Extraordinary archive of Oskar Kolberg

Ewa Antyborzec

Abstract


Oskar Kolberg (1814-1890) was a polish ethnographer, folklorist, composer and music theorist. By the end of the 1830s, he had started to collect folk songs and melodies. By 1840 he had already collected hundreds of song manuscripts and he also published the first collection of folk songs intended for singing. The following years belonged to the period of intensive field research. As his aim Kolberg chose to collect sources encompassing all areas of folk culture in pre-partition Poland. He collected materials which illustrate folk culture of all basic regions. Kolberg’s manuscripts contains about 30000 cards. In 1865 Kolberg published the first part of his landmark work The People. Their Customs, Way of Life, Language, Folktales, Proverbs, Rites, Witchcraft, Games, Songs, Music and Dances. The Sandomierz Region. Between 1867-1890 Kolberg published the following monographs: Kujawy, The Cracow Region, The Grand Duchy of Poznań, The Lublin Region, The Kielce Region, The Radom Region, The Łeczyca Region, Mazovia, Pokuttia, The Kalisz Region and the first part of The Chełm Region (together 33 volumes). All the volumes published by Kolberg, as well as volumes which he left in manuscripts, are an invaluable source of the history of national culture. On the basis of this legacy, other regional monographs, supplements, musical compositions, theoretical dissertations and correspondence were published in The Complete Works (in 2015 contains 86 volumes altogether), edited by the Institute of Oskar Kolberg. The Institute (earlier: The Editorial Office of the Complete Works of Oskar Kolberg, whose first chief-editor became professor Józef Burszta) is a scientific and publishing institution whose task is concentrated on edititing and disseminating the legacy of Kolberg.

Keywords


Oskar Kolberg; archive of Kolberg; national heritage; traditional culture; Institute of Oskar Kolberg

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