The Leddy Library has put together a virtual display to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Polonia Collection, a unique stock of material built with the support of the Polish community in Windsor.
In the summer of 2000, members of the local Polish social club sought to support a book fund after noting a lack of reference material documenting the contemporary history of Poland, its culture, and its role in the fight to destroy Soviet communism in Europe.
By that fall, the Polonia Centre presented the Leddy Library with the first donation and worked with librarians to identify 48 items that would act as a starting point for the collection. Over the subsequent 20 years, the total contribution has exceeded $56,500.
“This very generous donation has enabled us to purchase nearly 1,200 items in English language on Poland,” says Pascal Calarco, university librarian.
He considers the collection one of the best in the province, “perhaps rivalling the Slavic and Eastern European Studies collection at the University of Toronto, for coverage of recently published materials on Poland.”
The library has furthered partnered with the Polonia Centre of Windsor to host events and exhibits and in 2018, was gifted a special edition facsimile of the 1791 Constitution of Poland. Among the planned expansions of the archive is a recent digitization of Kronika Tygodniowa, a Polish-language weekly newspaper originating in 1942.