Volume I of Wiadomości Archeologiczne, first journal of archaeology in the Polish language,
was published in Warsaw in 1873. Its founder and publisher was Count Jan Zawisza (1822-1886),
great enthusiast of archaeology.
Three further issues followed in 1874, 1876 and 1882, during
the time of active research activity by Jan Zawisza. Collected around Count Zawisza were leading
representatives of the positivist school in archaeology, great champions of applying the scientific
methods of geology, palaeontology, and chemistry in archaeological research. The journal published
contributions by and profited from the assistance given to the publisher by his colleagues Józef
Przyborowski - prominent archaeologist, Jan Tadeusz Lubomirski - historian, Zygmunt Gloger -
ethnographer and archaeologist, Godfryd Ossowski - geologist and archaeologist.
The first four volumes
of Wiadomości Archeologiczne published in a 23×15.5 cm format and numbering between 93 and 194 pages of print,
were a 'dissertations only' publication and did not feature editorials, reviews or polemics. Most of these
concerned with reporting on investigations of caves in Poland and the search for the first traces of early man.
Much space is devoted to the question of recording of archaeological finds and to reporting on the results of
surface survey and sondage investigation made at various types of sites. Some articles by J. Zawisza are
accompanied by abstracts in French. Articles are illustrated with woodcuts and photographs, either inserted
within the text or as separate plates.
Krystyna MUSIANOWICZ, Wiadomości Archeologiczne przed stu laty, "Wiadomości Archeologiczne", vol. XXXVIII/2:1973, p. 129-138. (= Wiadomości Archeologiczne Before
Jolanta WROŃSKA, Archeologia w periodykach warszawskich w drugiej połowie XIX wieku, Wrocław 1989, p. 11-27 (= Archaeology in Warsaw Periodicals of the Second Half of 19th c.).
Between the World Wars
Poland regained independence in 1918 and as part of the process of building its institutional and legal system, including organising the
framework for protecting prehistoric monuments, the decision was taken to resume publishing a journal of archaeology which would continue
in the tradition of Wiadomości Archeologiczne. In 1920 the State Council for Preservation of Prehistoric Monuments (subsequently, PGKZP,
abbreviation from the Polish Państwowe Grono Konserwatorów Zabytków Przedhistorycznych) adopted as one of its main tasks 'publication of
Wiadomości Archeologiczne and promotion of prehistory among the general public'. The first volume of the renewed journal -
Volume V - published a 'Draft Instruction by the Council
of Ministers Regulation on Instituting the State Council for Preservation of Prehistoric Monuments' and a roster of Monuments
Protection Officers and districts under their jurisdiction.
Until 1928 Wiadomości Archeologiczne were the official journal of PGKZP
(Volumes V-IX) with first Włodzimierz Antoniewicz and subsequently Roman Jakimowicz as chief editor. The contents of each volume were grouped in the following sections: Papers (Rozprawy), Materials (Materiały), Notes (Drobne wiadomości), Discussion and Letters (Dyskusje i korespondencje), Editorial and Official Notices (Dział urzędowy), Obituaries (Nekrologi), Book and Article Reports (Sprawozdania z literatury). Most contributions were submitted by Monuments Protection Officers, members of PGKZP, reporting on their work in the field and research. Substantial space was given to the question of the protection of archaeological sites and artefacts and organising archaeology museums.
Contributions to the journal were made by outstanding Polish archaeologists and by specialists in related sciences - Erazm Majewski (first Chairman of PGKZP), Józef Kostrzewski, Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz, Włodzimierz Antoniewicz,
The restored Wiadomości Archeologiczne had the form of a quarterly journal
but in practice most of the issues for a given year were published as a single volume, in a 25.5×19 cm format. Titles of articles and the table of contents were provided also in a French translation, and some papers were provided with abstracts in French.
In 1928 the State Archaeological Museum |
(subsequently, PMA, abbreviation from the Polish Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne) was officially instituted by
the President of the Polish Republic
(in practice it had been in operation since 1923). PMA inherited most of the duties and prerogatives of PGKZP. From
1929 Wiadomości Archeologiczne
become a statutory publication and official journal of the Museum. Until 1938 under editor Roman Jakimowicz, Director of
PMA six volumes of the journal were issued, one every year (X-XV), featuring papers, richly illustrated documentation from research, and extensive reports
on the activity of PMA, its regional representatives, and Monuments Protection Officers. Except for Volume XV which had German translations of titles and
summaries of topical articles, translation in other issues continued to be in French.
Volume XII, from 1933, was entirely devoted to reporting
on the 1st Congress of Polish Prehistorians, which had been organised in 1927 by the Polish Prehistoric Society and the PGKZP carried the title of a
'Diary from the 1st Congress, of Polish Prehistorians'.
Volume XVI, prepared in commemoration
of the 25th anniversary of Prof. Józef Kostrzewski's research work to be published
in 1939 was confiscated by the gestapo on the orders of officer Prof. Ernst Petersen, German archaeologist. Several score issues spared destruction were shipped to Poznań and published there with a new cover and title page in German and an introductory account on how a part of the edition had been rescued by Germans.
Wiadomości Archeologiczne - The Third Act
Publication of Wiadomości Archeologiczne was resumed only in 1948 with
a re-edition of the commemorative pre-war Volume XVI.
Its contents were reconstructed thanks to editor copies which had been rescued and placed
in hiding by Konrad Jażdżewski and Kazimierz
Salewicz. Volume XVI contains all
the input assembled before the war ie, the biography of prof. Józef Kostrzewski
and 26 articles, all
but one with abstracts in French. An editorial by Ludwik Sawicki, then Director of PMA, with Russian, English and German language translations,
gave an account of the dramatic vicissitudes of the issue being published. Major changes in the profile of the magazine were announced:
'(...) starting with Volume XVII the journal would present only papers and detailed reports on excavation and research made at major sites.
Minor papers dealing with analysis of finds, reviews of articles and books and reports on activities carried out by PMA (matters of organisation,
research, artefacts conservation) would be featured in a special official journal established for the purpose - 'State Archaeological Museum Reports'
(Polish - Sprawozdania Państwowego Muzeum Archeologicznego), published four times, or in some cases, twice a year'.
Ludwik Sawicki, Przedmowa do XVI tomu "Wiadomości Archeologicznych" (1948)
(= Introduction to Volume XVI).
Wiadomości Archeologiczne started to be published with regularity from 1951, in A4 format, once again in fascicle form, with
the fascicles printed jointly. The papers were organised under the headings corresponding to the chronological period with which they
were concerned. When required, non-regular sections were added in some issues eg: Related Sciences (Nauki pokrewne) or History of Researches
(Historia badań). The French language version of titles and abstracts was replaced by the same, in Russian and English.
Before long, (Volume XX, for 1954)
new, quite radical transformations followed,
to a certain extent precipitated by the decision to discontinue publishing the
'State Archaeological Museum Reports' (in Polish: Sprawozdania P.M.A). Starting with Volume XX Wiadomości Archeologiczne officially
become a quarterly journal - its Number 1 was given '(...) a new arrangement of the subject matter
and a new graphic layout', the
editors called for response '(...) not only from archaeologists but also from specialists in museum science and conservation, and
from research and technical staff in these fields'. Papers were now grouped under the following headings: Papers (Rozprawy), Finds
(Materiały), Discoveries (Odkrycia), Miscellanea, Protecting the Archaeological Record (Ochrona zabytków), Museum Science and Conservation
(Muzealnictwo i Konserwatorstwo), Reports (Sprawozdania), Reviews (Recenzje), Chronicle (Kronika). The covers were given new vignettes
depicting eye-catching artefacts discussed in the issue. These changes - de facto restoration of the original 1920s template was officially
endorsed by the Board of Editors of Wiadomości Archeologiczne in 1954. Prof. Witold Hensel, then the head of the Board made a motion to give
up the subtitle 'Official Journal of the PMA' and this was done (starting from Volume XXIII/1:1956). On the same occasion PMA Director
Prof. Zdzisław Rajewski proposed to include sections on matters of conservation and museum management, including also reports on activities
of archaeology museums, archaeology departments and regional Monuments Protection Officers who did not have a journal of their own. These
contributions would appear under various headings - Protecting the Archaeological Record (Ochrona zabytków), Museum Science and Management
(Muzealnictwo), Museum Science and Conservation (Muzealnictwo i konserwatorstwo), Conferences, Museum Management and Protecting the
Archaeological Record (Konferencje, muzealnictwo i ochrona zabytków) or in the traditional section Chronicle (Kronika). From as early
as 1958 Wiadomości Archeologiczne continued as the 'Quarterly Journal of Museum and Archaeological Conservation Science in Poland'
(but also as an 'Official Journal of the PMA'); Volume XXV/4:1958 [published in 1959]), although with a note that a new institution
was now in charge of the publication. With time, this situation received an official stamp when the Wiadomości were given a new subtitle
'Official Journal of Museum and Archaeological Conservation Science' (Volume XXXII/1-2:1966, published in 1967).
During the 1970s paper became in short supply and publishers had to fight
a losing battle to keep to the publishing schedule. Volume XL, Number 3
and Number 4 came out off the printing presses only in 1976, Volume XLI,
Numbers 2, 3 and 4, scheduled to come out in 1976, appeared with a year of delay. By the time the two issues of Volume XLII had been published, also behind schedule (they were planned for 1977), the quarterly practically had been reduced to a semi-annual publication. In addition, its number of pages became drastically reduced (Volume XLI - 496 pages, Volume XLII - 255 pages). Authors were requested by the editors to make their contributions as short as possible (Volume XLIII/2:1978, note from the editor on the inside of the back cover); this was followed soon by an official instruction to the same effect (Volume XLIV/1:1979 [published 1980], page 103). Matters did not improve during the 1980s when the paper supply came under a quota system; Volumes XLIV and XLV (originally scheduled for 1979 and 1980 respectively) were published with a delay of one to two years, Volumes XLVI and XLVII (scheduled for 1981 and 1982 respectively) came off the printing presses two or even three years behind schedule and late in the 1980s the delay reached no less than five or six years... This should help explain the convoluted system which was developed to cope with the situation which could have the following form: Volume XLIX, Number 1:1984/1988 [published in 1988], Number 2:1983 (1989) [published in 1989], or Volume LI, Number 2:1986-1990 [published in 1992]). The editors felt it necessary to explain this embarrassing state of affairs and attempted to keep the date of the edition and the date of publication of consecutive Volume Numbers in agreement (see: Volume XLVII/2:1982 [published 1985] note on the inside of the back cover; Volume LI/1:1986-1990 [published 1992], note on the inside of the front cover).
When eventually, around 1995 PMA took over the responsibility of publishing the journal substantial changes were introduced in the graphic
layout of the Wiadomości Archeologiczne retaining all the while retaining the traditional design in its form created during mid-1960s.
The journal was given a hard glossy cover, keeping its traditionally white colouring and title in red font (first, in Volume XX/1:1954),
in French (first, in Volume V:1920), but the black-and-white vignette (first, in Volume XX/1:1954) was replaced by a colour one. Starting
from Volume LVI (LIV:1995-1998 [published in 2001]) Wiadomości Archeologiczne continued to appear once a year; starting with Volume LVI
(2002-2003 [published in 2003]), besides having an English version summaries are translated into the language which corresponds to the subject
matter of a given paper (eg Lithuanian, Byelorussian, Russian); sometime earlier captions to all illustrations started to be given also in English;
sometime earlier (Volume LI/2:1986-1990, published in 1992) the practice of providing abbreviated versions in Russian was dispensed with. Starting
from Volume LVII (2004-2005 [published in 2005) editors decided to remove the no longer appropriate subtitle - 'Official Journal of Museum and
Archaeological Conservation Science' - (the 'Museum Science and Conservation' section had featured for the last time in Volume XLVIII/2:1983 (1987)
[published in 1987] ).
Publication of Volume LVI coincided with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State Archaeological Museum. Other important dates had been commemorated by earlier issues:
Volume XXXIII/3-4, (for 1968) - 45th anniversary of the PMA (marking its start in 1923) - and
Volume XXXVIII/2, for 1973 - 50th anniversary of the PMA, centenary of Wiadomości Archeologiczne, and 330th anniversary of the Arsenal Building in which PMA is housed at present.
Zdzisław RAJEWSKI, Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w latach 1923-1968, "Wiadomości Archeologiczne", vol. XXXIII/3-4:1968, p. 255-294 (= The State Archaeological Museum from 1923 to 1968).
Wojciech BRZEZIŃSKI, 75 lat Państwowego Muzeum Archeologicznego w Warszawie, "Wiadomości Archeologiczne", vol. LVI:2002-2003 (2003), p. 3-6 (= 75 Years of the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw).
Wojciech NOWAKOWSKI, Działalność naukowa PMA, op. cit. , p. 7-11 (= Scientific Activity of PMA).
Danuta PIOTROWSKA, Z dziejów Państwowego Muzeum Archeologicznego w Warszawie, op. cit. p. 9-35 (= From the history of the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw).
Volume XXI (for 1955/56), printed in 1957 as a single book, contains
an index to Volumes I -XX compiled by Jerzy Antoniewicz. The next index, for
Volumes XXII-XXXV compiled by Marek Halicki, was published in Volume
XXXVI/4, for 1971 (published 1972), the third and so far the last index, covering Volumes XXXVI-XLVII, compiled by Ewa Gieysztor-Szymczak, was published
in Volume L/1:1985 (1989) (published 1989).
Starting from 1954 (Volume XX) the journal was edited by a Committee, its two members Zdzisław Rajewski and Jerzy Antoniewicz
assisted by the Council of Editors. In an earlier period (Volumes XVII-XIX) no information was given on who is the editor, perhaps
to emphasise that the journal was edited collectively; during this period Jerzy Antoniewicz was Secretary of the Editing Committee.
In 1957 (Volume XXIV/1-2) the Editing Committee was replaced by a team of editors - Zdzisław Rajewski - Chief Editor, Jerzy Antoniewicz
-Secretary and Witold Bender - Sections Editor. In 1959 (Volume XXVI/1-2), after Jerzy Antoniewicz resigned from his post, Jerzy Halicki
became Deputy Editor and continued on the editing team for over two decades (until Volume XLVI/2:1981 [published in 1984]). More substantial
change came in 1975. When Zdzisław Rajewski died in 1974 the post of Chief Editor was assumed by the new Director of PMA Krzysztof
Dąbrowski (Volume XL/1:1975), and new editors entered the team, among them the present day Deputy Editors (starting from Volume L/2:1985)
- Teresa Dąbrowska and Teresa Węgrzynowicz. Krzysztof Dąbrowski lived to see Volume XLIV Numbers 1 and 2 in print before his departure in
He was succeeded in 1981 as director of PMA and Chief Editor by Jan Jaskanis (Vol. XLV/2:1980 [published in 1982]), who continued until
his retirement in 2000. From 2001 the Chief Editor has been Wojciech Brzeziński, Director of PMA (cf Vol. LIV:1995-1998 [published in 2001], p. 2).
In the 1980-2000 period there were some changes on the editing team. Starting from Volume L/2 |
(for 1985, published in 1990) it was joined by
J. Tomaszewski, Grażyna Dmochowska-Orlińska and Wojciech Brzeziński, also, briefly, by Wojciech Rozwadowski (Managing Editor in 1990-1992); starting
from Volume LII/1 (for 1991-1992 [published in 1992]) Jacek Andrzejowski (Managing Editor from 2001), and from Volume LIV (for 1995-1998 [published
in 2001]) - Radosław J. Prochowicz, who next to Teresa Dąbrowska and Teresa Węgrzynowicz at present form the Editing Team of Wiadomości Archeologiczne.
A number of the fist volumes of Wiadomości Archeologiczne released soon after the end of the war was published by the PMA. From 1954
onwards, when the shape of the journal changed (starting from Volume XX), the task passed to state publishers - Państwowe Wydawnictwo
Naukowe, and in 1959, Książka i Wiedza
(just two Volumes - XXXVI and XXXVII /1). From 1960 for nearly fifteen years Wiadomości Archeologiczne
continued to be published by Ossolineum
(Volume XXVII/2, published in 1961). Starting from 1974 (Volume XXXIX/1),
with only a small break for
Volumes XLVI/1:1981 - LIII/1:1993-1994 (published respectively in 1984 and 1995 by Wydawnictwa Akcydensowe) Wiadomości Archeologiczne continue
to be published by the State Archaeological Museum
(tłum. A. Kinecka)