Solidarity: A Peaceful Revolution



organised by
Logo Europejskie Centrum Solidarności

curating and production team
Monika Krzencessa-Ropiak, Agnieszka Bacławska-Kornacka, Karolina Lejczak-Pastuszka, Magdalena Staręga (PhD), Ewa Konkel, Iwona Kwiatkowska, Jerzy Klimczak, Adam Czubaszek, Arkadiusz Legutko
Anna Maria Mydlarska, Piotr Tomaszkiewicz
edited by
Katarzyna Żelazek
translated by
Dorota Górak-Łuba
proofread in Polish by
Mirosław Wójcik
proofread in English by
Piotr Łuba


We receive, describe and provide access to all and any archival materials on the social movements and other phenomena that led to the democratisation of Poland in the 1970–1989 period, to fulfil the Charter of the European Solidarity Centre (ECS). The Charter obliges us to “collect and preserve the legacy of the NSZZ Solidarność Trade Union” and other freedom movements in Poland.

What makes our collection stand out among other similar ones is its diversity. It consists not only of archival materials but also of collectibles, memorabilia from the Shipyard and items of art. The archival collection is part of the greater structure of the ECS, which includes: a permanent exhibition, library, media library and publishing house. The users can obtain information on their topics of interest in a complementary manner.

The ECS Archive consists of over 170 running metres of materials on the activities of freedom movements in Poland and organisations supporting those movements from abroad, including a photo collection of 67,000 photographs, a collection of historical memorabilia with over 5,000 collectibles and 420 items of art.

The collection is growing constantly, mainly owing to donated items. It is our priority to acquire collections of foreign documents on Solidarity’s cooperation with trade unions, institutions and private individuals in Europe and around the world, as well as on humanitarian aid provided to Poland and Solidarity. Our collection is of interest not just to history researchers in the strict sense but also to those interested in the sociological aspect of the Solidarity phenomenon, to museum curators, documentary filmmakers, stage and film set designers, costume designers and visual artists.

Our mission is also to interest children and young people in recent history, especially in the idea of freedom and Solidarity, and to promote the heritage of Gdańsk and Poland.

The ECS Archive has been building its collection since 2008.