As many of you are aware, the PGSNYS is currently engaged in a project to digitize some never-before-microfilmed issues of Buffalo’s Polish newspaper, the Dziennik dla Wszystkich (see here for details). 2023 was a banner year for fundraising for the PGSNYS, thanks to individual donations, as well as generous grants of $5,000 from the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius University, and $10,000 from the Louis Skalny Foundation of Rochester, New York. These contributions have enabled us to fund two rounds of digitization, which were completed by The Digital Archive Group last year—encompassing 32,256 newspaper pages, at a total cost of $19,999. The newspaper images were provided to us as TIFF files on two external hard drives. Although TIFF files are the industry standard for archival preservation, we will need to convert the image files to JPGs for upload to the NYS Historic Newspapers website.

Quarterly bundles of the Dziennik dla Wszystkich at the Polish Museum of America, awaiting digitization and conservation. Photo courtesy of The Digital Archive Group, Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the pages we’ve digitized so far:

Front page from 4 January 1943 with coverage of major world events
Page 5 from that same edition, with local news and a feature on “Our Boys in Uncle Sam’s Service”
Page 9, with world and local news, and death notices

As you can see from these examples, the quality of the digital images created directly from the hardcopy far surpasses the quality of the digital images created from microfilm, some examples of which can be seen here. More importantly, these digitized pages of the Dziennik bring to light information about Western New York’s Polish people, businesses, churches, schools, institutions, and events not covered by the mainstream press, including

  • local politics and business news,
  • church, school, arts and social events,
  • bios of leaders and community members,
  • birth, marriage, and death notices,
  • WWII news on servicemen, editorials, ads for war bonds and recruitment, and
  • 1950s Cold War and Labor Movement news.

Now, we need your help to reach our final $12,806.

2024 Matching Pledge Challenge to Raise $5,000

Recently, an anonymous donor stepped up and pledged to match donations (up to $2,500) made between now and August 1, 2024, on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Thus, for every dollar contributed, the donor will provide an additional dollar, up to $2,500. Any gift you can make—$10, $25, $100, or even $500—will have double the impact, and bring us closer to our goal of bringing the Dziennik into the hands of students, historians, genealogists, journalists and community members.

Please make this project a priority for your charitable giving in 2024. By working together, we can preserve Western New York’s Polish history and heritage.

You can make a contribution online or mail a check to: PGSNYS
P.O. Box 984
Cheektowaga, NY 14225

The Polish Genealogical Society of New York State is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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