Monday, January 30, 2012

Polish American Encylcopedia

At least nine million Americans trace their roots to Poland, and Polish Americans have contributed greatly to American history and society. During the largest period of immigration to the United States, between 1870 and 1920, more Poles came to the United States than any other national group except Italians. Additional large-scale Polish migration occurred in the wake of World War II and during the period of Solidarity’s rise to prominence. (publisher's blurb)

Those of you who are researching ancestors who came from Poland may benefit from the articles in this new resource. I discovered it in the McFarland booth at the American Library Association Midwinter meeting in Dallas earlier this month. The articles are concise, signed by the expert who authored them and list a few sources on which the author relied.

The "Kashubs" article caught my attention because it is likely that my wife's maternal grandmother was a member of or at least closely associated with this ethnic group. That article confirmed much of what we had learn about Kashubians--both in Europe and in Chicago. It also filled in gaps in our knowledge.

Professor James S.Pula, who edited The Polish American Encyclopedia, also edits the scholarly journal Polish American Studies. The book contains 358 photos in its almost 600 pages. At $145 it is pricey for most family historians unless extensive Polish research is being conducted. However it is well worth checking to find if a library near you owns this work. If none does, you may wish to suggest it for purchase.

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