Collections

Popularisation of the POLIN Museum's collection

Through our daily work, we strive to make the collection of the POLIN Museum available to the widest possible group of recipients, which is why we want our collection to be accessible via the Internet. We make our collection available on knowledge portals, virtual exhibitions and thematic websites. We are also currently working on a new internet portal which will present the POLIN Museum's collection in a systematic way.

Where to look for our collection?

  • Would you like to find out more about our museum and the archive collection? 
    Visit the wmuzeach.pl portal!

  • Are you interested in the history of cities in Central and Eastern Europe and the fate of their Jewish communities? Are you looking for information about your city and its monuments? Are you looking for biographies of well-known and lesser-known figures in the Jewish community? Check out our Virtual Shtetl knowledge portal!

  • Are you curious about other people and their personal stories? Are you fascinated with social history? You can find full interviews and interview excerpts from our oral history collection on our YouTube channel!

  • If you would like to browse through our collection of interviews and learn about its various aspects, check out the written summaries tab of our interviews Oral History.

  • Are you looking for reliable knowledge about the attitude of Poles towards the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish relations during the German occupation (1939-1945)? Are you looking for information about the Polish Righteous Among the Nations? Would you like to get to know their stories and the fate of the Jews in hiding? Check out the Polish Righteous portal.

  • Are you curious what Warsaw looked like from the point of view of Jewish inhabitants of the city? Would you like to learn more about the history of the capital city? Visit our Warsze portal!

Everyone is invited to use our collection and knowledge platforms - enthusiasts, local activists, teachers, students and their parents, tour guides and researchers. Experts and beginners who are just starting to be interested in the history and culture of Polish Jews. Individuals of all ages.

Find out more about our portals!

Virtual Shtetl

The Virtual Shtetl is an internet portal documenting the history of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe, which is visited by one million users from all over the world annually. It has been operating since 2009 and is available in four language versions: Polish, English, Hebrew and German.

The portal gathers information on more than 1,900 cities and towns located within the historical borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the former Russian "settlement zone", i.e. on the territories of present-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia and Russia. We present the history of a given Jewish community from the first settlement to the Holocaust, and in the case of large cities - to the present day. In addition to the stories from the Jewish community, we present rich iconography (over 30,000 items), slogans and biographical essays (over 3,200), over 1,700 dictionary entries and encyclopaedic studies on Jewish social life: religion, tradition, education, economy, culture.

The portal also includes studies and data on Jewish cemeteries, oral history interview studies and a genealogical database. On an ongoing basis, we publish databases rich in statistical information and new photographic documentation of Jewish monuments (synagogues, cemeteries) and memorial sites. 

Before the Second World War, in the clusters of houses, shops, schools and synagogues with the mark of a mezuzah one could hear Yiddish dialect during a busy week, which quietened down on Friday evening as the community began celebrating the Sabbath. By running the Virtual Shtetl, we want to pay tribute to the thousands of Jewish towns and cities in the lands of the former Republic of Poland.

The Polish Righteous

The Polish Righteous - is a portal documenting the stories of Polish women and men who selflessly helped Jews during the German occupation (1939-1945). First of all, we commemorate those who have been granted the title of the Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Institute and the Jews who were hiding with their help - often nameless victims of the Holocaust. The stories of help are presented against the background of the socio-political context of the German occupation in Poland, taking into account the complexity and diversity of the attitude of the Polish society towards the Holocaust. The portal was created in 2007 under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland,  it is available in two language versions: Polish and English.

The foundation of the portal is the collection of the history of help, which currently includes over 1,000 historiographical studies supplemented with archival photographs and documents (over 10,000 items) as well as fragments of biographical interviews from the Museum's collection. The collection can be browsed using the alphabetical list of names, a catalogue of topics and keywords or a map. The history of help is supplemented by monographic studies and thematic bookmarks, which present the context of the German occupation in Poland, including selected issues from the history of the Holocaust - especially the experience of the Jews hiding on the so-called Aryan side.

The inmuseuns.pl (wmuzeach.pl) project

Selected items in the POLIN Museum, developed and digitised, can be viewed via the website www.inmuseums.pl On the portal, we present thematic narratives, composed of various objects from the collection.

For art lovers, we recommend a story about artists such as Teodor Bok or Marek Szwarc. Those interested in the family stories of Polish Jews may want to check the stories about the Kramsztyk, Najder and Resz families or Zajczyk and Hochsinger families.

For educators, we have prepared more than a dozen richly illustrated and described educational paths.

The portal, launched in 2022, includes the digital resources of five museums managed or co-managed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage: the Museum of King Jan III's Palace at Wilanów (project leader), the POLIN Museum, the National Museum in Lublin, the National Museum in Szczecin and the Łańcut Castle Museum. The project was co-financed under the Digital Poland Operational Programme (Measure 2.3 Digital availability and usability of public sector information. Sub-measure 2.3.2 Digital availability of cultural resources).