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2005 | 112 | 2 | 5-27

Article title

'Kwartalnik Historyczny' - An Outline History of a Humanistic Periodical


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The idea of issuing a historical scientific periodical, granted review-critical functions, emerged in Lvov during the 1880s. The founder of 'Kwartalnik' (1887), envisaged as an organ of the parallel established Historical Society (later known as the Polish Historical Society), was Ksawery Liske, assisted by Fryderyk Papée and Ludwik Finkel. After Liske's death in 1891 consecutive editors continued the critical line of the periodical devised by him until 1914. At the time of the first world war and after Poland had regained her independence, 'Kwartalnik' went through an organisational and financial crisis, albeit it managed to retain a publication continuum. During the 1930s the situation of the periodical grew increasingly stable - it even inaugurated consecutive departments, some of which developed into independent publications. During the WWII 'Kwartalnik' could not appear, and after the capture of Lvov by the Soviet Union (1945) the seat of the editorial board was transferred to Cracow, where it was issued irregularly as a small-sized publication. At the same time, successive editors and Boards of the Polish Historical Society were subjected to pressure exerted by the political authorities, whose intention was to transform the scientific periodical into an ideological organ of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism. In 1950 the editorial board was moved to Warsaw, and in 1953 'Kwartalnik' became an organ of the recently opened Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences, where after 1956 it became possible to restore its scientific character. The total of 110 volumes of 'Kwartalnik Historyczny' constitutes probably fullest evidence of the history and changes of critical Polish historiography. In 1960 Krystyna Sreniowska presented the outcome of her interesting research into the contents of the periodical in 1887-1900, and the electronic bibliography of 'Kwartalnik Historyczny', together with an outline history of the periodical, might prove useful for those historians of Polish historiography who would like to continue pertinent studies.









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  • W. Kriegseisen, Instytut Historii PAN, ul. Rynek Starego Miasta 29/31, 00-272 Warszawa, Poland;


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Publication order reference


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