The manuscript of the Nobel-prize winning epic novel Chłopi [The Peasants], the dethronement act of Tsar Nicholas I, the “golden bull” of the Polish language from 800 years ago, the works of Henryk Wars, the legacy of Jerzy Kukuczka and 12 other priceless historical documents were included this year on the UNESCO Memory of the World Program Polish National List, which is in its 5th anniversary edition! See these honored treasures of national heritage on display in front of the Guardhouse Gallery of the National Cultural Center in Warsaw starting on June 25, 2024.

The List includes heritage objects of fundamental importance to Polish history and culture, documenting important events and the activities of outstanding personalities, stored on a daily basis in archives, libraries and museums in Poland and abroad.

The official presentation of certificates to those entered into the List will take place on June 26, 2024, in Warsaw’s Belweder Palace. However, from June 25, viewers are invited to a unique exhibition presenting these priceless historical sources.

Presented in a large-scale, spatial form, this outdoor exhibition will be available to Warsaw residents and tourists 24 hours a day, with a special light display at night. The exhibition will be on view in the capital until July 15, then it will embark on a tour around the country.

History of UNESCO Memory of the World and the Polish National List

The Memory of the World Program was established on the initiative of UNESCO in 1992. Its aim is to perpetuate the importance of the centuries-old documentary heritage of humanity. The program draws society’s attention to the need to protect and make available documents of particular historical importance, which constitute evidence of our culture and civilization. As part of the Program, three lists of historical monuments of writing are created: an international list, regional lists and national lists.

The Polish National List of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program was established 10 years ago, in 2014, as a result of the work of the Polish Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program. This Committee consists of representatives of the largest libraries, archives and scientific communities in Poland, and is chaired by the Chief Director of the National Archives, Dr. Paweł Pietrzyk.

During the subsequent four editions of the Program—which were carried out in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021—a total of 58 unique testimonies of the most important events and achievements in Polish history from several dozen different institutions were entered into the national list.

The 5th anniversary edition of the National List of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program includes 17 new entries from 17 memory institutions from all over Poland and beyond. It contains medieval documents, collections of photographs, literature, and musical works. See the awarded objects on the Memory of Poland website at:

This year’s Exhibit is held under the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. The organizers are: the Polish Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program and Poland’s National Archives. Co-organizers include: the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the National Center for Culture, and Kordegarda. Gallery of the National Cultural Center. Media patronage: PAP