Henryk Archacki, 1907-1988, a Polish immigrant, journalist and well-known graphic artist, drew weekly cartoons for Polish-language newspapers for over 20 years. With his wife, he researched current events, sports, literature, and historical curiosities, and presented them in these factoid cartoons, with a strong flavor of pride in being Polish. This syndicated series was entitled “Czy wiecie, że…” (“Do you know that…”).
In the mid-20th century, Polish Americans were simultaneously assimilating and realizing a new pride in their heritage, as Poland arose after World War I from over a century of partition. An unknown Buffalo subscriber clipped the cartoons in this collection from Buffalo’s Dziennik dla Wszystkich (Everybody’s Daily) from 1931 to 1952 and saved them in scrapbooks; the scrapbooks were recently acquired by Steven Piwowar and donated to UB’s Polish Collection. Mixing serious and light content, Archacki both enlightened and entertained his beloved Polonia.
The first 200 cartoons of the total 1007 are presented here. All of the cartoons have been digitized, and we hope to obtain enough funds to complete the online collection soon. Visit Giving to UB for information on how to donate to the Polish Room Collection fund.