This is only the start of the day. I am at the archive in Gliwice, waiting for books, etc. So, I posted the last 2 days, while I had internet., Sorry cameras are verboten and so my sd cards are in the lockers. It was an amazing archive, can't believe it. I am in heaven, which I told in English to Danuta and the helper said in English, I know exactly what you mean. It is great. They are very helpful here and were expecting me and had quite a stack of my books ready when we arrived. But other fonds were not so clearly explained in the online catalog and so we had to request the signatures within each fond, which is what we are currently waiting on. We are requesting lots of samples of different types to show when I get back including the 1840 census. Fantastic stuff here! More later. Excuse typos, am rushing.
Exhausted already. It was a good day today. Was not feeling like I would like with a little back pain, actually quite a bit and it is still hurting. I am hoping that it will improve overnight… Anyway, today Danuta and I drove to Gliwice to the State archives. We got there in about 1 hour and when we got to Gliwice the GPS got confused because of the complete ripping apart of the roads due to construction. We had no idea where to go and how to avoid the mess. Danuta decided to ask a taxi driver if we could follow him to the needed address and he said yes. He charged us $15.00 for the time. But it was worth it and he was very nice. We found a parking place, which looked at first to be impossible, but we got it. We were actually at the archives about 15 minutes before they opened, but they let us in and we got a good start. We were expected by the staff. They were a really nice staff and the man who seemed to be in charge was most helpful. I had thought I had only “a few” fonds, but in reality, I had TONS. I do mean tons. Every Fond had a large stack of items within that fond for which we then needed to pick the “signature” number. So this took a while, as none of this had been on their online catalog. This in itself was a learning experience. First we had to have a form filled out about our personal need to use this information and was it for publication, what was my passport number and about 2 pages of information that was needed.
The we searched through the fonds to request the books and that required many more forms. A form for every book and another form for the needed copies and another form to sign in and out for each book. And we had a lot of books. It took Danuta forever to fill out all the forms. I just kept doing searches for items and samples that I wanted copied. I was not able to get it all copied today. I spent 247 ZL for copies. But there were some really good records and I wanted to have them. Many times I found my ancestors’ in these documents. Of course, I would choose these as my samples.
We took a short break for lunch and we were recommended to the café about ½ block away that served delicious Polish food. And it definitely was inexpensive Danuta said. And I think that she was probably correct as I saw the price list on the wall. We had Pierogi and Black currant juice with mushroom soup.
Returning to the archives, we continued the work. I was happy because I was able to post 2 days worth of blog posts during the times we waited for materials. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time or the camera to post pictures. I will have to go back later to enter them. At least the text was there. I sent a couple of emails and skyped a couple of work friends.
So then here is what we had to do to pay for the copies. The archives is not allowed to accept any cash. So to pay, you have to go to the post office and pay them and get some sort of a voucher to show the money was received. So the post office was about a 5 minute walk. We started walking about 4:-00 and reached the Post Office. They had just closed at 4:00 and she wouldn’t help us. Said that we had to go to the big post office. It was another 10 minute walk away from there. We walked a bit faster and there were lines everywhere. Finally we filled out the “form” and waited to pay. We did and hurried back to the archives, arriving just before they closed. We were out of breath and exhausted. We turned in our voucher, got the copies and spoke to the workers. They gave us directions home and also they just spoke and were very friendly to us. We will be getting the remainder of the copies via CD and the pages will be digitized and sent to Danuta, who will send them to me.
The worker told us about all the construction. The entire town square was torn and most of the surrounding streets. While digging they were finding lots of medieval artifacts and underground buildings, etc. It sounded quite interesting. He explained that they have a lot of Jewish records in their archives and that Heidelberg had requested them and they refused to send them. So I found some samples to copy. He also said that the church was built in the 13th century and the city wall also. A very old city, to say the least.
So we had a successful day, no more car accidents etc. For which we were happy. We stopped at the little store, got some Poppy seed cake to take home with us and chips. Guess the flavor???? Only in Poland –and just for Spencer—MUSHROOM flavored chips. Believe or not, they were great. Danuta says that they are really hard to find. I don’t find that too hard to believe. Anyways, when we got back to my relatives, they were already cooking and we had potato pancakes for dinner along with the poppy seed cake that we bought. I called Jamie and Spence and it was hard to get a hold of them. Now I am logging in my day and soon I will call it a day. I am really tired. But it is a beautiful country with some great things to see.
Pictures when I am able.