The Przemysl Identification Project: an update
Gesher Galicia SIG
This project, as announced earlier, aims to identify the town of
origin of 577 books of Jewish records held in the Przemysl State
Archive. Nearly all are index books of vital records, with most of
them presumed to be from Galician towns. In some cases, the type of
book (of births, deaths, or marriages) is also not known.
Earlier this year, Gesher Galicia discussed with the Polish State
Archives and the Przemysl State Archive a possible project to identify
these books over two to three years, with Gesher Galicia members
making the identifications. An informal agreement was reached in
October and the project began at the end of that month. The formal
agreement was subsequently signed in Przemysl by Elzbieta Laska,
director of the Przemysl archive, and Piotr Gumola, Gesher Galicia's
representative in Poland. Under this agreement, the archive scanned
all 577 unknown books, and gave Gesher Galicia the scans.
The project, managed at the project secretariat in Warsaw by Piotr
Gumola and Pawel Malinowski, involves Gesher Galicia members who have
volunteered to be identifiers. To date, almost 30 members have offered
or inquired about taking part, and about half of these have become
regular identifiers. Another six people, including three Gesher
Galicia Board members, as well as Suzan Wynne, who founded Gesher
Galicia in 1993, act as verifiers, checking the evidence for the
In the almost two months the project has been running, the scans of 44
books, from 21 towns, have been identified by volunteer members, and
around a third of these books have so far been verified. The 21 towns
include four from western Galicia (present-day Poland), 15 from
eastern Galicia, and two (Lublin and Biala Podlaska) from outside the
borders of the former Galicia. The towns, including those whose
identifications are still to be verified, are:
Biala Podlaska, Boryslaw (2), Bursztyn, Drohobycz (7), Kopyczynce,
Krakow (2), Lublin, Mikulince, Muszyna, Nadworna, Nowy Sacz (4),
Olesko (2), Pruchnik, Rohatyn (2), Rudki, Skole (2), Stanislawow (2),
Stryj (4), Tarnopol (5), Turka, and Zolkiew.
In some cases, the identified index books correspond with known books
of full records from the same period, so that - while it is useful to
have the identification - these index books don't add much in the way
of previously unavailable information. However, there are also
instances where the full, original records are not known to exist, or,
if they do exist, have not yet been made accessible by civil
registration offices. In these cases, new genealogical information
will be revealed.
An example of this is from one of the books - yet to be officially
verified - provisionally identified as the index book of Jewish
marriages from Rohatyn, for the period 1914-1934. If verified, this
will shed new light on marriages in Rohatyn, as the full marriage
records from the town are available for only a few of the years in
Gesher Galicia will provide updates to members, on a regular basis and
through the Members Portal, with details of the files identified. We
will also, at intervals, send batches of the verified identifications
to the Przemysl State Archive.
Non-members who would like to serve as identifiers are welcome to join
Gesher Galicia, at https://www.geshergalicia.org/membership/ . All
existing members interested in helping are encouraged to write to
For more information on the Przemysl ID Project, or to take part as an
identifier (members only), please contact:
For general questions and information on Gesher Galicia, please write
to: info@... .
Piotr Gumola, Pawel Malinowski: Gesher Galicia Secretariat for the
Przemysl Identification Project
Tony Kahane: Research Coordinator, Gesher Galicia
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