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2015 | 24 | 2(47) | 119-148

Article title

Udział instytucji pozarządowych w II Rzeczypospolitej na Kresach w organizacji wykopalisk i ratowaniu zabytków archeologicznych (na przykładzie Wołyńskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk w Łucku w latach 1935-1939)


Title variants

Participation of non-government institutions in the eastern borderlands of the Second Republic of Poland in the organisation of excavations and saving archaeological monuments [an example of Volhynian Society of Friends of Science in Łuck (WTPN) in the years 1935-1939]

Languages of publication



The paper In the article the genesis of the Volhynian Society of Friends of Science in Łuck (currently Ukraine) in 1935 is presented, as well as its considerable contribution during less than five years of its existence to propagation of science, as well as support for and pursuing of scientific research covering all branches of knowledge about Wołyń. It is shown that the society created and managed specialist scientific units, as libraries, archives, laboratories and museums. by taking the Volhynian Museum in Łuck under its wing, WTPN played a considerable part in organisation and financing of excavations and saving archaeological monuments. Introduction reviews the state of research into organisation of protection and care of monuments, as well as authority of the provincial (or district) conservators of monuments in the interwar Poland. In the decree of the regency council of October 1918 on care of the monuments of art and culture, conservation services taking care of prehistoric monuments were not singled out, despite firm demands to do so made by the circles of Polish prehistorians – archaeologists. The fact that during the whole interwar period no full-time jobs were created for conservators, managing specialist fields of cultural heritage, including conservators – prehistorians, was accounted for poor financial condition of the state. It concerned also lack of any separate fund for research and restoration of archaeological monuments. throughout this whole period, archaeological supervision in the country was exercised by delegates. At the beginning, those were representatives of the National Circle of Conservators of Prehistoric Monuments (PGKZP), and from 1928 – the National Archaeological Museum in Warsaw (PMA). This article describes institutional protection of prehistoric monuments in the Volhynian province in the years 1922-1939. It was provided by PGKZP and PMA delegates: Jakub Hoffman and Aleksander Cynkałowski. not only were the legal rights outside their competences but also financial resources at their disposal for saving the discovered archaeological monuments were very limited. When depicting the circumstances of establishment in the Polish eastern borderland of this non-governmental institution, i.e. WTPN in Łuck, the authors wanted to highlight its unquestioned influence on scientific studies conducted in Volhynia in many different fields of knowledge: geology, agriculture, biology and entomology, as well as the humanities. rapid development of the Public Library in Łuck that possessed a scientific department and a collection of manuscripts, swift inventorying of archives, as well as reorganization and enlargement of the Volhynian Museum, all of this proves that WTPN functioned dynamically during such a short period of time. The society’s legal form – non-government institution – with its effective, professional and fair management made it possible to obtain financial support not only from the government, through the National Labour Fund or National Culture Fund, but also from Volhynian local government, banks and enterprises. Apart from subsidizing geological research (for strategic reasons), considerable financial resources were allocated for i.a. archaeological research, which is recognized in Łuck, Ukraine, until today, in transformed social-historical relations and in so different political realities. The last chapter presents the profiles of persons who rendered particularly great service for the Volhynian Society: Henryk Józewski - Volhynian provincial governor, Julian Nieć – well promising historian and director of the Society’s Scientific Units, and most of all Jan Fitzke – archaeologist, memorable researcher of Volhynia’s past.



Document Type

Publication order reference


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