–15, Monday to Friday. An appointment must be made in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (+48) 22 182 24 75.