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Oral History Archive

The Ludwik Zamenhof Centre has the first professional oral history archive in Bialystok.

Movie player and old photos



Oral history – it is recording, preserving, interpreting and allowing access to historical information derived from people’s personal experience and opinions of the ones who witnessed the events. The beginnings of oral history date back to XIX century, the time when the phonograph – the first sound recorder was invented. The first recordings were made by the ethnographers who were dealing with the Indian folklore. As the technology went forward (the tape recorders were invented), large-scale projects were realised. Some of the first oral history projects were the recordings concerning, e.g. the Civil War and the slavery collected by the American organisation – WPA (Works Progress Administration).

Multimedia archive of oral history of the city and the region is a project for the collection story "eyewitnesses" who carries CLZ since 2010. It's primary goals are to set the scene first in professional archive of oral history and the protection and promotion of cultural heritage, the history of the city and the region.

So far we have managed to achieve more than 200 hours of video, digitized nearly 3,000 archival photos and documents, which are successively developed and made ​​available free of charge. Materials are collected in different thematic paths associated with the history of the city and the region, the most important of them are: Bialystok talks; wedding traditions in different denominations; Bojary; Esperanto movement in Bialystok. Gradually we realize other recording projects related to the history and multicultural heritage of Bialystok.

The strength and attractiveness Media gallery CLZ provides indirect appreciation on the part of funders:

  • the Citi Handlowy Kronenberg Foundation has supported the 2010 draft Białostoczanie talks - repository of oral history of the city and the region - a grant of 17,500 PLN;
  • The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the priority development of cultural infrastructure grant from the 2013 draft Mediatheque CLZ - Multimedia Laboratory, purchase of equipment for the studio - a grant of 31,000 PLN;
  • Museum of Polish History in Warsaw under the Patriotism of Tomorrow in 2013 r. supported workshops "With my own eyes - oral history workshops for high school students and secondary" - a grant of 8900 PLN.

The fact that The Ludwik Zamenhof Centre has received the Citi Handlowy Kronenberg Foundation grant amounting to PLN 17 500 shows how attractive and powerfulis that project. 

Presented at the movies are only fragments of story of "eyewitnesses". The entire video can be viewed in Media gallery CLZ - Multimedia Laboratory at Warszawska street 19 in Bialystok. Interviews are supplemented with photographs and documents from the archives of domestic eyewitnesses.

All the time we are looking for "eyewitnesses" - people who have spent the last 60 in Bialystok, 70 or more years and would like to tell us the story of your life, describe important events as they remember. 


If you are that person or know someone who want tell story, please contact CLZ:
Tel 85 6767367 (Tue-Sun from 10 am to 5.30 pm, Mon from 8 am to 4 pm),
Mariusz Bieciuk e-mail: 
Agnieszka Kajdanowska e-mail:

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Kronenberg Foundation at Citi Handlowy

Logos of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Kronenberg Fundation