From the archives of The Galitzianer

Published since 1993, The Galitzianer is the quarterly newsletter of Gesher Galicia. A selection of articles from recent issues have been put online, and more pieces will be added to this website in the near future. Articles may also be browsed by issue number or by article type. Members of Gesher Galicia can download full PDF's of past issues, and can opt to receive their subscription to the The Galitzianer in either digital or paper format.

From (November, 2006) ·

Visiting the Polish State Archives

by Mark Halpern, JRI-Poland

The JRI-Poland database of almost 3 million indices of Jewish vital records derives from two main sources. The first source is the many microfilms of Jewish records of Poland filmed by the LDS Church. The second is the indices created from the Jewish holdings of the Polish State Archives that were not previously microfilmed. Both sources originate from the vital record registers at about 50 branches of the Polish State Archives.

The Polish State Archives has an English Language website at www.archiwa.gov.pl/?CIDA=43. Click on “State Archives in Poland” and then “List of Archives” to get a list of these Archive branches. Many of the Archives also have English language websites.

The JRI-Poland Town Index at www.jripoland.org/town/index.htm identifies the Archive or Archives where records for your Polish or Ukrainian Galician town will be found. These index entries also list the records (types and years) that were microfilmed by the LDS Church. There are very few Jewish vital records that were microfilmed for Galician towns. As of July 2006, the only Galician vital record indices in the JRI-Poland online database are for the towns of Krakow and Tarnow.

The Polish State Archives are very open and hospitable for foreigners. If you travel to Poland, you should visit the Archives of interest to you. There is no special authorization needed to visit any branch of the Polish State Archives or use any of their collection that is available to the public. However, since you have limited time at the Archive, you should contact the Archive branch you plan to visit and tell them when you are coming and what record collections (Fond, Sygnatura) you plan to use. Many of the Archive branches do not have adequate room to store all their collection on site. To make sure the records will be available to you, it is definitely best to plan ahead and let the Archive know what you want to see and when.

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Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people research their Jewish family roots in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, which is today southeastern Poland and southwestern Ukraine. Our organization's primary focus is researching Jewish roots in Galicia, but the diverse community records in our databases contain names that span all the ethnic and religious groups who once lived in this region.

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