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Introduction to Polish Genealogy: NYPL Resources

Strategies and resources to research your Polish family history.

Searching the Catalog

Look for books, microfilm, periodicals, archive collections, and more at NYPL Classic Catalog using a subject or keyword search. The following subject searches may be a good place to start:

Or, try keyword searches like "Polish surnames," "Polish American history," or "Poland gazetteer," for example.

Many materials from the catalog can be requested via our expanded Scan and Deliver services. Eligible items will have a Request button in the Library's Shared Collection Catalog

Guidebooks in the Catalog

Newspapers and Periodicals

Genealogy Databases

Ancestry Library Edition, Access billions of names in thousands of genealogical records. Collection highlights include Eastern Prussian Provinces, Germany [Poland], Selected Civil Vitals, 1874-1945Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books Index, 1742-1964

Family Search, Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), this free website offers a variety of genealogical records. 

Genealogy Indexer, Search historical business, address and telephone directories from Central and Eastern Europe, memorials to Jewish communities destroyed during the Holocaust, Polish and Russian military documents, including lists of officers and casualities. Also includes community and personal histories, and Polish secondary school annual reports and other school sources. More genealogical resources are being added daily.



Digital Collections


Inside a Peasant home, Warsaw. NYPL Digital Collections

The New York Public Library Digital Collections is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more. 

Shared Collection Catalog

The Shared Collection is a joint initiative that combines the extensive research collections of The New York Public Library, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Harvard University—members of the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP)—in one catalog and allows patrons from all four institutions to search and request materials from these combined holdings for delivery to their home institution.

Through the catalog, users can discover nearly 11 million volumes from NYPL's research collections, plus an additional 8 million volumes from Columbia and Princeton. With the addition of Harvard's collections, users now have access to more than 22 million volumes.