Polish Mission Volunteers -Three Cheers!

I have to post about the great team of volunteers helping in the Polish Mission Research Room each Friday. Since December, we have been working on creating searchable databases and organizing the resources on campus. I hope researchers will make an appointment to visit or attend the open PGSM meeting on Saturday, March 20th from 2-4pm. Societies are welcome to schedule a lecture or a tour. We have food service on campus.

Let me introduce a few volunteers:

Hal Learman

As many of you know, Dr. Hal Learman has not only donated the funding to properly conserve the Komski artwork, but has purchased new furniture and computer carrels for the room. Each Friday he devotes his time and talent to organizing the room and records. He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and do the “sweat equity” need to create an environment conducive to research and collaboration. He had over 20 years of volunteer service at the Family History Center of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and has traveled overseas to conduct research in parishes and archives.

Tim Westfall

Tim is currently working on his own Polish genealogy and brings a wealth of knowledge of the practices of the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Detroit. Westfall served as an assistant in the Archives of the Detroit Archdiocese for 6.5 years and trained at Wayne State University. He also studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary  for several years. His resume includes his experience as director of Mt. Kelly Cemetery in Dearborn,Michigan. He was the photo manager of the publication “Make Straight the Path” on Detroit parishes several years ago. He is working with the prints and negatives in the Polish Mission collection.

Military Team

JJ Przewozniak was trained by the Henry Ford to be a re-enactor and historical interpreter. He brings both this skill and his interest Poland’s Home Army to the Polish Mission. He, along with colleague Steve they are working on digitalizing the military collections of the Polish Mission. He will collaborate with Ceil to submit grants to appropriate foundations to fund the process.

Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan (PGSM)

Bernadette Drobat, Betty Guziak, Brenda Kociemba, and Valarie Koselka

PGSM members are undertaking indexing and creating digital extractions for campus records. The records include the 1922 and 1948 Greetings from Poland (signed by school children), Displaced Persons coming the metro Detroit, early OLS student enrollment cards, and funeral memorial cards. These will be searchable databases and allow family historians to order copies for a set fee. Valerie Koselka introduced us to a young Polish teacher, Kamila, who will provide translation, letter writng, and langauge classes in Polish and Russian.

Ceil Wendt Jensen

I continue to develop programs that will tie genealogy into the educational community. We have submitted a grant to fund state of the art computers. With an up to date lab, we can invite not only genealogists, but schools and Scouts to  work on their cultural history research and cultural and genealogical badges.

The volunteers are working diligently, and we welcome researchers to make an appointment for a consultation.
And, bring your laptop- we have wireless!

PARI, The Polish Mission