Listing the archival inventories for over twelve hundred Polish towns and cities, this book painstakingly overcomes many of the major roadblocks to effective genealogical research in Poland. It indexes archival holdings by town name and repository, identifying where records are located, what types of records are available, and what years are covered in each record group. It also provides descriptive sections and contact information for various archives, libraries, museums, and historical organizations in Poland, including the Polish State Archives, the local vital records offices in Poland, the Jewish Historical Institute, and the archives at the concentration camps at Majdanek and Auschwitz.
These inventories compose the heart of Weiner’s book, but the supplementary materials can be equally valuable. Her introduction to Jewish genealogical research in Poland describes the idiosyncrasies of record-keeping in this part of Europe, as new laws and shifting borders altered civil registration requirements, and highlights other valuable leads for genealogical research ranging from cemeteries to the Internet. She profiles twenty-eight cities in Poland that once had substantial Jewish communities, offering a glimpse into each city’s past and listing resources for further reading or exploration. She includes a bibliography for each of these twenty-eight towns and a massive thirty-page bibliography in one of the book’s appendices. And she brings all this data to life with five hundred photographs, reproductions of fifty-two archival documents, and fourteen full-color maps.
The second volume in this series, Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova, was published in July 1999, and a third volume for Belarus and Lithuania is planned.
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