Warsaw Scientific Society Archives, 1907
Polish Academy of Sciences Archives
A testimony to the reconstruction of the structure of Polish scholarly life in the early 20th century
Founded in 1907, the Warsaw Scientific Society sought to support scientific research and publish the outcome of scientific projects in the Polish language. Before the WWI, the Society was the largest scientific institution within the Russian part of Poland. During the WWII, the organization acted in the underground, and after the war it provided foundations for The Polish Academy of Sciences. The Society was reactivated in 1981 and has been active to this day.
The archive of the Warsaw Scientific Society contains unique materials about aspirations of Polish scholars in the Russian sector who saw themselves as successors and continuators of the work of the Warsaw’s Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk (The Warsaw Society of Friends of Science), founded in 1800 and dissolved in 1832 following the fall of the November Uprising. Among the documents are minutes, records of the activity of departments and committees and abundant publishing materials. They reflect the process of constructing and reconstructing the structures and organizing the work of the Society as well as the development of Polish science and culture.
Until the outbreak of the WWII, the complete and operating archive of the Warsaw Scientific Society had been kept in the Staszic Palace. In 1939, German authorities took the personnel and financial files and documentation of some of the latest projects and publications. The remaining files were deposited in the palace’s basement, where they partly deteriorated and dispersed. Following the war, the documentation was passed over to the Polish Academy of Sciences.