DATABASES - Information
THE ARCHIVES’ RESOURCES
Most of the Archdiocesan Archives’ resources come from the 20th century, however 30-40% of them derive from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries from Prussian and Austrian lands, which reflects Upper Silesian history.
On 25th March 1992 the pope John Paul II made a new administrational division of the Polish Church with his bulla Totus Tuus Poloniae Populus. The diocese of Katowice was made an archdiocese and part of its parishes was given to the newly-made dioceses of Bielsko-Żywiec and Gliwice.
The Archives store files which came to it before the changes mentioned above, that is from times when the archdiocesan territories were a part of the metropolis of Cracov (until 1821) and later on of the metropolis of Wrocław. Files concerning Cieszyn, Koszęcin, Sadów, Skoczów, and Zaolzie are also stored within our Archives.
Archival resources are divided into units. The main units are: Local Files, Factual Files, Certificate Records, Bullarium, Photograph Collection, Album Collection, Poster Collection, and Special Collection.
* Local Files unit (signature AL) contains files from individual parishes of the diocese of Katowice (over 3500 archival units). It includes building, foundation, inventory, general, and filling files.
* Factual Files unit (signature ARZ) contains documents describing clerical issues from the diocesan territory (over 2500 a.u.). Here you can find bishop’s letters, pilgrimage files, caritas files, orders’ files, liturgy and statistics.
* Bullarium unit (signature BL) is a collection of pope’s bullas which nominate bishops of our diocese.
* Certificate Records unit (signature KM) contains baptism, wedding, and funeral records from individual parishes in archdiocesan area dating from 17th century to 1945.
* Photograph Collection unit (signature ZF) includes priests, churches, religious, family and state events photos. Ou can also find pictures and postcards here. It is the largest of our resources – over 12 thousand archival units.
* Album Collection unit (signature ZF Ab) is relatively small. It consists of about 200 albums documenting various events mostly from the archdiocesan area.
* Poster Collection unit (signature ZP) has more than 1100 posters illustrating various religious, scientific, cultural, and state events which took place in the 20th and 21st centuries.
* Special Collection unit (signature ZS) consists of rare documents, publications, letters, and things given us after someone’s death. For now there are over 1000 archival units in it.
LANGUAGE OF THE FILES
Files produced in the 20th century and stored in our Archives are mostly in Polish. Before creating the diocese of Katowice in 1925 and during the WWII files were written in German. A large number of files, mostly local files and certificate records, is written in neogothic style. To read it you need to know how to read old-german fonts. Our files are often written in Latin and Italian. There are also files in French or Czech.
We have been working on inventories of individual file units for several years. All of the processed and available files have their inventories which you can find in our Archives’ science studio. Each inventory contains archival unit’s title, volume number, year frame, old and present archival signature. Some of processed units also have technical descriptions and additional information. Because of a huge amount of data stored within certificate records we do not have detailed personal lists.