Polish Americans in Michigan

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Gov. Williams with Polish Veterans.

Gov. G. Mennen Williams with group of Polish Veterans Prisoner of War Camp ceremony, Detroit, June 1954. G. Mennen Williams papers, Box 3, Folder "Public Appearances (2)."
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American-Polish music from Detroit [sound recording].

Recordings by Stas' Wisniach and His Orchestra, Johnny Sadrack and His Orchestra, Ted Koltowicz and His Sparks of Fire Orchestra, Ted Gomulka and His Orchestra, Ted Lach and His Orchestra, Eddie ("Hoyt") Nabozny, Clarence Witkowski ("Clare Wite") and His Orchestra, John Chrzasz and the Michigan Polka-Tels, Walt Cieslik and the Ambassadors. Produced by Laurie A. (Gomulka) Palazzolo.

MIRLYN record


Americanization Committee of Detroit (Mich.).

Correspondence, minutes of meetings, reports and other materials concerning the assimilation of the foreign-born residents of Detroit and the committee's educational programs on behalf of the city's immigrant population during World War I and after.

MIRLYN record


Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival.

The Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival is an annual cultural event organized by the Polish Cultural Fund-Ann Arbor in cooperation with the Polish-American Congress Ann Arbor Chapter, the University of Michigan's Polish Club, and the University of Michigan. Since its beginning in 1993, the Festival has promoted Polish culture by offering audiences an opportunity to see a broad range of narrative forms and visual styles present in contemporary Polish cinema, including documentaries, animated shorts, and feature films. These works are not only commentaries on life in contemporary Poland, but also reflect the views of Polish artists interpreting diverse issues around the world.

The collection includes program announcement flyers, newsletters, posters, and related material; also DVD of Ewa Pieta talking about Polish films with clips; and CD-Rs of documents, primarily announcements and news notes.

MIRLYN record


Bentley, Alvin M. (Alvin Morell), 1918-1969.

Republican U.S. Congressman from Owosso, Michigan, delegate to the Michigan Constitutional Convention, 1961-1962, and regent of the University of Michigan.

Contains the photos of his election campaigns including Polish Group and Polish Committee photos.

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Don Binkowski.

Don Binkowski, District Judge, Warren, Mich.
(standing) and Anthony Wierzbicki,
Detroit City Council member.
Don Binkowski papers, Box 12, Folder
"Topical; National campaign."

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Binkowski, Don, 1929-

District judge from Warren, Michigan.

Correspondence, campaign materials, and other papers concerning his work as delegate to Michigan Constitutional Convention, 1961-1962, as Warren city councilman, and as attorney and judge. Also papers concerning local and state Democratic politics, and his activities with Polish-American organizations; and photographs.

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Don Binkowski collection, 1825-2011

District judge from Warren, Michigan and collector of materials relating to the Polish community of Michigan.

The collection includes subject files with photographs relating to Michigan Polish public figures, to the Polish community in Hamtramck, to the history of Warren, Michigan, and to Michigan History in general.

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Center for Russian and East European Studies (University of Michigan).

Records relating to the administration of and the programs supported by the Center, including information on funding, courses, exchange programs, publicity, and affiliated activity. Also includes audio and video tapes of presentation and lectures.

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Chase, Charles A.

Historian of the Polish-American community in Parisville, Michigan and of the Ciechanowski family, early settlers to the area.

Brief essays written about the Ciechanowski family (variously spelled Chinoski or Chase), Polish immigrants to Parisville in Huron County, Michigan.

MIRLYN record


Dept. of History (University of Michigan) senior honors theses.

Research papers on topics relating to Michigan history and the history of the University of Michigan. Include the theses by Jonathan Alexander Zajac; The Importance of Being Polish: The Complex Interactions of Community Identity and Race in Hamtramack's Postwar Development.

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Dingell, John D.(John David), 1894-1955.

Democratic U.S. Congressman from Michigan's 15th District.Resident of Detroit, Michigan.

Biographical material; speeches, press releases, and interviews; and legislation files concerning the bills introduced in Congress by Dingell (includes the Special Quota for Polish Veterans and Axis Civilian Escapees: H.R. 5825, 83rd Congress, 1953).

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Dom Polski [videorecording]:dance hall days of Detroit's Polonia.

The Dom Polski "was originally build in 1912 as a concert hall and club hall for the Polish Falcons. The Dom Polski served as a social and cultural hub for Detroit's Polish neighborhood."

MIRLYN record


Dulemba, Arthur W.

Clippings and photos relating to his activities as president of the West Side Council of Clubs, a Polish-American civic association.

MIRLYN record


Fajans, Kasimir, 1887-1975.

Polish born physical chemist, director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the University of Munich, professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Correspondence, lecture notes, and other papers largely concerning his professional interests, especially relating to his teaching and publications; material pertaining to his concern for Jewish scholars in Germany before and during World War II; also photographs.

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Festival flier

Polish Ethnic Festival flier, 1970s.
Edward Gajec collection, Box 2,
Folder "Ethnic Activities and Org., Polish material,
Festivals,1970-79 (1)."
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Gajec, Edward, 1918-

Detroit musician and music educator, also a promoter of ethnic festivals.

The collection consists of correspondence, brochures, programs and newspapers focusing on established ethnic organizations and festivals.

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Gorski, J. William (James William), 1929-


Grand Valley State Colleges oral history project, 1976-1977.

Oral history project administered by Professor John Tevebaugh and relating to the history of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The interviews were later used in the WUOM radio series, "Fitzgerald's Prophecy."

Sound tape reels of interviews (46 reels; 7 in.), 1976, and recordings of "Fitzgerald's Prophecy" based on the interviews and broadcast on WUOM in 1977. Includes the oral interview with Ed Symons (historian of the local Polish community) and "The Polish" sound tapes reels.

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Hind, Japeth.

Cashier at the State Savings Bank, Bad Axe, Michigan.

Comments on the management of a family farm, farm production and economics, and attitudes toward ethnic groups, especially Polish Americans.

MIRLYN record


Holy Cross Church (Cross Village, Mich.).

Baptismal records, marriage, birth and death records, photographs, newspaper clippings and printed histories detailing activities of this Indian church. Includes 1921-1930 records in English and Polish.

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Jarocki, Walter "Flash"-collector.

Hamtramck, Michigan, commercial photographer who took photographs for the city during the administration of Mayor Albert J. Zak in the 1950s.

Photonegatives of public work projects (such as laying of sidewalks), ceremonial functions (such as Christmas displays on city streets), and some political activities. The collection also includes views of the city, its downtown area, residential streets and alleyways behind residences. There are two photographs of Frank Murphy (ca. 1937) and Harry Truman (ca. 1948) visiting Hamtramck.

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Karpinski, Henry H., 1852-1935.

Polish immigrant to the United States.

Reminiscences of life in Poland, 1852-1874; and letter to Dearborn Independent recounting trip back to Poland in 1926.

MIRLYN record


Kausch, Jack-collector.

Jack Kausch was a photographer specializing in family portraits and historical subjects. He was the producer of commercial videos on Detroit and Michigan historical topics.

The collection includes photographs, photographic slides, videotapes, and motion picture films. Topics covered include Poletown throughout its history.

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Polish refugees

Polish refugees arrived to the U.S.on the S.S. La Touraine, Ellis Island, 9/23/1920 (caption on the back of the photo).
Theodore Koch papers, Box 12, Folder "U.S.Immigration ca.1918-1920."
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Koch, Theodore Wesley, 1871-1941.

Librarian at the Library of Congress, University of Michigan and Northwestern University, and bibliophile.

The papers contain four folders of materials related to library Americanization programs, 1919-1921. They include information about Poles in America, the Polish Central Relief Committee of America, as well as the transcripts of immigrants' letters sent to relatives in Poland.Photographs regarding U.S. Immigration, ca 1918-20, include immigrants on Ellis Island, Polish refugees and Americanization and citizenship classes.

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Lecznar, Stella, 1895-1982.

Democratic Party worker and ethnic club leader.

Clippings, correspondence, and other memorabilia concerning her involvement in Democratic politics and Polish-American organizations, especially the Ladies Voters League.

MIRLYN record


Lesinski, John, Jr., 1914-2005.

Democratic member of Congress from Michigan's 16th District, 1950-1964.

Congressional files include his association with the Polish American community of Detroit.

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Mackun, Stanley, 1922-

Typical Polish houses

Typical houses owned by Polish families in suburbs of Detroit.
Stanley Mackun, "The changing patterns of Polish settlements in the Greater Detroit area: geographic study of the assimilation
of an ethnic group", 1964, p.125, Fig.6.
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Thesis (Ph.D.), University of Michigan, 1964 (typescript)

Includes 12 photographs of houses in Polish American neighborhoods in and around Detroit, Michigan:

MIRLYN record

Polish wedding

Polish wedding photo, Jos. Sowinsky
Photography Studio, n.d.
Edward Martin collection, Box 8,
Folder "Polish Photography Studios,
Jos. Sowinski, Detroit (2)."
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Martin, Edward-collector.

Collector of materials documenting the activities of Polish American individuals and organizations in the Detroit area.

The collection consists of records of the Polish Army Veterans Association, and the Polish Sea League. The collection also includes photographs from various Polish photography studios in Detroit and Michigan, topical photographs, Polish printed materials, scrapbooks; papers of Waclaw S. Jakubowski including collected clippings about Poletown in Detroit, Michigan.

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Michigan Historical Collections.

Project established by the Michigan Historical Collections of the University of Michigan to survey archival records relating to the study of immigration in the Netherlands,Poland, Finland, Ireland, and Michigan.

Administrative files, including population data, notes, lists, questionnaires, and correspondence.

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Michigan Historical Collections.

Photographs, from various sources of ethnic groups (including Polish Americans).

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Muñoz, Cynthia L.


Nowicki, Leo J.; 1904-

Reminiscences, 1975, being an autobiographical account of his life as a Polish immigrant to Detroit and Hamtramck, and his career as Wayne County official and Democratic Lieutenant Governor, 1937-1939.

MIRLYN record


Pacosz, Christina V.

Polish-American poet, born and educated in Detroit, Michigan.

The collection consists primarily of personal diaries and copies of her published work, including serial publications and anthologies containing her poetry. The diaries are detailed glimpses into her thoughts, her life as a poet, her teaching, travels, and daily activities.

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Palazzolo, Laurie, collector.

Palazzolo is a founding member of the West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society and a past officer on the board of directors of the Friends of Polish Arts. She is also president, executive producer of Hornman Detroit, and member of various Polish American cultural and historical organizations. Palazzolo currently serves as the West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society's Vice President and Executive Director/Secretary.

Collection contains research materials collected and used by Palazzolo for her 2003 book "Horn Man: the Polish-American musician in the twentieth-century Detroit," and includes transcripts of interviews, copies of photographs, performance schedules, business contracts, sheet music, and biographical information, as well as directories, by-laws, and constitution of the Detroit Federation of Musicians; also promotional materials, posters, and signs.

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Children with teacher

Children with teacher in front of the St. Anne's Community House.
Polish Activities League records, Box 6, Folder "St. Elizabeth and St. Ann centers (groups)."
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Polish Activities League (Detroit, Mich.).

Detroit social service organization established to aid the Detroit Polish community.

Scrapbooks, printed histories, scattered correspondence, photographs, and minute book, 1949-1954.

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Polish American Congress. Ann Arbor Chapter (Mich.)

In Polish.

Ann Arbor Chapter of The Polish American Congress was established in 1970 as an independent Chapter of Michigan Division of the Polish American Congress. The Polish American Congress serves as the umbrella for majority of Polish organizations in the United States and in Michigan. Ann Arbor Chapter's mission is to interact in the community through civic, social, cultural and educational initiatives to promote Polish ancestry and increase other cultures' understanding of Polish people. There are about 60 members and supporters in PAC-Ann Arbor, most of them live or work in Ann Arbor area and other parts of Washtenaw County. The PACAAC works in partnership with several local organizations including the University of Michigan Polish Club, Polish Cultural Fund and Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor.

"Ann Arbor Polish Americans" is an oral history project conducted by the Polish American Congress Ann Arbor Chapter (PACAAC), a non-profit organization. The project was administered by Malgosia Myc (PACAAC archivist) and is focusing on the PAC Ann Arbor Chapter members. The purpose of these interviews was to capture their immigration experience and to provide the information about the history of the PACAAC since its beginnings and the life of the Polish community in Ann Arbor in general. Some interviews include the memories from the life in Poland (including World War II). Each interview folder consists of a CD (audio), as well as a typed transcript of the interview, signed releases and a photograph/s of an interviewee.

MIRLYN record


Polish Americans in the Motor City [sound recording]: the Detroit story / [Thaddeus Radzilowski].

MIRLYN record


Polish Farmers Society, Lodge 2984 (Belleville, Mich.).

Minutes of meetings.

MIRLYN record


Schulak, Francis X., 1866-

Polish priest traveling in the United States.

Notes on travels to Polish communities in the United States, including settlements in Michigan in the nineteenth century.

MIRLYN record


Smiałek-Sinclair, Noreen, papers, 1955-2010, bulk 1958-1974

Benjamin Stanczyk.

Judge Benjamin Stanczyk.
Don Binkowski papers, Box 12, Folder
"Topical; National Campaign".
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Stanczyk, Benjamin C. (Benjamin Conrad), 1915-

Judge of Common Pleas in Detroit, Michigan. Democratic Party and various Polish-American organizations activist.

Correspondence, notebooks, scrapbooks, and miscellanea largely relating to Democratic Party Affairs, Polish-American activities and organizations,
and legal and political interests.

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Stanis, Antoinette, 1911-2001- collector.

Records collected by Antoinette Stanis of Dearborn, Michigan, related to her civic, social and political activities in the Polish-American community in Detroit.

Minutes and treasurer's books of the Polish-American Women's Political Club; constitution and amendments of the West Side Council of Clubs (Democratic); miscellaneous personal material. Photographs of members of Polish-American Women's Political Club (1940), victory celebrations for various Michigan candidates; and photographs of Stanis and others on various political and social occasions.

MIRLYN record

Polish American Women's Political Club

Polish American Women's Political Club-Red Cross Unit, 1940. Stanis is the third from the right in the front row.
Antoinette Stanis, collector, Box 1, Folder "Photographs."
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Szymczyk, Julius.


Wachtel, Stanley Zenon, 1887-1959.


Wagner, Hipolit C.

Polish immigrant to the United States in 1913. He returned to Poland in 1919 to serve in the Polish Army. He returned to Detroit in 1921, and eventually came to own a grocery store in Hamtramck, Michigan. Wagner was born in 1894 and died in 1960.

Diary, 1912-1919, describing his immigration to the United States and return to Poland. Early portions of the diary were transcribed from another volume. The diary has been translated and transcribed by Wagner's son Arthur A. Wgner into a volume entitled "My Journey in the World." The collection also includes a ledger-journal, 1940s-1957, with accounts of his grocery store, but also containing records of relief parcels sent to European relatives after World War II.

MIRLYN record


Wells, Carlton F. (Carlton Frank), 1898-

Professor of English at University of Michigan.

The Subject Files (correspondence and topical files) include an extensive files relating to his analysis of new editions of dictionaries, and his participation with the Michigan Committee of Americans for Poland.

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Williams, Mennen G., 1911-1988.

Michigan Democratic Governor, 1949-1960; Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, 1961-1966; U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, 1967-1969; Michigan Supreme Court justice, 1970-1987.

The records also contain Ethnic Political Files (including Polish), and file on the Polish Legion of American Veterans, including photographs.

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Wojsowski, Anthony

Socialist Party candidate for Congess from the 1st Michigan District in 1948, and General Secretary of Polish-American Labor Council. He was actively involved with the Polish Mechanics Company, Inc., Michigan and Midwest chapters of the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, and other Michigan Polish and political organizations.

Correspondence, calendars of events, meeting announcements, addresses, financial documentation, as well as texts of essays and articles on historical and political subjects, newsletters and other printed material of the Polish-American Labor Council, the Polish People's University (Polski Uniwersytet Ludowy), Michigan, Midwest, and out of state chapters of the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born. Also by-laws, correspondence, financials, and legal documentation, as well as lists of names of stockholders of the Polish Mechanics Company, Inc., and Wojsowski's personal files relating to his U.S. legal status and travel abroad. Also included are George G. Sadowski 78th U.S. Congress election campaign materials.

Finding Aid

Harriet Wojtowicz

Harriet Wojtowicz, 1946.
Don Binkowski papers, Box 14, Folder
"Topical;Wojtowicz, Harriet".
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Wojtowicz, Harriet, 1914-

Born to Polish immigrants teacher of Spanish in the Detroit Public School System.

The Miscellaneous series, which concludes the collection, consists of four folders documenting many aspects of Harriet Wojtowicz's life in Detroit. The first of these contains documents and photos related to her early family life, including a number of papers, which shed a little light on the story of her parents as Polish Immigrants in Detroit in the early twentieth century.

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