Dissent in Poland: Publications and Manuscripts of the KARTA Center Archives in Warsaw, Poland

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The KARTA Center was founded in Warsaw in 1982 and serves as the archive of record for documenting the history of opposition and dissent in post-World War II Poland. As the home of the internationally distributed independent quarterly that bears its name, KARTA has made its primary focus the popularization of what had been until over a decade ago, Poland’s unrecorded history. Comprising primary sources collected by the KARTA Center archives, Dissent in Poland encompasses three different archival collections: Solidarity Movement Archive, the Eastern Archive, and the Opposition Archive.

Presently, the KARTA Center holds the largest archival collection of materials about the Solidarity movement in Poland today, tracing through primary sources the historic events between August 1980 and December 1981. These include the formation and activity of Independent Autonomous Trade Union (Solidarnosc) as well as materials on other independent community, social, and political groups.

This archive documents the post-World War II activity of the independence underground, the fates of Stalin’s political prisoners, major turning points in Polish history (such as the student and worker protests in Poznan in June 1956) Wladislaw Gomulka’s rise to power in October 1956, nationwide student demonstrations of March 1968, the food riots the spread across Poland in December 1970, the strike that initiated the Solidarity movement in Gdansk in August 1980, the martial law period that followed, the takeover of the Lenin shipyards in May 1988, and finally the collapse of Communism in the summer of 1989.

Part 1: Opposition Archive
36 reels

Part 2: Solidarity: Birth of a Movement
16 reels

Part 3: Eastern Archive
63 reels

Complete Collection: 115 reels