For many, waiting for the digitizing process to be completed can seem agonizing. When will documents for my family’s village be placed online? Are there any plans to make electronic copies of the books I need? For most, the process never moves forward fast enough, especially for the elderly seeking final answers while they can.

Fakty TVP3 Wrocław takes a close look at the process involved in restoring these artifacts of history:

There is a great digitization in the National Archive in Wrocław. Archive staff renew damaged documents every day and put them on the web–all to save them for the next generations.

Daily, archive staff give a second life to damaged documents. They disinfect and deacidify the files, supplement losses from pages through restoration of missing pieces, and clean up forgotten maps. For two years, archive employees have been digitizing their collections. For now, 700,000 documents have been published on the network.  It’s enough to wait for your turn.

The archive’s collection is 27 kilometers of files. The oldest document dates from the 12th century. The archive works a bit like a library–an order is placed and one waits for materials. The State Archives in Wrocław is the most-visited office of Lower Silesia. Polish and foreign scientists come here. Using the collections is free.

But it’s not just Breslau’s State Archives that are working on publishing their collections for researchers; other archives in Poland are following suit, using the same model. One could only hope for German archival institutions to apply the same free techniques for their collections. Some archives are more open to publishing their materials while others restrict the access of their information, making it exceptionally difficult for family researchers to gain any ground in their journey. Polish archives, on the other hand, are proving to be rigorously forthcoming with the preservation effort.

Scanned documents are scheduled to be uploaded and maintained on Szukaj w Archiwach.

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