Spotlight Collection

Archaki Cartoons

This month, New York Heritage Digital Collections proudly spotlights digital selections from the Archaki Cartoons from the University at Buffalo, Polish Room Digital Collections.

From the collection description:

Henryk Archacki, 1907-1988, a Polish immigrant, journalist, and well-known graphic artist, drew weekly cartoons for Polish-language newspapers for over 20 years. With his wife, he researched current events, sports, literature, and historical curiosities, and presented them in these factoid cartoons, with a strong flavor of pride in being Polish. This syndicated series was entitled "Czy wiecie, ze..." ("Do you know that...").

In the mid-20th century, Polish Americans were simultaneously assimilating and realizing a new pride in their heritage, as Poland arose after World War I from over a century of partition. An unknown Buffalo subscriber clipped the cartoons in this collection from Buffalo's Dziennik dla Wszystkich (Everybody's Daily) from 1931 to 1952 and saved them in scrapbooks; the scrapbooks were recently acquired by Steven Piwowar and donated to UB's Polish Collection. Mixing serious and light content, Archacki both enlightened and entertained his beloved Polonia.

About the repository:

From the Library's website...

The Polish Room owes its existence to a special relationship between the University, the city of Buffalo, and the local Polish community. It was established in 1955, on the occasion of a large conference of Polish Americans held in Buffalo, then home to a thriving Polish Arts Club and many other organizations and institutions devoted to preserving their Polish heritage. The 21 royal documents, that are the cornerstone of the collection, were donated to the library by the owners of Sattler's Department Store as a symbol of goodwill and commitment to the East Side of Buffalo and to Polonia. Their purchase was arranged by the prominent Polish journalist, Aleksander Janta, who had made Buffalo his home.

Since 1955, the Polish community of Buffalo has dispersed somewhat, but Buffalo remains a center for many Polish cultural activities. For many years the Polish Room participated in the exchange of books and journals with scholarly publishers in Poland.

There is an undergraduate Center for Polish Studies at the University, offering courses in the Polish language, Polish literature in translation, post-war history and culture. Visiting professors from Poland offer additional courses, including advanced Polish. The Polish Room also occupies an important place regionally for the State University of New York and other educational institutions in Western New York, Southern Ontario, and Western Pennsylvania. Scholars from Binghamton, Rochester, Toronto, and Syracuse, as well as from the local area, use the Polish Room regularly for their research, and the Room has become a reference source for many people outside of academia, including genealogical researchers, Polish immigrant high school students, and Polish Americans with an interest in their heritage. Among the students and faculty who use the collection frequently are those researching topics in political science, history, comparative literature, sociology, theater, law, and environmental studies.

The Polish Room resides in the Lockwood Memorial Library, a component of the University at Buffalo Libraries.


The University at Buffalo Libraries are members of the Western New York Library Resources Council, a member of the Empire State Library Network.