"Milwaukee's Polonia and the Photographic Memories of Roman Kwasniewski " Audio Recording

(Adobe Flash Player, a free download, is required to listen to this audio file.)  


kwasniewski eventOn July 21, 2011, historian and author John Gurda, UWM emeritus Political Science Professor Donald E. Pienkos, and Polish community leaders Bernie Jendrzejczak and Conrad Kaminski spoke at an event sponsored by the UWM Libraries that focused on Milwaukee’s Polish community and the nationally significant photo collection created by Roman Kwasniewski.

In its heyday, Milwaukee’s Polish community was among the largest in the United States. The first Polish inhabitant of Milwaukee arrived as early as 1842, and by the turn of the century Polish-Americans formed the second largest ethnic group in the city. Most settled in a four-square mile area on the South Side known as “Polonia.”

During the years 1907-1947, Kwasniewski created a lovingly detailed portrait of this community through his photography. His collection, held in the UWM Libraries Archives, provides the most extensive visual documentation of a Polish community in the United States.

Over 200 people attended "Milwaukee's Polonia and the Photographic Memories of Roman Kwasniewski," which was held in the fourth floor Conference Center of the Golda Meir Library. The lecture was this year's presentation of the UWM Archives Revisiting Our Past Local History Lecture.

The Friends of the Golda Meir Library were co-sponsors.