Emigration – in and of itself

“Emigration – in and of itself” is a campaign aimed at finding memorabilia that show the personal side to the journeys of millions of Poles.Even the smallest object can become an important part of the broad landscape painted by Polish fates.Each souvenir passed over to the institution will be elaborated by our research team, thoroughly described, and incorporated into the collection of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia in order to put to good use in scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes.Eventually they will also be accessible in our on-line collection.

The fates of almost every Polish family include some experience with emigration.Many of them serve as means of remembering parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, who once decided to leave the country.Some of them still maintain contact with their relatives in Poland; some remain only in old photographs.Those photographs and other family heirlooms, such as documents, letters, and various objects,are vehicles of the story of their emigration – of their dreams of a better life, of their quest for freedom, or sometimes of their lack of other alternatives.The story of courage, of determination, of changing fortunes.

The goal of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia is to show the journeys of Poles throughout the world and to present the wide range of fates of the many Poles abroad.What made them leave?What was their journey like?How did they establish a life in the unknown?The objective of this institution is to show their journey, both the physical and the internal, emotional one.In unearthing the true magnitude of this phenomenon over the course of centuries on different levels – social, political, and economic –, it is equally important to look on a small scale: to see the subtly sketched portrait of a man who made the decision to leave his home.

We wish to ask you to take active part in building up our memories of this phenomenon – it plays such an important role in the process of deconstructing our national identity.We look for anything related to emigration from Polish lands – both now and in the past.We humbly accept any letters received from abroad, old postcards, family photos, flyers, diaries, manuscripts, and documents, such as passports, tickets, and any proof of the wide scope of Polish emigrants’ activities abroad, including that of those who served their homeland.Objects related to travel, such as coffers or old suitcases,are also of value.Their past is also important to us, so, if possible, please include a brief description.

Send us a souvenir that speaks of emigration; we will make it a part of history.


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