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Preliminary Inventory of the Jan Kowalik papers
93047  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Jan Kowalik papers
    Date (inclusive): 1878-1994
    Date (bulk): 1939-1982
    Collection Number: 93047
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: Polish and German
    Physical Description: 89 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 9 card file boxes (37.8 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, writings, bibliographies, notes, catalogs, bulletins, biographical data, printed matter, and photographs relating to the post-1939 Polish émigré press, Polish émigré journalists, and notable Polish émigrés in the United States and especially in California. Includes some collected papers of Polish émigrés and records of Polish émigré organizations in the United States.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Kowalik, Jan.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jan Kowalik papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1993.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Jan Kowalik was born on August 28, 1910, in Skoczowie, Poland. His birth name was Jan Franciszek Slawiczek, but he was most often known by his pseudonym, Kowalik, or as Jan Franciszek Suchy or Jan Pokrzywa. He is known as a writer, bibliographer, and a poet of the post-World War II era.
    Kowalik received his higher education first in the city of Cieszyn, and later in Bielsko-Biała. In 1931 he started working as a teacher in the external studies program at Jagiellonian University. When World War II began, he worked for the resistance movement. In 1944 he was arrested and imprisoned in Germany at a concentration camp in Wrexen.
    After the camp’s liberation Kowalik spent a year working as a teacher in a refugee camp in Landau-Waldeck. He then spent the next three years in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Steinatal, first as a patient, and later as an administrator. While working as an administrator at the sanatorium he was also working as a teacher in the hospital’s school and later as a commanding officer at the displaced persons camp in Landau. After Landau, Kowalik worked in the archives of the Sekcja Obozów Koncentracyjnych w Międzynarodowej Komisji Poszukiwań (ITS) in Arolsen, while at the same time nurturing his love for writing and Polish publications. While with ITS, he collaborated on various publications: Kronika, Ostatnie Wiadomości, Słowo Katolickie, and Szlak. He also founded and was the editor of a weekly publication, Polak w Waldeck, which he put out while working as the commanding officer at the displaced persons camp. While in Germany, Kowalik continued his work as a journalist, writer, and poet. His poems were published in two volumes, Ścieżka przez Steinatal, in 1947, and Wiatr w Gałęziach, in 1948.
    In 1950, Kowalik moved to the United States, where for two years he worked a series of odd jobs: security guard, window cleaner, night janitor at a cinema, and dishwasher at a restaurant. For three years he worked in the Hoover Library at Stanford University and later resumed his work in the labor force. He dedicated his spare time to his bibliographic work by starting the American-Polish Documentation Studio in California, where his primary work revolved around documenting the historical and bibliographical work of the Polish diaspora, specifically the émigré press. During that time Kowalik also published a great deal. His articles appeared in Kultura, Wiadomości, Oficyna Poetów, Ostatnie Wiadomości, Przegląd Polski, Głos Polski, Prąd, and Związkowiec.
    In 1968, Kowalik received an award from the Alfred Jurzkowski Foundation, as well as the Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish President in exile, August Zalewski, for his contributions to Polish history, education, and literature. In 1986 in London, President Edward Raczyński bestowed upon him the medal of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and in 1993 the consul general of Poland in Los Angeles, Jan Szewc, presented him with the medal of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
    Jan Kowalik died on February 11, 2001 in San Jose, California.
    Translated from: http://www.bu.kul.pl/jan-kowalik-1910-2001-sylwetka-i-publikacje,art_11355.html

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Jan Kowalik consist of correspondence, writings, bibliographies, notes, catalogs, bulletins, biographical data, printed matter, and photographs relating to the post-1939 Polish émigré press, Polish émigré journalists, and notable Polish émigrés in the United States and especially in California. The papers also include some collected papers of Polish émigrés and records of Polish émigré organizations in the United States.
    In addition, the collection contains photographs of the artwork of Hanna Wynerowska (Kali), a Polish-American painter and World War II veteran. The photographs were often sent to Kowalik in the form of greeting cards, along with letters from Kali and her husband. Also included within the collection is a selection of letters from Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski (Antoni Ferdynand Ossendowski), a Polish journalist and traveler. The folder includes letters of Ossendowski, and photos of him and his second wife, which is of note given the fact that Ossendowski's archives had been fully destroyed before his death.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Polish newspapers--Foreign countries.
    Polish periodicals--Foreign countries.
    Poland--Emigration and immigration.
    Journalists.
    Polish people--United States.
    Polish Americans--California.
    Audiotapes.