PARI Collection Development

The Polish Mission associates its history with the founding of SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary which was opened in Detroit in 1885. The institution moved to Orchard Lake, Michigan in 1909 and shares the grounds with St. Mary’s Preparatory High School and the Central Archives of Polonia. The Polish Mission organizes programs and events that highlight Polish and Pol-Am culture and accomplishments. The private archives of Orchard Lake Schools has opened its holdings to the public via the 501(c)(3) Polish Mission and the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI). The Research Institute is a subsidiary of the Polish Mission and functions under the direction of Cecile (Ceil) Wendt Jensen, Certified Genealogist™. PARI offers lectures, seminars, society visits, and individual research packages.

PARI is currently accepting materials relevant to genealogy. The scope covers a diverse range of materials produced by North American Polonia together with key institutions — churches, schools, organizations, and the press. Specific items of interest from these institutions include: jubilee books; parish histories; prayer books; parish bulletins; materials pertaining to the Roman Catholic and Polish National Catholic Church; Polonian school yearbooks, anniversary brochures, school programs, student albums, publications of Religious Orders; newspapers; magazines; flyers and books in both English and Polish; biographical materials; correspondence; memorabilia; obituaries; and funeral cards.

Additionally, PARI is interested in: vintage photos as well as digital scans of photos and negatives; maps; postcards; passports; and civil and religious certificates. Families are encouraged to submit family histories and family group sheets. At this time, PARI is not purchasing materials, and asks that a donation accompany the collection to purchase the appropriate archival materials for proper preservation. Staff members can be consulted with regards to related costs.

For more information please contact Ceil Wendt Jensen, PARI Director, at