A Guide for Using Szukajwarchiwach.PL Poradnik — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been writing for a while about Polish National Archives announcing via their National Digital Archive (NAC) that Poland would be putting 2.4 Million digital images of church / synagogue metric images from their regional archives online. So today’s blog post is a guide (poradnik) about how to use szukajwarchiwach.pl to view these images.

It is easiest if you know the regional archive you are interested in, but you do not need to know it really. I will demonstrate with the RZESZOW regional archive. This archive was in Austrian-Poland partition, so its records should be for those locales to Rzeszow. Recall from my post, Polish State Archives – Numbers (13 March 2013) where I listed the archive numbers, that Rzeszow = 59.


Step By Step

Step_1Step One

            Go to the archive of interest – http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59#tabInformacje

You should see the web site with the information for the Rzeszow regional Archive.


Notice the two links: Poprzednie archiwum  and Następne archiwum . With these two links you go through the list of regional archives. The list of archives only includes those archives for which they are presently loading images. If you hover over my two links above you will see ‘Previous Archive’ and ‘Next Archive’.


Step Two

            Click on ‘Resource’ [see 2 in red circle] –  which brings you to the list of collections at Rzeszow. http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59#tabZasoby

You should see …



Step Three

 Click on Collection Number ‘59/20/0‘ for the civil records from the Roman Catholic parish of Błażowej – http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59/20/0#tabZespol

You should see …



Step Four

Click on ‘Units 20/20‘ in red circle – http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59/20/0#tabJednostki

You should see …



Step Five

Click on ‘Reference Code 59/20/0/-/1‘ in red circle – http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59/20/0/-/1#tabJednostka

You should see …



Step Six

Click on ‘Digital Copies 107‘ to see a table of 107 scanned images – http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/59/20/0/-/1#tabSkany

You should now see the scanned images …


There are 107 images [currently] and the data looks like it is in the Latin Box format. Since there is no index, you will have visit each image in turn and look at each row of boxes to see if that birth/baptism is for one of your ancestors.

So that is a visual guide for how you navigate the  szukajwarchiwach.pl website to get to the scanned images. Obviously, you will need to focus on the villages/parishes for your ancestor. That may be another Archive (besides Rzeszow) or if it is in the Rzeszow archive then you need to pay closer attention to the parishes in the Rzeszow collections and finally, you will need to select Birth/Marriage/Death (Urodziny/Małżeństwo/Zgony) for the year of interest to you.

You will still need to be able to deal with Latin or Polish or Russian or German language in the records to understand what you see in the scanned images. You will also need to be able to read the handwriting. But you can do this!

Good Luck!

6 Responses to “A Guide for Using Szukajwarchiwach.PL Poradnik — #Polish, #Archive, #Guide, #Poradnik”

  1. Thanks for all your work on this! I tried to check your list of towns and I would like records from the Przeciszow and Oswiecim area in Malopolskie. Am I out of luck this time around as I could not find them? I am assuming that area is in the Krakow archives.


  2. I checked for Kantreck, which is Łoźnica now and it shows that there are 6 records on film, but there is not any place to click to view them, does that mean they are not available yet?

    Thanks for your question. I believe the answer may be it is not actually there. But for me to explore your situation more fully, I would need the name of the Archive or the Archive’s #. If you are the one I am thinking, I did not see that in the NAC’s szukaczwarchiwum.pl database. I went to Suwalki (#63) and when I did the next archive link it went to #72, meaning that all other archives between 63 and 72 are not loaded yet.

    I hope that helps you. Please refer to the blog article on Polish Archives & their respective numbers.



  3. How can I find out what regional archive my town is located in?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Carrie! Welcome to the blog.

      Your question is an excellent one. Let me answer your question in today’s timeframe first and then we’ll backup in time for a more complete answer.

      So today, Poland has a geographic/admin hierarchy:
      Wojewodztwo (like a state/province), broken down into Powiaty (like a county), then Gminy (like a district/borough/township).

      This link is a wikipedia page on Poland’s Admin. Divisions:


      Can you locate your village/town/city on a map? Then you’re probably good. If not, then you need a Gazetteer. A gazetteer is like a dictionary for placenames. You look up your village and then you look across the page (usually columnar) & find parish, gmina, powiat, & wojewodztwo.

      From those you should be able to determine your archive. Although the archives were created under a prior admin hierarchy so some confusion can occur.

      Further back in time: 1772-1918 Poland was partitioned into 3 pieces:

      Russian-Poland, Austrian-Poland(often seen as Galicia) & Prussian-Poland (aka German-Poland).

      So Gazetteers specialize in one of the three partitions until after WWI. Then a Gazetteer will show all of Poland.

      If you give me a specific name I can usually help. There are also Facebook Polish genealogy groups that can quickly help you.

      Take care that many places have identical names. US Censuses usually indicate what partition your ancestor was from.



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