Our Collections

National Cultures at Their Roots (a piece of Antonina Kłoskowska’s study from 1992–1994)

The collection contains some of the materials generated from the field research commissioned by Prof. Antonina Kłoskowska and conducted by Izabella Bukraba-Rylska (then holding a PhD) from the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences. These materials were collected in 1992 and consist mainly of interview transcripts. They were used as a basis for analyses contained in Chapters IV and V of Antonina Kłoskowska’s book “National cultures at their roots” (“Kultury narodowe u korzeni”). An inquiry has shown that this is the only surviving piece of the collection, which originally consisted of 70 autobiographical interviews conducted in 1992–1994, recorded on tape and transcribed into 3182 typed pages. The research was conducted as part of the activities of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences (ISP PAN).

The presented collection consists of 11 transcripts of interviews conducted in villages located along the Polish-Belarusian border. The original recordings have not survived. The transcriptions are accompanied by photographs and a short description of the interviewee. The interviews consist of two parts: the first part is a record of free-flowing narrative about the history of the interviewee’s life, without the researcher’s interference, and the second part is a conversation based on an instruction focusing on autobiographical facts, as well as direct references to national, ethnic, cultural and religious issues.

The questions asked to the interviewees concerned mainly national issues, but many of them were projective, i.e. indirect. The interviews provided information about national attitudes, their functions in interpersonal contacts and self-identifications. 

The collection of transcripts is complemented by photographic documentation prepared by Izabella Bukraba-Rylska in 1992 (KNK_12_PHOTO).

The materials available from the Qualitative Data Archive include interviews with three people who agreed to make them available in the Archive for research purposes. One of the interviewees could not be reached. The remaining participants of the 1992 study were no longer alive at the time when the materials were prepared for archiving (2018). The interviewees who agreed in 2018 to have their statements from 1992 archived also concurred to participate in follow-up interviews in September 2018 and to make them available in the Archive. These interviews have been marked with signatures starting with POW (from the Polish word ‘powrót’, meaning ‘return’ ; the same applies to file names). In 2018, the interviewees mainly talked about changes that had occurred since 1992 at their place of residence, and about their own history of life. Their statements also concerned religious and nationality-related issues, as well as local traditions.