JRI-Poland and "Finding Your Polish Ancestors Online Through the Polish State Archives" #poland
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Ted Gostin's welcomed lecture "Finding Your Polish Ancestors Online Through the Polish
State Archives" prompts me to recount a few of the stops in the long history leading up to
the miracle of seeing records for an ancestor online in the Polish State Archives (PSA)
JRI-Poland.org has been a witness to this journey, going back to the day 20 years ago
when on one of our annual visits to Poland, PSA headquarters lent JRI-Poland co-founder
Michael Tobias one of their personal computers to take to his hotel room in Warsaw. There
he installed a copy of the JRI-Poland search engine software and indices so that the PSA
would be able to conveniently view JRI-Poland's search results. We proudly marveled at
the trust the PSA had placed in us.
We remember when the pixels in digital images had reached a threshold where scanning
had become practical and when the Deputy Director of the PSA nodded his head in
agreement at our hope that one day, scans of archival records could be posted online.
We remember, when the old "PSA Mechanical Archives" that had focused on microfilming
collections was renamed the National Digital Archives to reflect the importance of digital
imaging in the archival world and the Archive's total commitment to scanning its entire
holdings in more than 30 branches across the country.
We are all beneficiaries of the vision of PSA leadership that has made it possible for us to
view records of our ancestors available to us in the comfort of our homes.
For, JRI-Poland, it is a blessing that our volunteers and the professionals we hire - with
your support - are now able to data enter the full extracts of the Jewish records of Poland
without having to sit for hours in archives reading rooms and/or without having to scroll
And it has been a mitzvah for our researchers who discover records for their families in the
JRI-Poland database of more than 6.3 million records and are then able to find digital
images of the actual records online.
So, when you find a record for your family online, remember to offer a toda, merci, dziękuję,
gracias and thank you to the PSA and all the volunteers and supporters whose efforts and
contributions have changed the way you are researching your family history.
Stanley Diamond, M.S.M.
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
On behalf of the entire JRI-Poland family...leadership, volunteers and users.