This article presents and discusses descriptions and assessments of Ukrainians, known before also as Ruthenians, Malorosiyans (Little Russians) or Malorusiyans (Little Ruthenians), and their culture, included in Polish ethnological and anthropological literature in 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Analyzing the articles and books of that period the author focuses not only on ethnographic details but also tries to re-sketch what and how their authors were thinking and evaluating Ukrainian people and culture. He presents the whole scope of attitudes towards Ukrainians from confrontation to these aimed at understanding, cultural dialogue and reconciliation. The author is especially interested in Polish-Ukrainian cultural exchange and Polish researchers' attitudes to the process of Ukrainian national building. He analyzes works and writings of people such as Ignacy Lubicz-Czerwinski, Zorian Dolega-Chodakowski, Franciszek Ksawery Gizycki, Józef Sekowski, Waclaw Zaleski, Antoni Marcinkowski, Bernard Kalicki, Ksawery Branicki, Jan Herburt- Heybowicz, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay and Adam Fischer. This article was written in the course of author's research on Polish works focusing on Ukrainian culture and their contribution to Polish and Ukrainian ethnology and, in general sense, the contribution to the culture of both nations and their mutual relations.