Funerary Prayer Card Collection, Digitization, & Indexing

We collect prayer cards that were printed and distributed at wakes or funerals in remembrance of the deceased. In the Polish-American community, they are commonly known as obrazki (plural; obrazek, singular), meaning, “little pictures.” These cards are an important resource for genealogists, because they often provide evidence for date of birth and place of residence, in addition to date of death and burial, and place of burial. We accept donations of obrazki from individuals, whether in the form of scans (JPG file format), photocopies, or the physical cards. New acquisitions are indexed and added to our databases. We welcome donations of prayer cards from deceased individuals of any ethnicity (not only Polish).

Please note, if you choose to scan your own prayer cards and send us just the digital images, we only need the side with the text, not the picture. Examples shown below are for illustration.

Image from obrazek for Leokadja Drajem

Annotated obrazek for Leokadja Drajem
Image from obrazek for Katarzyna Bartoszewicz
Obrazek for Katarzyna Bartoszewicz
Double-width obrazek for Augustyn Drajem with bilingual text
Double-width image from obrazek for August Drajem
Image from obrazek for Jan Kantowski
Obrazek for Jan Kantowski
Image from obrazek for Michał Slominski
Annotated obrazek for Michał Slominski
Image and Polish text of double-width obrazak for Fr. Justyn Figas
Image and English text of double-width obrazek for Fr. Justyn Figas

We offer a translation guide for death notices found in the Dziennik dla Wszystkich that is also useful for translating Polish-language obrazki from our collection.

How to Get Involved


Physical copies of obrazki (prayer cards or photocopies) may be donated in person at one of our monthly meetings or other community outreach events. Scans of obrazki in JPG format may be emailed to Cindy Degain at Please scan images at 600 dpi to ensure best quality. The picture side of the card is shown here for illustration, but only the text side is required for our database.


We are always looking for volunteers to help with scanning and indexing our collection. For more information, please contact Maureen Gleason, (716) 864-8022. Many thanks to volunteer Cindy Degain for assistance with indexing!

Donations to all of these ongoing projects are gratefully accepted.

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