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History of the Institute

 

The tradition of teaching history at the Pedagogical University in Kraków dates back to 1949. At that time, history was taught within the Polish language and history section that existed since 1946 at what was then called the Higher Pedagogical School (Wyższa Szkoła PedagogicznaWSP). The studies lasted three years and were based on lectures. Classes were initially conducted by employees of the Jagiellonian University. 

 

Already in the 1949-1950 academic year, an independent study course of history, where the future staff of primary, secondary and vocational schools was trained, was offered by the Faculty of the Humanities. Since 1951, the Historians Research Group has also been in operation. 

 

In 1953, the Department of Polish History and the Department of World History were established at the Faculty of Philology and History. A year later, the Higher Pedagogical School in Kraków received the right to award a masters degree, which means that in 1956 the first Masters of history left its walls. Since the main purpose of the university was to educate future teachers, in 1956 the Section of Methodology of History (from 1960 the Department of Methodology of History Teaching) was established at the Department of Polish History. 

 

Academic life began to flourish with the establishment of departments and sectionsResearchers examined a range of topics: problems of early humanism in Poland, pedagogy of the Renaissance period, Polish history in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Great Emigration, social movements within Poland, history of the press, history of history teaching. The 1950s was a period of dynamic development of history studies, an increase in the number of academic staff, and a growing number of students. An important date was the academic year 1959-1960, when the Faculty of Philology and History was granted the right to confer the Polish equivalent of the Ph.D. (doctor of humanities). 

 

As part of the reorganization of the university in 1971, the Institute of History was established, initially consisting of three sections: Didactics of History and Civic Education, Ancient and Medieval History, and Modern and Contemporary History. A year later, the Section of Education History was established. From the late 1960s, research has focused mainly on the history of the Middle Ages, early modernity and the 19th century, as well as the didactics of history. Our staff also scored major accomplishments in research on local and regional history. In 1988, the internal structure of the Institute of History changed, with the following sections established: Ancient History and Ancient Culture, Medieval History, 19th Century History, Contemporary History, History Didactics. Two years later, the Laboratory of the Polish Biographical Dictionary was established and in 1995, it was transformed into the Laboratory of Biography. 

 

In recent years, the structure of the institute has undergone further transformations. In April 2003, the Department of Ancient History was established, replacing the existing Section of Ancient History and Culture, run for many years by Prof. Stefan Skowronek, an outstanding expert in the field of archeology, culture and antique numismatics. At that time, the Department of Historical Education was established on the basis of the Section of History Didactics. In 2013, the Department of Archival Studies and Auxiliary sciences of history was established, taking over the tasks and competences of the previously operating Chair of Auxiliary sciences of History, which had been a part of the Department of Medieval History. In November 2015, the name of the Institute was also changed from the Institute of History to the Institute of History and Archival Studies. A year later, as a result of a merger of the Department of Contemporary History of Poland and the Department of Contemporary World History, the Department of Contemporary History was established. 

 

Currently, the Institute of History and Archival Studies is a dynamic and highly rated institution. We implement numerous national and international grants and projects on topics including: 

  • history of cities, especially Kraków; 
  • borderland history of Lesser Poland and Silesia; 
  • history of national and religious minorities within Poland (mainly Jewish history and culture); 
  • history of World War II and the Holocaust; 
  • history of landed gentry and aristocracy; 
  • history of migration and forced exile and expulsions; 
  • history of diplomacy; 
  • archival studies, infobrokering and historical tourism. 

Moreover, we cooperate with other renowned universities and scientific and research institutions, mainly from Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel and France.