Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Polish-Jewish Studies

The guide serves as an introduction to Polish-Jewish studies and draws on Polish and Jewish studies collections of the UIUC Library.

Institutes, Research Centers & Associations

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York)
The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, one of five members of the Center for Jewish History in New York City, was founded in Vilna, Poland, in 1925 and relocated to New York City in 1940. Focusing on Eastern Europe, Germany and Russia, they promote research through their famous archival collections (see guide under Primary Sources tab), publishing (including their well-known encyclopedia of Eastern European Jews), as well as educational programs. Their website also provides access to some online and digitized resources.

Yad Vashem
From the website: "Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, as the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations."

Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies
From the website: "The Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies was established in 1984. It is a non-profit, educational institution devoted to the history and culture of Polish Jewry. It is an associated institute of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies." Not a brick-and-mortar operation with a library or archive, but it is active in organizing conferences and coordinating scholarship, and is co-publisher of the journal Polin.

American Association For Polish-Jewish Studies
From the website: “The American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies (AAPJS) is a sister organization of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies in Oxford, England.” The Association was established to focus attention of the public on what is most significant and precious in this legacy of Polish Jewry in addition to disseminating the research and information through means of publications, lectures, conferences, seminars and documentary films

Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw, Poland)
From the website: "The Jewish Historical Institute focuses entirely on the study of the history and culture of Polish Jews. It is the largest depository of Jewish-related archival documents, books, journals, and art objects. The preservation of collections that document ten centuries of Jewish experience in Poland allows for research and education to be carried on. We believe that education makes people aware of the history that Poles and Jews shared and helps to overcome stereotypes."

Foundation For The Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland
From the website: "Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland was established by the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO). Our mission is to protect and commemorate the surviving monuments of Jewish cultural heritage in Poland. The Foundation is active in regions whose location far from major cities makes it difficult for Jewish communities to provide adequate care. Our area of operation covers nearly two thirds of Poland."

Museums & Libraries

Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw, Poland)
From the website: “The Museum of the History of Polish Jews will open in 2013 on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. This multimedia narrative museum and cultural center will present the history of Polish Jews and the rich civilization they created over the course of almost 1000 years. Initiated by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland in Warsaw in 1996, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews will be a unique institution. Not only is it the first and only museum to focus on the history of Polish Jews, but also it is a truly 21rst-century institution in every regard.”

Auschwitz-Birkenau: Memorial and Museum
This is the website of the former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau located just outside Krakow, Poland. Today the site is a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its victims. The website provides important access to archival and historical collections links.

The Warsaw Rising Museum
The Warsaw Rising Museum is dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944. The museum sponsors research into the history of the Uprising, and their history and possession of the Polish Underground State. There is a section devoted to the Warsaw Ghetto.  The museum website is available in both Polish and English, and has a virtual tour section that may be helpful to researchers.

National Library of Poland (Biblioteka Narodowa)
The National Library of Poland. From the website: The National Library acts as the central library of the state and one of the most important cultural institutions in Poland. Its mission is to protect national heritage preserved in the form of handwritten, printed, electronic, recorded sound and audiovisual documents. The primary task of the National Library is to acquire, store and permanently archive the intellectual output of Poles, whether the works of citizens living on Polish soil, the most important foreign works, or publications related to Poland and published abroad.”