ethnology; Polish Ethnographic Atlas; Polish village; protection and preservation of cultural heritage; digitalization
Ethnologia Actualis, 2016, nr 15 (2), s. 81-94
In 1998, the source materials of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas – collected over many decades with the participation of the Institute of History of Material Culture (a unit of the Polish Academy of Sciences) and several leading ethnological centres – were moved to the Cieszyn Branch of the University of Silesia (currently the Faculty of Ethnology and Education). It was then that Z. Kłodnicki, the editor of the PEA, came up with the idea to continue and finish the atlas studies. However, the work on fulfilling the PEA, the biggest project in the history of Polish ethnology, is still going on.
Nowadays, the materials of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas constitute a precious, unique in the national scale, documentary base. For several years, a lively cooperation has taken place between the PEA staff (representing the Faculty of Ethnology and Education of the University of Silesia) and various cultural institutions, government and non-government organizations. The discussed projects are usually aimed at the preservation and protection of the cultural heritage of the Polish village as well as the broadly related promotion actions for activating local communities.
The workers of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas since 2014 have been also implementing the Ministry grant entitled The Polish Ethnographic Atlas – scientific elaboration, electronic database, publication of the sources in the Internet, stage I (scientific supervision: Ph.D. Agnieszka Pieńczak). What is an integral assumption of the discussed project is the scientific elaboration of three electronic catalogues, presenting the PEA resources: 1) field photographs (1955-1971) 2) the questionnaires concerning folk collecting (1948-1952), 3. the published maps (1958-2013). These materials have been selected due to their documentary value. The undertaking has brought about some measurable effects, mostly the special digital platform www.archiwumpae.us.edu.pl. This material database of ethnographic data might become the basis for designing various non-material activities aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the Polish village.