Wojciech Kriegseisen

“Kwartalnik Historyczny” - An Outline of Its History

The recently published bibliography of the contents of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” covers all materials which have appeared in this periodical during the 120 years of its existence.

But these 120 years are represented by only 110 volumes with a varying number of issues for the editors and publishers have not always managed to preserve the journal’s quarterly rhythm. During World War II the quarterly did not appear at all for obvious reasons. However, whatever their size and character, these 110 volumes are probably the fullest testimony to the history and transformations of what can be regarded as modern, scientific, critical Polish historiography. This is why the demand for a full bibliography of the periodical’s contents, or at least for the continuation of the publication of its indexes, has been repeated for many years. The first index of ten volumes from the years 1887-1896 was worked out by Max Perlbach, a German collaborator and author of many texts in “Kwartalnik”; it appeared in Lwów (Lviv) in 1898. The second index, much more improved, was prepared by Mieczysław Rutkowski, a young collaborator of the editorial board, graduate of historical studies at Lwów University who was later killed in action during the Polish-Ukrainian war. Edited by Karol Maleczyński, it covered the years 1887-1922 and was published in 1925. In 1938 the Central Board of the Polish Historical Society decided to work out a subject index of “Kwartalnik Historyczny”. The work, which was to be carried out by Karol Koranyi, was to appear as an official publication of the Polish Historical Society in connection with the Seventh Congress of Polish Historians which was to be held in Lwów in 19401. The outbreak of the war foiled the plan. No more attempts have been made to issue indexes or systematize the contents of the periodical, even though - as Krystyna Śreniowska’s study shows2 - this is a very valuable source for researchers into the history of historiography and consequently also the history of Polish culture.

For many reasons, including political and ideological ones, the history of historiography has not attracted the attention during the last few decades which this field of history deserves. The lack of a complete index of the quarterly’s contents and the inadequate research into the achievements of Polish historiography in the 19th, and especially the 20th century, are the reasons why no professional monograph has yet been written about this oldest humanistic periodical in Poland3. Its existence has been mentioned in a number of reviews and synthesizing articles dealing with the press but these are not searching monographs; they have only touched upon the subject4.

Like the cobbler’s wife who is always the worst shod, Polish historians have conducted research without having an index of the contents of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” at their disposal. It is difficult to assess the influence this has had on our historical research, most probably not very great. But let us hope that the publication we are today presenting to historians, even if it does not contribute to the development of research on the growth of Polish historiography in the 19th and 20th centuries, will make it easier for historians to make use of the by no means small and unimportant achievements of Polish historiography’s, as published in “Kwartalnik Historyczny” since 1887.

The idea of publishing a Polish historical periodical of a strictly scholarly character, a periodical devoted mainly to critical reviews, was put forward by a group of Lwów historians in the mid-1880s. What gave rise to their proposal was, on the one hand, the atmosphere of intellectual and political freedom in Galicia after the reforms, which granted it autonomy and, on the other hand, the general trend in Europe to launch specialist scientific journals. The “Historische Zeitschrift” had been appearing in Germany since 1859; the year 1867 witnessed the establishment of the Hungarian Historical Society (Magyar Történelmi Társulat) and its organ “Századok”; in 1876 the “Revue Historique” began to appear in France, and in 1886 the first issue of “The English Historical Journal” was brought out. The first issue of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” appeared in 1887. “Česky časopis historicky” was founded in 1895. Let us recall that historians were quite a large group in Lwów in the second half of the 19th century5. The author of a study devoted to them estimates that in 1860-1918, Lwów had 200 professionally active historians, most of them secondary school teachers and university employees. Before the establishment of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” their main organ was the “Przewodnik Naukowy i Literacki” which had existed since 18736.

When writing about the Lwów historians’ quarterly it is proper to recall that the proposal to found a specialist historical journal was first put forward in the columns of Warsaw’s “Niwa” in 1877 by Michał Bobrzyński, a representative of the Cracow school, who wanted the journal to be modelled on the French “Revue Historique”7. However, it is generally accepted that what was of decisive importance for the “founding fathers” of the “Kwartalnik” was neither Bobrzyński’s proposal nor the French periodical but the example set by the “Historische Zeitschrift”8, established and edited by Heinrich von Sybel. Ksawery Liske, the first editor of “Kwartalnik”, was a permanent collaborator and reviewer of the German periodical; he reviewed more than 450 historical works in its columns9. It is interesting that Liske and his disciples, whose views differed from the classical views of the Cracow school, found inspiration in the activity of von Sybel, one of the leading German 19th century historians and archivists, who was a prominent representative of the “Prussian historical school” which succeeded in instilling many stereotypes ill-disposed towards Poland and the Poles in German historical consciousness10.

The circumstances in which the decision was taken to found “Kwartalnik” are not quite clear. As is testified to by the information present on the periodical’s title page until 1953 and also now, it is Ksawery Liske who is regarded as its official founder. It seems, however, that in view of the poor health of Liske, who had kept to his room since 188311, the organization of the quarterly, if not the direct initiative, must have been the work of his disciples and collaborators. It would require extensive searches in archives and libraries, including those in Lviv (Lwów), to explain the role played by particular individuals in the foundation of the periodical, for the documents of the Polish Historical Society sent from Lviv (Lwów) to the Archives of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in 1957 concern mainly the history of “Kwartalnik” in the 1930s12. Thanks to Tadeusz Kondracki’s research it is known however that the National Library of Ukraine’s Academy of Sciences in Lviv (Lwów) and the Regional Archives in that city have materials referring to the earlier history of the periodical13. And even though the archives of the periodical’s editorial board are believed to have been destroyed during the Russian occupation of Lwów at the time of World War I14, it is possible that information concerning the quarterly’s earliest history may have survived in Liske’s papers which are now in the libraries of Lviv (Lwów), Wrocław and Cracow15.

Since no archival research has been undertaken for the purpose of this study, we will make use mainly of the reminiscences of the oldest collaborators and editors of the periodical which were published in 1937 in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the Polish Historical Society, and later on, in 1958 and 1990. The most valuable seems to be the much-cited reminiscences of Fryderyk Papée, a disciple of Liske’s and one of the founders of the periodical. From this, it seems that it was Papée who suggested to Ludwik Finkel that the best way of recognizing the services of the ailing Liske would be to organize a historical society and set up a journal associated with it. The idea must have circulated among Liske’s seminar students and members of the Historians’ Academic Circle which he set up in 1878, for Papée came to the meeting with Finkel in May 1886 with a draft statute of the future society16. On the authorization of Liske, Finkel and Papée presented the idea to the university and intellectual circles of Lwów, and probably also Cracow; the name of the journal (it was to be called “Przegląd Historyczny”) is said to have been proposed by Walerian Kalinka17. The organizing Committee of the Historical Society was presided over by Aleksander Semkowicz, who was later for many years editor of “Kwartalnik Historyczny”; the committee also included the initiators of the periodical, Finkel and Papée18. Among the young founders of the journal were Stanisław Smolka and Tadeusz Wojciechowski, but the initiative was also supported by representatives of the older generation: Antoni Małecki, Wojciech Kętrzyński, Walerian Kalinka, Władysław Łoziński and Wincenty Zakrzewski19.

The founding meeting of the Society and periodical was held on October 14, 1886. Ksawery Liske (1838-1891) was elected president of the Society and editor of the periodical for life, and Ludwik Finkel was elected chairman of the Editorial Committee and executive secretary. The other members of the Committee were: Antoni Prochaska, Fryderyk Papée, Roman Pilat, Aleksander Semkowicz, Saturnin Kwiatkowski and Wojciech Kętrzyński. The next few months were spent on working out the concept of the periodical and preparing its first issue20. This is how Franciszek Bujak, a future president of the society, recalled the tasks which the founders of the periodical set themselves: “to publish small studies as examples of the strict historical method, to combat dilettantism, ignorance and lack of objectivity by a conscientious evaluation of current Polish and foreign literature dealing with Polish and Slav history”21.

In December 1886 a prospectus announcing the publication of the first issue of the Historical Society’s organ and the aims of its editorial board appeared in “Przewodnik Naukowy i Literacki” (XIV, vol. l), a periodical published in Lwów. The quarterly was to have at least 100 pages in each issue and was to publish scholarly texts in the following sections: “Historical Treatises”, “Materials concerning Polish and Ruthenian History”, “Reviews of Current Polish and Ruthenian Literature”, “List of Important Reviews Published in Other Papers”, “Bibliography of the Most Important Foreign Works” and “Reports on the Historical Society’s Meetings”. The founders of the periodical stated: “The main tasks of the Historical Quarterly will be to report on all developments concerning the history of Poland and Ruthenia, to publish thorough and conscientious evaluations of Polish works devoted to history in the broadest meaning of the term, that is also publications concerning the history of education, literature, the law, archeology, etc. In the first two issues, those of l January and 1 April 1887, the editorial board will assess all works dealing with Polish and Ruthenian history which appeared in 1886, including texts published in various periodicals as well as works published in book form”. The first issue of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” appeared in January 1887; it was printed at cost price in the printing house of Władysław Łoziński, who in this way contributed to the publication of the first seven yearbooks of the periodical22. The publishers also received a subsidy from the autonomous Galician authorities.

The content of the first few issues of “Kwartalnik” was in keeping with the declaration expressed in the periodical’s prospectus, and Franciszek Bujak’s recollections confirm that the periodical was consistently implementing the historiographic concept of Ksawery Liske who, as a disciple of Leopold Ranke and Johann Droysen, was known from his many critical reviews to be a believer in “the strict historical method” and an enemy of dilettantism. However, the founder and creator of the original programme of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was not destined to carry out editorial duties for a long time. After Liske’s death23 (27.2.1891) Oswald Marian Balzer (1858-1933), a historian of Poland’s legal and political system, took over editorial duties, and Aleksander Czołowski became chairman of the Editorial Committee. In 1895 another disciple of Liske, Aleksander Semkowicz (1850-1923), a medievalist and director of the Lwów University Library, became editor of the quarterly. In 1895-1898 the periodical was printed without charge by the printing house of the National Ossoliński Institute in Lwów. In 1898 the editorial duties were performed by Józef Korzeniowski (1863-1921), a historian and librarian, who added a new section, the “Chronicle”. In 1899 Aleksander Semkowicz resumed editorial duties.

Despite these changes, the periodical preserved its critical-informative profile set by its first editor, as is testified to by its structure at the end of the 19th century. In 1898 the “Kwartalnik” had the following sections: “Articles”, “Miscellanea”, “Reviews and Reports”, “Survey of Literature on World History”, “Chronicle”, “Review of Periodicals”, “Reports on Historical Society’s Meetings”, “Polemics’ and Obituaries”. The periodical had about 200 subscribers and each yearbook had an average of some 1000 pages.

The quarterly experienced its first serious crisis during Aleksander Semkowicz’s second term as editor. This was mainly a result of the growing specialization of the humanities and the establishment of new competing periodicals, such as the “Pamiętnik literacki” and “Lud”. Historico-literary and ethnographic texts disappeared from the journal. The number of reviews decreased and there was a drop in the number of subscribers and other recipients of the periodical, i.e. members of the Historical Society who were entitled to get a copy under their membership fee. In 1903 the periodical had only 170 subscribers and 437 other recipients24. The editorial board reacted by ambitious changes aimed at strengthening the informative character of the periodical. Up to 1902 “Kwartalnik” had been publishing reviews of periodicals and literature dealing with world history. From 1902 to 1914 Eugeniusz Barwiński edited a new section, “Bibliography of Poland’s History”, and in 1905 the previous review of foreign literature was changed into a new section called “Bibliography of World History”. It consisted of reviews of important works dealing with world history and was also edited by Barwiński25. This was the beginning of a bibliography which years later was turned into the Current Bibliography of Poland’s History.

This great enhancement of the periodical’s informative function was possible because its editor was also director of the Lwów University Library; the editorial board of the quarterly had its headquarters in the Library and could benefit from the help of its staff. Let us remember that the group of the first editors and permanent collaborators of the periodical included Poland’s most prominent librarians, not only Semkowicz and Ludwik Finkel, who was well known for his bibliographic work, but also Józef Korzeniowski, director of libraries in Lwów, Cracow and Paris, and Fryderyk Papée, librarian at the Ossolineum and in 1905-1926 director of the Jagiellonian Library. Eugeniusz Barwiński was also a librarian.

Let us however bear in mind that full responsibility for the periodical was borne by the editor, Aleksander Semkowicz, known for his individualistic style of work. The predominant position of the editor, who did not share responsibility for his decisions with the Editorial Committee and the periodical’s permanent collaborators, was shaped already in Liske’s times but it was strengthened under Semkowicz, who took the liberty of making changes in texts, especially those of young historians, which sometimes led to conflicts. He carried on a vast correspondence, ordering texts, especially reviews, on his own, reviews being always a difficult problem for the quarterly. At the beginning of the 20th century, efforts were made to organize teams of the quarterly’s collaborators in Warsaw and Cracow in order to win over competent reviewers. Such a team was set up in Cracow in 1902 but its activity died out the following year26.

Being an organ of the Historical Society, the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was undoubtedly a factor uniting the milieu of Polish historians separated by the frontiers of the partition zones, but one must admit that in the first period of its existence, the “Kwartalnik” was mainly a periodical of Lwów historians. It was rather a provincial periodical with regional preferences, as is testified to by the fact that historians of European standing and European interests, such as Szymon Askenazy or Bronisław Dembiński, rarely published texts in it27. What characterized the Lwów positivist historical school was a predilection for micrography and a great interest in broadly conceived disciplines ancillary to history. These characteristics, instilled in the periodical by Ksawery Liske, were cultivated by his disciples, Semkowicz and Fryderyk Papée (1856-1940), who replaced Semkowicz as editor in 1904-1905. The quarterly paid for this policy by a decline of its authority at the beginning of the 20th century. Shaped in the spirit of positivist methodology and focusing on information and criticism, the quarterly was unable, or rather did not want, to adapt itself to the requirements of the epoch. After 1900, the growing specialization in research and also the neo-romantic trends that began to appear in historical writings brought into question the usefulness of the periodical’s original model28.

Despite the growing worries at the beginning of the 20th century over the approach of the periodical, despite the financial difficulties caused by the drop in the number of subscribers, and despite difficulties in securing the collaboration of competent authors who could review the growing number of scientific historical publications, the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was fulfilling the most important tasks set it by its founders. It was performing its functions of criticism and information. Its extensive review section played a specific role before 1905, for it published texts by historians from Russian Poland, including those which, because of Russian censorship had no chance of being published in Warsaw29. This may be why some of them were signed by pseudonyms or initials. A characteristic example is a review which in 1889 vehemently criticized (the criticism was only partly justified) the views of the Russian historian Nikolai Karieyev30. The criticism was directed not only against Karieyev but indirectly also against the Cracow school. It is interesting that it was in Cracow that two years later the Russian scholar’s book appeared in a Polish translation31.

The editors of the quarterly tried to overcome the barriers that separated them from other circles of historians. When the “Przegląd Historyczny” was set up in Warsaw, the quarterly concluded an agreement with it. The Warsaw periodical agreed not to publish reviews and the historians co-operating with it committed themselves not only to continue to send reviews to “Kwartalnik” but also to try to find competent reviewers for it. This meant that a centre co-operating with the Lwów editorial board was established in Warsaw. In 1912 Fryderyk Papée, acting on Władysław Konopczyński’s initiative32, set up a committee in Cracow which was to organize a Cracow branch of the Historical Society. In 1913 the Cracow branch began to operate as an auxiliary committee of the Lwów editorial board of “Kwartalnik Historyczny”33. And although the periodical was still in crisis in the second decade of the 20th century (the size of its yearbooks dropped from ca 1000 to 600 pages), it preserved a high level of scholarly criticism, developed its informative sections, got rid of its previous provincialism and became an organ of Polish historians from all partition zones.

In 1914 a new Editorial Committee was set up. Its members were Szymon Askenazy, Bronisław Gubrynowicz, Karol Hadaczek, Kazimierz Hartleb, Teofil Emil Modelski, Henryk Sawczyński, Adam Skałkowski, Eugeniusz Wawrzkiewicz and Stanisław Zakrzewski. Financial problems were overcome and the editor, Aleksander Semkowicz, and the executive secretary, Eugeniusz Barwiński, planned to resume quarterly publication and publish 800 pages a year34. But the outbreak of the First World War thwarted their plans and caused a prolonged crisis.

Before Russian troops occupied Lwów in September 1914, many offices and institutions had been evacuated from the city, together with their staffs. Semkowicz and Barwiński left, but the members of the Historical Society’s Central Board and of the Editorial Committee who remained in Lwów, in particular Ludwik Finkel, Bronisław Dembiński and Stanisław Zakrzewski, decided that it was their duty to go on publishing a Polish journal. Stanisław Zakrzewski (1873-1936), a prominent medievalist, took over editorial duties, and another medievalist, Teofil Emil Modelski (1881-1967)35, replaced Barwiński in the preparation of bibliographic materials. In January 1915 the Russian occupation authorities gave the editorial committee a licence to publish the journal, and the third and fourth numbers for 1914 (yearbook XXVIII) were published together in July 1915. This was received as a success of the Lwów milieu of historians and as a demonstration of its determination36. On August 7, 1915, a meeting of the Historical Society’s Department (Central Board) confirmed Zakrzewski as editor37.

However, in the years that followed, growing political divisions in the historians’ milieu were added to the difficulties caused by war troubles and restrictions. In 1915 the Russians destroyed the editorial archives when they were evacuating the city; the periodical was printed on credit, the editorial board worked for nothing and there was no money for authors’ fees. When a meeting held by the Department on May 26, 1917 entrusted the editorship of the periodical again to Stanisław Zakrzewski and elected a new Editorial Committee (composed of Szymon Askenazy, Jan Friedberg, Olgierd Górka, Bronisław Gubrynowicz, Kazimierz Hartleb, Teofil Emil Modelski, Henryk Sawczyński, Tadeusz Urbański and Eugeniusz Wawrzkiewicz), this led to a tension in relations with the Cracow milieu. The decision was taken to raise the annual membership fee from 12 to 18 crowns and to increase authors’ and editors’ fees in the hope that this would improve the periodical’s financial situation, but this did not help much38.

Cracow historians were ever more plainly demonstrating their dissatisfaction with Stanisław Zakrzewski’s editorial policy, and relations between Zakrzewski as editor of the periodical and Finkel as president of the Historical Society were not of the best either. The issue No. 3-4 of 1917, which was published in yearbook XXXI with texts on Tadeusz Kościuszko by Emil Kipa, Marian Kukiel, Adam Skałkowski, Wacław Tokarz and Tadeusz Korzon, was criticized by the Cracow Editorial Committee, which also blamed Zakrzewski for weakening the periodical’s critical function. The Cracow Committee suspended its work to demonstrate its dissatisfaction. As a result Stanisław Zakrzewski resigned from the post of editor on August 5, 191839. An editorial board (Redakcja) composed of several persons, Ludwik Finkel (1858-1930) as editor and Emil Kipa (1886-1958) and Teofil Emil Modelski, was set up for the first time in the periodical’s history. The meetings of the editorial board were held in the seat of the University Archives directed by Finkel40.

The new editorial board accepted the demands of the Cracow milieu and recognized the publication of bibliographies and reviews as its most important task. The lenght of articles was restricted to 60 (exceptionally 80) pages and the decision was taken to decrease the number of texts included in the section “Miscellanea”41. However, it was Stanisław Zakrzewski’s article The Ideology of the Political System, published in the first issue of 1918, that poured oil on the flames of animosity between the Lwów and the Cracow circles. In his article Zakrzewski stressed that science should be separated from journalism. While slating the “ignorant” Antoni Chołoniewski for his book The Spirit of Poland’s History (Kraków 1917), Zakrzewski criticized not only the adversaries of the Cracow school (Oswald Balzer and in particular Stanisław Kutrzeba) for excessive “historical optimism” but also historians linked to the passivists. This met with the disapproval of all Cracow historians, of the older and younger generation42.

Editorial work was suspended during the Polish-Ukrainian war but the fourth issue of 1918 (yearbook XXXII) appeared already in April 1919. The successive issues went to press at the end of 1919, and yearbook XXXIII was published in one volume comprising 280 pages. The editorial board lost Emil Kipa who moved to Warsaw, but what was of great help was that a disciple of Ludwik Finkel, Kazimierz Tyszkowski (1894-1940), an expert in Polish-Russian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries, became executive secretary of the editorial board. At first Tyszkowski was in charge of the “Scientific Chronicle” but after some time he took charge of the preparation of bibliographic materials, a laborious task during that period because of communication difficulties43.

On July 7, 1920 the General Assembly of the Historical Society once again appointed Aleksander Semkowicz as editor of the quarterly. Władysław Abraham, Bronisław Gebert, Bronisław Gubrynowicz, Kazimierz Hartleb, Teofil Emil Modelski, Czesław Nanke, Helena Polaczkówna, Henryk Sawczyński, Tadeusz Silnicki and Kazimierz Tyszkowski became members of the Editorial Committee. The appointment of Semkowicz was welcomed by the Cracow group which regarded this as a return to the tried-out formula. The result was that the Cracow branch of the Historical Society set up an Editorial Committee for co-operation with the Lwów editorial board. Efforts were made, though without success, to set up such committees in other towns, e.g. in Poznań. The wartime difficulties and the postwar financial crisis greatly restricted publishing capacity and it was only in May 1921 that a collective volume for 1920 comprising 280 pages (yearbook XXXIV) was brought out thanks to a subsidy granted by the Ministry for Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment. The next two yearbooks also appeared as single volumes without a subdivision into quarterly issues; they had 280 and 360 pages respectively44.

In 1922 Franciszek Bujak and Przemysław Dąbkowski joined the Editorial Committee, but Aleksander Semkowski had to resign as editor for health reasons. On October 22, Jan Ptaśnik (1876-1930), a researcher into the culture of the late Middle Ages and the early modern epoch, was appointed editor. Under his editorship the quarterly entered the period of postwar normalization. The first yearbook brought out by the new editor (yearbook XXXVII for 1923) had two issues and a total of more than 640 pages, and the next one (yearbook XXXVIII for 1924) had nearly 800 pages divided into three issues, which means that it reached the size which had been planned by Semkowicz for 1914. The periodical began the year 1925 without any arrears and financial burdens, and its situation was stabilized, as was proved by the publication of the above-mentioned index for 1887-192245.

During the years of Ptaśnik’s editorship the conviction seems to have been slowly growing in the historians’ milieu that the approach of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” had to be changed. In 1927 a Critical Section of the local branch of the Polish Historical Society was set up in Cracow; its task was to continue the work of the quarterly’s auxiliary Editorial Committee which had been active intermittently in Cracow since 191346. However, it was not before March 10, 1929 that Jan Ptaśnik announced a reform programme entitled “Communiqué for the Expansion of the Kwartalnik Historyczny”47. It provided for the division of the periodical into two or even three parts. As before, the “Kwartalnik” was to appear four times a year and publish texts in the following sections: “Treatises”, “Miscellanea”, “Reviews and Reports”, “Polemics” “Books Sent In”. There was to be a parallel publication “Wiadomości Historyczne” (originally planned as a bimonthly annex but published as vol. 2 of the periodical) with methodological and didactic articles, general reviews of literature, informative notes and reports, surveys of periodicals, a scientific chronicle and information on matters concerning the Polish Historical Society. The basic areas of interest were thus divided. The “Kwartalnik” published scholarly essays, reviews and polemical articles. The “Wiadomości Historyczne” focused on current affairs. Since the bibliography published by the “Kwartalnik” was given a separate pagination in 1929, it can be said that the periodical was divided into three separate titles48.

But the architect of this far-reaching reform was not destined to implement it. Jan Ptaśnik died on February 22, l930, and the editorship of the periodical was taken over by the president of the Polish Historical Society (PTH) and founder of Polish social history, Franciszek Bujak (1875-1953). He was to be helped by Stanisław Zakrzewski and (from 1931) by Teofil Emil Modelski, who in 1930 moved from the Stephen Batory University in Wilno to the John Casimir University in his native Lwów. In 1931 the competence of the editors was greatly curtailed. On June 22 a new editorial committee was established; its members were granted the right of initiative in matters concerning editorial policy, and possible conflicts between them end the editor were to be resolved by the president of the Polish Historical Society. A sui generis collegiality was introduced in the work of the periodical’s editorial board and the president of the PTH became a kind of “supereditor”49.

These were the conditions on which Teofil Emil Modelski took over the editorship of the periodical in 1932. From the very beginning he was confronted with criticism of the character of the periodical and with serious financial difficulties. In keeping with tradition, the new editor transferred the seat of the editorial office to his workplace, a new (post-parliamentary) university building, the premises of the Institute of History of the John Casimir University. Łucja Charewiczowa became executive secretary of the editorial board, and Marian Haisig helped in editorial work. In 1933 the “Wiadomości Historyczne” ceased to appear as part of the “Kwartalnik” and became an independent publication called the “Wiadomości Historyczno-Dydaktyczne”, with Kazimierz Tyszkowski as its editor50.

The main objections raised to the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” during Modelski’s editorship were that it selected materials ineptly, underestimated modern and contemporary history (before 1923), gave preference to Lwów authors and, first and foremost, sanctioned the predominance of essays over reviews; the latter were too few in the critics’ opinion. It follows from the memoirs of the editor that he tried to prevent these trends. He renewed the understanding under which the “Przegląd Historyczny” agreed that reviews would appear only in the “Kwartalnik”, and tried to establish direct contact with university centres in Cracow, Warsaw, Poznań and Wilno in order to recruit reviewers, but the results failed to satisfy critics who kept recalling that according to the decision of the Polish Historical Society, the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was to be a periodical devoted to reviews. Another thing that worried the editor was the stream of polemical articles which the periodical, nolens volens, had to publish. Political animosities seemed to be finding their way into a scientific periodical, and this fact, whatever its genesis, did not make it easy for the quarterly to win over authors51.

In 1934, the Polish Historical Society, stirred up by Warsaw historians’ criticism, held a poll among historians on the tasks of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” and the way in which it should be edited. The elaboration of the materials sent in was entrusted to Stanisław Kętrzyński, who presented a memorandum which proposed further changes. He pointed out that for the last 25 years, as a result of the natural development of historical publications and the ineptitude of editorial work, the “Kwartalnik” had no longer been “a critical mirror” of Polish historical science. Kętrzyński proposed that each issue should include no more than 40-80 pages of articles and that highly specialist and fragmentary texts should not be included. He considered the possibility of reducing the size of the periodical and even of eliminating such sections as “Miscellanea” and “Chronicle”. The most important thing in his view was to strengthen the section “Reviews and Reports” which should concentrate on subjects and reviews concerning Poland’s history52.

however, when, after some time, Warsaw historians concluded that the editor was ignoring Kętrzyński’s memorandum, a new wave of criticism arose, this time directed also against the president of the Polish Historical Society, Franciszek Bujak. The result was that Teofil Emil Modelski resigned on June 5, 1937 and Kazimierz Tyszkowski took over the duties of editor. The new editor tried to open the quarterly to historians’ milieux outside Lwów and at the end of 1937 worked out and introduced new publishing instructions and new rules for the quarterly. Being of the opinion that the main aim was to strengthen the traditional reviewing function of the periodical, he visited various academic centres and in personal contacts tried to overcome the provincialism into which the quarterly had been falling. This gave rise to a new discussion on the role and tasks of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” but the discussion and the publication of the quarterly were interrupted by the outbreak of war. Kazimierz Tyszkowski died in Lwów on April 25, 1940 when he was deputy head of the library of the Ossoliński National Institute53.

The decisions taken at Yalta and finally confirmed at Potsdam meant the end of the Lwów history of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” and the Polish Historical Society. The society lost its seat and its rich archives, and the last prewar issue of the quarterly (3/1939) was destroyed in the printing house54. In view of the annexation of Lwów by the USSR and the destruction of Warsaw, the only milieu that could publish a periodical of Polish historians was the Cracow milieu centred on the Jagiellonian University and the Polish Academy of Arts. In Cracow, on April 21, 1945 the president of the Polish Historical Society, Ludwik Kolankowski, met Tadeusz Manteuffel from Warsaw and representatives of the Cracow milieu, Władysław Konopczyński and Stanisław Kutrzeba. The president entrusted “the management of all historical work” to Konopczyński and Kutrzeba55. The programme of the periodical was worked out as early as May the same year by two historians who were to be its editors: Roman Grodecki (1889-1964), a medievalist, and Kazimierz Lepszy (1904-1964), an expert in modern history. In June Konopczyński and a group of his collaborators decided that the first postwar issue would consist of obituaries and information on the situation of all historical centres56. On the initiative of the president of the Polish Historical Society (PTH), Ludwik Kolankowski, a conference was held on November 3, 1945 at which the decision was taken to re-activate the Cracow Branch of the PTH, in which Władysław Konopczyński played the leading role, and to revive the publication of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” in Cracow. Grodecki and Lepszy were officially appointed as editors57.

In June 1946, Władysław Konopczyński, was appointed chairman of the Cracow branch of the Polish Historical Society58. In September, the historian Stanisław Arnold, director of the Department of Science and University Schools of the Ministry of Education, promised him that he would support the legalization of the reactivated Polish Historical Society and would assign 100,000 zł from the ministry’s budget to cover the costs of editing the “Kwartalnik Historyczny”59. The year 1946 was marked by the publication of what was probably the saddest issue in the periodical’s history; this was issue No. 3-4 of yearbook LIII for the years 1939-1945, a large part of which was filled with obituaries of Polish historians who had died, were murdered or fell in battle during the war. In addition to these materials and information on the situation in various historians’ centres, the periodical also published an official declaration of the editors’ intentions in the new political situation. This declaration “A Word from the Editors”, a very restrained and balanced text signed by the two editors, Roman Grodecki and Kazimierz Lepszy, seems to indicate that under the influence of Władysław Konopczyński the historical milieu hoped to keep the periodical independent and thought it indispensable to make such a declaration in the name of the freedom of science60. This is why the historians expressed their acceptance of new research trends and even their readiness to revise opinions on Poland’s history, but they emphasized the necessity of preserving scientific objectivity and keeping to the critical, source-based method in research. The editors also refused to acknowledge that it was historians’ duty to formulate evaluations, demanded respect for pluralism in judgment, so that it should not become “an a priori taken or imposed prejudice, so that it should not be a result of a tendency adopted or imposed at the top”61. The declaration can be regarded as a restrained but determined rejection of the ideology of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

As far as organizational matters were concerned, the editors referred to the interim mandate which was given them urgente necessitate by the Central Board of the Cracow Branch of the Polish Historical Society and was confirmed verbally by president Kolankowski. Because of technical and financial difficulties, the editors decided to suspend the publication of the “Wiadomości dydaktyczne” and the “Wiadomości historyczne”, which up to 1939 had been published as the “Wiadomości Historyczno-Dydaktyczne” under the auspices of the Polish Historical Society, though (from 1933) without any formal link with the “Kwartalnik”. The editors promised to preserve the traditional structure of the periodical and emphasized the importance of reviews and surveys, that is, the critical function of the periodical.

The events of the next few months and years made these promises unrealistic. In 1946 the editorial board of the periodical was strengthened by the co-optation of the medievalist Jan Konstanty Dąbrowski (1890-1965). The yearbook LIV/1947 brought out by the new editorial board consisted mainly of materials commemorating Stanisław Kutrzeba, who died in 1946, and further obituaries. In the same year the quarterly fell into a crisis which could have resulted in its liquidation. The new authorities of “democratic Poland” were not pleased with the stance taken by the historical milieu in 1945-47. On April 12, 1947 the Central Board of the Polish Historical Society elected a new president, Władysław Konopczyński, obviously without the consent of “the competent circles”. This became a pretext for a campaign against the historians’ milieu; the aim was to subordinate the Polish Historical Society and transfer the periodical to persons whom the political authorities would regard as “more responsible”62. As an argument against Konopczyński, the authorities recalled that in 1923, as a deputy of the National People’s Union, he proposed that the numerus clausus be introduced in university schools for candidates of “non-Polish nationalities and Judaic faith”63. Accused of “zoological anti-Semitism” by “authoritative circles”, i.e. by the minister of education Stanisław Skrzeszewski, Konopczyński resigned from the post of president of PTH in May64 and his resignation was accepted by the Extraordinary General Meeting of PTH which delegates held in Cracow on June 15, 1947, after the ministry had set this resignation as a condition for talks on financing the Society’s activity, in particular the publication of the “Kwartalnik”65. The periodical’s difficult political, financial and organizational situation was reflected in changes of its editors. After the withdrawal of Kazimierz Lepszy, this function was performed until October 10, 1947 by Roman Grodecki alone, for Henryk Barycz, who was proposed by Konopczyński and was even elected as co-editor, renounced the post66. In 1948 Henryk Mościcki (1881-1952), a historian of the older generation, specializing in modern history, proposed by Władysław Semkowicz, became editor, and the medievalist Józef Garbacik (1907-1976)67 became executive secretary. In 1949 Mościcki was replaced by another specialist in modern history, Kazimierz Piwarski (1903-1968), who was looked upon more favourably by the authorities. During that time the consultative Editorial Committee was still active at the Cracow Branch of the PTH and Konopczyński participated in its work68. But these were the last months of the periodical’s relative independence.

It is symptomatic that two volumes of “Kwartalnik” were brought out in 1948; volume LV, prepared under Grodecki’s editorship, contained mainly materials connected with the Polish Historical Society’s congress in Wrocław, reports and a draft of historical bibliography edited by Gerard Labuda. Volume LVI, brought out under the editorship of Mościcki and Garbacik, contained “committed texts” in its two issues, or texts which tried to be regarded as “committed”, among them Emil Kipa’s Stan badań nad rokiem 1848 w Polsce (The State of Research on the Year 1848 in Poland), Kazimierz Tymieniecki’s Zagadnienia gospodarcze dziejów Polski (Economic Questions in Poland’s History), a translation of Boris Grekov’s popular paper Prawidłowości w dziejach chłopów w Europie (Regularities in the History of Peasants in Europe), and Witold Łukaszewicz’s article Filippo Mazzei (1730-1816) Zarys biograficzny (Filippo Mazzei (1730-1816). Biographical Outline). Some historians were clearly making desperate efforts to meet the authorities’ demands and tried to acquire a cursory knowledge of Marxist methodology, if only of its phraseology. Very characteristic of this trend is the article by the then editor of “Kwartalnik” Kazimierz Piwarski, Kryzys historiografii burżuazyjnej a materializm historyczny (The Crisis of Bourgeois Historiography and Historical Materialism), published in yearbook LVII/1949.

From 1946 on the periodical appeared irregularly, behind schedule, and was small in size. Personnel changes were not conducive to stability and the growing political pressure made it impossible to work out a reasonable scheme of editorial work. We have no direct data that would explain the political authorities’ intentions with regard to the historians’ organ, but it can be assumed that the authorities were less interested in liquidating the Cracow milieu’s journal than in bringing it home to the historians that the entrusting of the periodical to historians dependent on the authorities, historians who “understood the situation better” would give the journal a chance to survive. On April 7, 1949 the Presidium of the Polish Historical Society divided the tasks between historical periodicals. The “Przegląd Historyczny” was to stop publishing methodological articles, bibliographies, informative texts and texts concerning organizational matters; all these questions were to be taken over by the “Kwartalnik”69.

In 1950 editorial work in Cracow was suspended and the periodical was entrusted to Stanisław Arnold (1895-1973), a once-prominent medievalist, a disciple of Marceli Handelsman and Kazimierz Tymieniecki, but who after the war was subordinated to the authorities. A new Editorial Committee was set up. It was composed of (in addition to Arnold): Juliusz Bardach, Aleksander Gieysztor, Żanna Kormanowa, Witold Kula, Marian Małowist, Tadeusz Manteuffel and Wanda Moszczeńska. Thus, from that time on, the “Kwartalnik’ was to be edited by Warsaw historians, among them prominent members of the Central Board of the Association of Marxist Historians (Arnold, Bardach, Kormanowa), whose duty was to control periodicals70.

Issue No. 1-2 of yearbook LVIII for 1950-51 contained texts of unambiguous meaning, among them a translation of an anonymous article previously published in “Voprosy istorii”, entitled The Significance of J. W. Stalin’s Essays on Linguistics for Soviet Historical Science, and Żanna Kormanowa’s curious paper On Soviet Historical Science (A Sojourn in Moscow), written in the poetic style of socialist reporting lyrics71. Issue No. 3-4 of the same year included materials from the First Congress of Polish Science.

The next volume published by the same editors (LIX for 1952) contained a paper on Bolesław Bierut’s historical concepts, written by an anonymous “group of post-graduate students” at the Chair of Poland’s History of the Institute for Training Scientific Cadres of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party, and a translation (reprint from “La Nouvelle Critique”) of an orthodox Marxist condemnation of the “Annales school” which was presented as having sunk to the bottom in its “apology of Yankee imperialism”72. The periodical was quickly heading for intellectual demise, which meant that after becoming yet another organ of a primitive propaganda of “the idea of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin”, it was bound to lose authority and its influence on the historians’ milieu73. This could not have been the intention of the more intelligent believers in “the new science” and was certainly inconsistent with the hopes of those historians who, like Aleksander Gieysztor, Marian Małowist and, in particular, Tadeusz Manteuffel, tried to save the substance at the cost of a compromise with the “people’s authorities”74.

Yearbook LIX was the last volume published under the auspices of the Polish Historical Society. At the Methodological Conference held at Otwock (28.12.1951 - 12. 1. 1952) the decision was taken to set up the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences; the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was to become its organ, though its costs were to be covered by the publisher, the Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe (State Scientific Publishers)75. The first issue of the new series appeared in 1953. The Editorial Committee was composed of: Izabela Bieżuńska-Małowistowa, Aleksander Gieysztor, Leon Grosfeld, Henryk Jabłoński and Witold Kula. The Committee also included Bogusław Leśnodorski (1914-1985), s specialist in modern history, who assumed the title of editor-in-chief, not used in the quarterly before, and Janina Żurawicka, as executive secretary76 The periodical was to be edited collectively, and to symbolize its break-up with the Lwów tradition, the name of its founder, Ksawery Liske, was removed from the title page. It is interesting that a historian who several years before had been a close and respected collaborator of Władysław Konopczyński in the PTH Cracow branch77 was appointed editor of the “renewed” periodical by the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences and that the leading representatives of the “Marxist school”, Celina Bobińska and Żanna Kormanowa, were not included in the Editorial Committee.

The publication of the first issue prepared by the new editorial board coincided with Stalin’s death, but the editors marked this fact only by printing the official statements made by the authorities on that occasion. But under a characteristic title To Link Polish Historical Science with the New Life of the Nation, the editorial expressed full readiness to serve the new ideology. This was confirmed by the text of S. Arnold Joseph Stalin’s “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR” and Some Questions of Poland’s History, and the text by Maria Borucka-Arctowa published in the new section “In the Struggle against Hostile Ideology”, entitled A. J. Toynbee’s Idealistic Historical Philosophy as an Instrument of American Imperialism, a text which, paradoxically, was for many years one of the few easily accessible in Poland sources of information on this prominent historian.

The next two issues of yearbook LX for 1953 included texts which were completely devoid of scholarly value: The Importance of Joseph Stalin’s Studies for Polish Historical Science (prepared by a team from the Institute for Training Scientific Cadres, composed of: S. Arnold, T. Daniszewski, L. Grosfeld, J. Kowalski, Ż. Kormanowa, W. Kula and B. Leśnodorski, a posthumous apology of Stalin), Celina Bobińska’s The Attitude of Marx and Engels to the January Uprising, Walentyna Najdus’s Lenin on the Polish Nation’s Right to Independence, and Konstanty Grzybowski’s The History of the Vatican’s Political Ideology. Further increasingly aggressive texts were published in the section “In the Struggle against Hostile Ideology”, but after publishing four articles the section disappeared all of a sudden in issue No. 4 of yearbook LX/1953. It seems that the liquidation of the section showed that the periodical was gradually freeing itself of the imposed role of an organ in the “ideological struggle”. In the successive yearbooks from the years 1954-56 “ideologically committed’ texts intertwined with articles which, even though they met the required criteria of correctness, were genuine scholarly treatises. In 1955 an attempt was made to turn the periodical into a bimonthly while preserving the name “Kwartalnik” (quarterly), but ended in failure.

An extensive report on the discussion held at an open meeting of the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences on June 25 and 26, l956 was published in yearbook LXIII. It was an open declaration that “Kwartalnik Historyczny”, an organ of the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, was departing from Marxism in its Stalinist form. The introductory paper was read by Witold Kula78 and during the discussion, Marian Małowist stated with satisfaction that the breakthrough observed in the social sciences, which consisted in a departure from an absolute subordination of research to the requirements of the current ideological line, had taken place in historical sciences several years earlier, with the exception of contemporary history79.

The next meeting of the Scientific Council of the Institute of History, held on December 15, 1956, discussed the situation in the “Kwartalnik”. On behalf of the Editorial Committee (and the ephemeral Editorial Council) Bogusław Leśnodorski expressed his readiness to resign; he then presented his evaluation of the periodical, stating that the editorial board had been putting up effective resistance to the existing practices and customs; it had committed the gravest mistakes in the field of contemporary history. The new president of the PTH, Stanisław Herbst, criticized the periodical, blaming it for its subordination to political requirements. As an example he mentioned the attacks on Oskar Halecki. Kazimierz Lepszy and Kazimierz Popiołek praised the quarterly, and Juliusz Bardach proposed that the editor and the Editorial Committee should be elected by the Scientific Council of the Institute of History and that the Editorial Council should be liquidated. The changes were confined to the co-optation of Stanisław Herbst to the Editorial Committee (on the motion of S. Arnold). This put an end to what was undoubtedly the worst period in the history of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny”80.

Discussions on the role and tasks of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” as the central organ of Polish historians went on in the following years, but nobody questioned its scholary character. Serious differences did appear in opinions on the character and tasks of this journal, but the essence was not questioned. The first discussion meeting with the participation of members of the Editorial Committe was held in Poznań in 195881 and the next ones took place in Cracow and Warsaw in 1960. The participants in the Cracow meeting referred to the discussions held in 1953-54 in connection with the plan to transform the quarterly into a periodical of the Institute of History, and proposed to reduce the number of texts dealing with fragments of history in favour of synthesizing studies, increase the number of reviews and enrich the section of scientific information82.

The most serious of all official discussions on “Kwartalnik Historyczny” took place at the Institute of History in Warsaw on April 26, 1961. It was during that meeting that competing editorial concepts crystallized; since that time these concepts have had their supporters and adversaries, becoming a leitmotif of most discussions in the quarterly’s milieu. Some of the participants in the meeting (e.g. Stanisław Piekarczyk) wanted the quarterly to preserve its academic character, others (Juliusz Bardach, Stanisław Russocki, Stanisław Ryszka) thought that the periodical should be addressed to wider circles, teachers and all history lovers. Jerzy Jedlicki proposed that the “Kwartalnik” be turned into a fully interdisciplinary periodical co-operating with sociologists, literary experts, economists and even psychologists in order to produce a synthesis that would integrate the achievements of the humanities. Bronisław Geremek found this proposal attractive from the intellectual point of view but unrealistic in practice. Adam Kersten proposed that the scope of questions discussed in the periodical should be widened. He demanded an increase in the number of synthesizing and methodological texts, fewer fragmentary articles, more articles on world history, cultural questions and econoicsy. The participants expressed the view that the quarterly should inspire and publish discussions, protested against so-called “courtesy reviews”, demanded that more important popularized scholary books, in particular those concerning recent history, be reviewed, and that more stress be laid on research surveys and informative materials83. These questions have attracted the attention of successive editors for the next few decades.

The “Kwartalnik Historyczny” marked its tenth anniversary as a periodical of the Institute of History by publishing texts by its editor, Bogusław Leśnodorski, and the executive secretary Tadeusz Łepkowski, who replaced Janina Żurawicka in 1957. In his programmatic article, Leśnodorski stated that information and scientific criticism were the paramount tasks of the periodical. After years of discussions, experiments and obstacles put up by ideology, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was returning to the role set it by its founders; it was to be a critical mirror of Polish historiography and its informative organ. The greatest success of the editorial board was that the quarterly ceased to be treated as a central organ monopolized by the Institute of History, for it managed to secure the co-operation of authors outside the Institute84.

Tadeusz Łepkowski’s article was a kind of report. The author presented a statistical analysis of the periodical in 1953-6285. The most important characteristic of the quarterly in those years was the increase in its size: at first the issues had over 600 pages on the average, the number of pages then dropped, but anyhow large, costly yearbooks numbering 2000 pages each were brought out every year. The editorial board found it difficult to fill all these pages, as is testified to by constant experiments with the structure of the journal; new sections were opened, recently established ones were wound up, and many spontaneous ideas died a natural death. A large part of the periodical was filled with information on scholary life, which simply meant extensive reports on the activities and meetings of various teams and committees. Editorial discussions were initiated and organized, properly edited reports on them were published in the “Kwartalnik”, which was still subject to censorship. Some monographic issues connected with various anniversaries were brought out.

In 1963, the Editorial Committee was expanded and persons entrusted with concrete functions made up a narrower body, the editorial board. In the same year three executive secretaries joined the editorial board: Krzysztof Groniowski, Ryszard Kołodziejczyk and Stanisław Trawkowski. In 1970 a new post was set up, that of deputy editor. It was entrusted to Trawkowski. Tadeusz Jędruszczak, the later editor of the periodical, became another executive secretary, alongside K. Groniowski.

In the 1960s and 1970s the periodical maintained the formula elaborated at the end of the 1950s. The size of the yearbooks decreased owing to financial difficulties and restrictions in the supply of paper, but this affected mainly the informative section and reports. Besides, as a result of the decentralization of science during that period, it soon turned out that the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” was unable to publish information on all scientific historical initiatives in Poland. The “Chronicle” was gradually becoming a collection of random materials, mainly reports on conferences, which were published with a considerable delay. The section “Reviews and Reports” was in an equally difficult situation, for being of course unable to review all Polish historical publications, it discussed only some of them, and the efforts of the editorial board focused on securing reviews of the most important works. In addition to financial restrictions, another problem was the steadily deteriorating technical quality of print and binding, and one of the least pleasant aspects of editorial work was the necessity of paying visits to the Press and Publications Control Office. Every issue was subjected to preventive censorship, but as is testified to by accounts, it was the authors of texts dealing with contemporary history who faced the greatest problems.

In 1974 Bogusław Leśnodorski resigned as editor of the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” and in 1975 this function was taken over by Tadeusz Jędruszczak (1924-1993), a specialist in contemporary history. Jerzy Michalski became his deputy. Edward Potkowski and Andrzej Skrzypek were executive secretaries. A year later, on November 12, 1976, at a scientific session in Łódź devoted to historical periodicals, Tadeusz Jędruszczak read a paper which can be regarded as his editorial programme86. He distinguished several tasks which were covered by the main sections of the periodical. In his opinion the most important task of the editorial board was to publish good articles presenting new source materials or setting new problems. The second most important task was, in Jędruszczak’s opinion, to publish the results of various discussions, including those organized by the editorial board, though the “general conditions”, i.e. censorship and political control, restricted the editorial board’s possibilities in this respect. Reviews were placed by Jędruszczak in the third place. Recalling Ksawery Liske’s concept, the editor said that in the 19th century each yearbook contained ca 200 reviews and in the 1970s about 100. Jędruszczak attributed this drop to deficient scientific information and to historians’ disinclination to write penetrating critical reviews. The fourth and fifth points of the programme presented by Jędruszczak concerned publication of informative materials, bibliographic reviews and the like.

Jędruszczak’s declaration meant that his concept drew on the periodical’s traditional critical and informative role only formally, in the quarterly’s internal structure, for his preferences were different. What was the most important in his opinion were not the critical tasks of the journal but the publishing of innovatory texts and discussions, including the field of methodology, evaluations and interpretations. This meant that the traditional critical-informative tasks were pushed to the background; this must have been a concession to those historians who kept demanding that the periodical should set new directions for the development of historiography and not rest content with being only a critical commentator and reviewer of this development. It can be assumed that this opposition had deeper roots, connected with the outlook on life, that it reflected a difference which could not always be revealed during that period, the difference between innovative historical trends which usually referred to the experiences of the “Annales school” and to social history, and positivistic academicism linked to the concept of evolutional modernization through a critical accumulation of knowledge.

Tadeusz Jędruszczak led “Kwartalnik Historyczny” in the late seventies and early eighties and gave up the post as a result of a sudden illness. In 1985 Jerzy Michalski, a historian specializing in early modern history, became first acting editor and later editor of the periodical. Monika Senkowska-Gluck became deputy editor, and Andrzej Skrzypek and Jacek Banaszkiewicz were executive secretaries. In 1989 J. Banaszkiewicz and A. Skrzypek were appointed deputy editors, and Marcin Kamler became executive secretary. In 1993 Jan Molenda replaced A. Skrzypek and in the following year the entire team, with the exception of the editor, was changed; Roman Michałowski and Romuald Wojna were appointed deputy editors, and Wojciech Kriegseisen became executive secretary. In 1998 W. Kriegseisen became deputy editor and the post of executive secretary was taken over by Magdalena Hułas. In the years that followed R. Michałowski was replaced by Marian Dygo, and M. Hułas by Leszek Jarmiński.

During Jerzy Michalski’s editorship the “Kwartalnik Historyczny” became an organ of all historians; this was reflected in the fact that historians outside the Institute of History were appointed members of the editorial board. In the changed political conditions the periodical returned to the original conception, this being reflected above all in concern for the level of scholarly criticism. After my appointment as editor in 1999, changes were made in the structure of the journal; the section “Chronicle” was abandoned, for in the last few years, in view of the great number of conferences of various kinds and differing significance, it had been producing incomplete information, creating a false picture of the historical milieu’s scientific life. New publishing instructions have been worked out and information on the periodical’s content has been made accessible in internet and is supplemented without delay. The periodical is at present edited by a team composed of: Iwona Dacka - executive secretary, M. Dygo - deputy editor, Maciej Janowski - deputy editor, (he replaced Tomasz Kizwalter in 2003), W. Kriegseisen - editor, and R. Wojna - deputy editor. For the last few years each yearbook has had ca 1200 pages; the periodical is published in l,000 copies.


The Editors of “Kwartalnik Historyczny”

1. Ksawery Liske (1838-1891), professor at Lwów University, editor from 1887 to 1890.

2. Oswald Marian Balzer (1858-1933), professor and rector of Lwów University, editor from 1891 to 1894.

3. Aleksander Semkowicz (1850-1923), professor at Lwów University, director of the Lwów University Library, editor in 1895-1897, 1899-1904, 1906-1914, 1920-1922.

4. Józef Korzeniowski (1863-1921), director of libraries in Lwów, Cracow and Paris, editor in 1898.

5. Fryderyk Papée (1856-1940), professor at Jagiellonian University, director of the Jagiellonian Library, editor in 1904-1905.

6. Stanisław Zakrzewski (1873-1936), professor at the Jagiellonian and Lwów universities, editor in 1915-1917, 1931.

7. Ludwik Finkel (1858-1930), professor and rector of Lwów University, editor in 1918-1919.

8. Emil Kipa (1886-1958), professor at Warsaw University, editor in 1918.

9. Teofil Emil Modelski (1881-1967), professor at the Stephen Batory University in Wilno and the John Casimir University in Lwów, editor in 1918-1919, 1931-1937.

10. Jan Ptaśnik (1876-1930), professor at the John Casimir University in Lwów, editor in 1923-1929.

11. Franciszek Bujak (1875-1953), professor at the Jagiellonian University, Warsaw University and the John Casimir University in Lwów, editor in 1930-1931.

12. Kazimierz Tyszkowski (1894-1940), curator of the Library of the Ossoliński National Institute in Lwów, editor in 1937-1940.

13. Roman Grodecki (1889-1964), professor at the Jagiellonian University, editor in 1945-1947.

14. Kazimierz Lepszy (1904-1964), professor and rector of the Jagiellonian University, editor in 1945-1946.

15. Jan Konstanty Dąbrowski (1890-1965), professor at the Jagiellonian University, editor in 1946.

16. Henryk Mościcki (1881-1952), professor at Warsaw and Jagiellonian universities, editor in 1948.

17. Kazimierz Piwarski (1903-1968), professor at the Jagiellonian University and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, editor in 1949.

18. Stanisław Arnold (1895-1973), professor at Warsaw University, editor in 1950-1952.

19. Bogusław Leśnodorski (1914-1985), professor at Warsaw University and at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, editor in 1953-1974.

20. Tadeusz Jędruszczak (1924-1993), professor at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, editor in 1975-1985.

21. Jerzy Michalski, professor at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, editor in 1985-1999.

22. Wojciech Kriegseisen, assistant professor at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, professor at Warsaw University, editor since 2000.

(transl. by Janina Dorosz)



1 T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium (Polish Historical Society in 1886-1986. Calendar), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986. Zbiór studiów i materiałów, ed. by Stefan K. Kuczyński, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1990, p. 311.

2 K. Śreniowska, Uwagi o nauce historycznej polskiej w latach 1887-1900 w świetle Kwartalnika Historycznego” (Remarks on Polish Historical Science in 1887-1900 in the Light of Kwartalnik Historyczny”), in: Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, ser. I, No. 15, Łódź 1960, pp. 153-163.

3 See the history of Kwartalnik Historyczny” in 1918-1939 in Tadeusz Kondracki’s unpublished doctoral thesis “Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1918-1939”, Warszawa 1988, chapt. 3, pp. 244-272, Biblioteka IH PAN, Warsaw, and a general study by J. Maternicki, Miejsce i rola “Kwartalnika Historycznego” w dziejach historiografii polskiej (The Place and Role of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” in the History of Polish Historiography), in: idem, Historia jako dialog. Studia i szkice historiograficzne, Rzeszów 1996, pp. 273-290.

4 H. Więckowska, Zarys czasopiśmiennictwa naukowego w Polsce (An Outline of the Scientific Periodical Press in Poland), in: Studia i materiały z Dziejów Nauki Polskiej, ser. E, No. 2, 1966, pp. 87-110; J. Myśliński, Czasopiśmiennictwo naukowe w Galicji w dobie autonomicznej (Scientific Periodical Press in Galicia during the Autonomous Era), Rocznik Historii Czasopiśmiennictwa Polskiego” VIII, 1969, 4, pp. 477-500; J. Jarowiecki, Typologia i statystyka prasy lwowskiej w latach 1864-1939 (Types and Statistics of Lwów Press in 1864-1939), in: Kraków-Lwów, książki, czasopisma, biblioteki XIX i XX wieku, vol. IV, ed. by Jerzy Jarowiecki, Kraków 1999, pp. 209-235, Prace Monograficzne WSP im. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej, No. 258; G. Wrona, Lwowskie czasopisma naukowe w latach 1918-1939 (Lwów’s Scientific Periodicals in 1918-1939), in: ibidem, pp. 236-252; F. Hadler, Századok - Kwartalnik Historyczny - Česky časopis historicky. Drei Konstanten ostmitteleuropäischer Historiographiegeschichte, in: Historische Zeitschriften im internationalen Vergleich, hrsg. von Mattias Middell, Leipzig 1999, Geschichtswissenschaft und Geschichtskultur im 20. Jahrhundert, hrsg. von Gerald Diesener et al., Bd. 2, pp. 145-159.

5 F. Hadler, op. cit., pp. 146-147.

6 A. Toczek, Związki historyków lwowskich z prasą, 1860-1918 (Lwów Historians’ Links with the Press, 1860-1918), “Rocznik Historii Prasy Polskiej ” IV, 2001, 1(7), pp. 5-28.

7 J. Maternicki, op. cit., p. 277.

8 H. Seier, Heinrich von Sybel, in: Deutsche Historiker, hrsg. von Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Göttingen 1971, vol. 2, pp. 24-38.

9 A. Knot, Liske Franciszek Ksawery, PSB XVII, 1972, pp. 462-465.

10 H. Olszewski, Dzieje Polski XVI-XVIII w. w ocenie reprezentantów historiograficznej szkoły pruskiej (The Evaluation of Poland’s 16th-18th Century History by Representatives of the Prussian Historiographic School), in: Strefa bałtycka w XVI-XVIII w. Polityka-Społeczeństwo -Gospodarka, ed. by Jerzy Trzoska, Gdańsk 1993, pp. 71-82.

11 A. Knot, op. cit.; T. Kondracki, Ksawery Liske i początki Polskiego Towarzystwa Historycznego (Ksawery Liske and the Beginning of the Polish Historical Society), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986. Zbiór studiów i materiałów, ed. by Stefan K. Kuczyński, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1990, p. 79.

12 Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1956. Księga pamiątkowa z okazji Zjazdu Jubileuszowego PTH w Warszawie 19-21 X 1956 (Polish Historical Society. Commemorative Book published in connection with the PTH Anniversary Congress in Warsaw, 19-21, 10. 1956), ed. by Stanisław Herbst, Irena Pietrzak-Pawłowska and Juliusz Łukasiewicz, Warszawa 1958, p. 273.

13 T. Kondracki, Informacja o materiałach do historii PTH w zbiorach archiwalnych i bibliotecznych Lwowa (Information on Materials concerning the history of the PTH in Lwów’s Archives and Libraries), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 91, 1984, 3, pp. 539-541.

14 T. E. Modelski, Towarzystwo Historyczne 1914-1924 (Historical Society 1914-1924), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 51, 1937, pp. 41-88.

15 A. Knot. op. cit.

16 A. Galos, Powstanie i rozwój Towarzystwa Historycznego i jego organu naukowego (The Foundation and Development of the Historical Society and Its Scientific Organ), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986, pp. 85-95.

17 Ibidem, p. 86.

18 F. Papée, Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1900 (Historical Society 1886-1900), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 51, 1937, pp. 1-18.

19 H. Samsonowicz, Wokół idei i koncepcji Polskiego Towarzystwa Historycznego (The Ideas and Concepts of the Polish Historical Society), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986, pp. 9-21.

20 T. Kondracki, Ksawery Liske i początki Polskiego Towarzystwa Historycznego, pp. 80-83.

21 F. Bujak, Preface in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 51, 1937, p. 1.

22 T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium, p. 298.

23 Obituary and a description of the funeral “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 5, 1981, 2, supplement, pp. I-XV.

24 M. Francič, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w Krakowie w latach 1913-1939 (Polish Historical Society in Cracow in 1913-1939, in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986, p. 99.

25 E. Barwiński, Towarzystwo Historyczne 1901-1914 (Historical Society 1901-1914), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 51, 1937, pp. 19-40; T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986; Kalendarium, p. 300.

26 E. Barwiński, op. cit.; T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium, p. 300.

27 K. Śreniowska, op. cit., p. 155.

28 J. Maternicki, op. cit., p. 278.

29 For the censorship of periodicals in Warsaw at that time see K. Duszenko, Warszawscy pozytywiści i carska cenzura (Warsaw Positivists and Tsarist Censorship), “Kwartalnik Historii Prasy Polskiej” XVIII, 1979, 3, pp. 5-11.

30 N., Prof. Kariejew i jego poglądy na “upadek Polski” (Prof. Karieyev and His Views on “the Fall of Poland”), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 3, 1889, pp. 689-702.

31 N. I. Kariejew, Upadek Polski w literaturze historycznej (The Fall of Poland in Historical Literature), Kraków 1891.

32 P. Biliński, Władysław Konopczyński historyk i polityk II Rzeczypospolitej, 1880-1952 (Władysław Konopczyński, a Historian and Politician in the Second Republic, 1880-1952), Warszawa 1999, p. 38.

33 M. Francič, op. cit., p. 108.

34 T. E. Modelski, op. cit., p. 41 ff.

35 “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 28, 1914, 3-4, p. 604.

36 Ibidem.

37 Kwartalnik Historyczny” 29, 1915, 1-4, p. 480.

38 Ibidem; T. E. Modelski, Ze wspomnień i zapisek redaktora (Recollections and Notes of an Editor),Kwartalnik Historyczny” 70, 1963, 3, pp. 599-606.

39 T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium, p. 303.

40 T. E. Modelski, Ze wspomnień, p. 600.

41 Idem, Towarzystwo Historyczne 1914-1924, p. 55.

42 Earlier, at the Society’s meeting in Lwów on 22. 12. 1917, Zakrzewski “expressed a few remarks on Antoni Chołoniewski’s pamphlet “The Spirit of Poland’s History”, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 31, 1917, 3-4, p. 567; see A. Wierzbicki, Wokół Ducha dziejów Polski. Spory o ocenę dziejów narodowych w historiografii polskiej 1917-1919 (Around the Spirit of Poland’s History. Disputes over the Assessment of National History in Polish Historiography 1917-1919), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 78, 1971, 4, pp. 840-856.

43 See Kazimierz Tyszkowski’s obituary, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 53, 1939-1945, pp. 611-619.

44 T. E. Modelski, Towarzystwo Historyczne 1914-1924, p. 79.

45 Ibidem, p. 80 ff.

46 T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium, p. 306.

47 “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 43, 1929, pp. 145-146.

48 [K. Tyszkowski], Wydawnictwa (Publications), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1925-1936, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 51, 1937, pp. 125-130.

49 T. Kondracki, “Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1918-1939”, pp. 247-248.

50 S. Inglot, Wspomnienia o lwowskich historykach i Oddziale PTH we Lwowie (My Reminiscences of Lwów Historians and the PTH Branch in Lwów), in: Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1986, pp. 213-219.

51 T. E. Modelski, Ze wspomnień, pp. 601-606.

52 S. Kętrzyński, Memoriał w sprawie “Kwartalnika Historycznego” (Memorial concerning “Kwartalnik Historyczny”), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 70, 1963, 3, pp. 607-621.

53 T. Kondracki, “Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1918-1939”, pp. 258-263; Obituary, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 53, 1939-1945, pp. 611-619.

54 Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1956, p. 17.

55 W. Konopczyński, “Dziennik” (Diary), vol.151, note of 21. 4. 1945, manuscript kept by the family.

56 Ibidem, vol.151, note of 25. 5. 1945 and vol.152 note of 30. 6. 1945.

57 T. Kondracki, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne w latach 1886-1986. Kalendarium, p. 313.

58 W. Konopczyński, “Dziennik”, vol.153, note of 22. 6. 1946.

59 Ibidem, vol.154, note of 21. 9. 1946.

60 “Kwartalnik Historyczny” LIII, 1939-1945, 2, pp. 398-404.

61 Ibidem, pp. 398-399.

62 P. Hübner, Przebudowa nauk historycznych w Polsce, 1947-1953 (Transformation of Historical Sciences in Poland, 1947-1953), “Przegląd Historyczny” 78, 1987, 3, p. 459.

63 P. Biliński, op. cit., pp. 50-51.

64 W. Konopczyński, “Dziennik”, vol.155, notes of 12-14. 4. and 11-12. 5. 1947.

65 Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne 1886-1956, pp. 19-26.

66 W. Konopczyński, “Dziennik”, vol.156, notes of 17. 8. and 10. 10. 1947; „Kronika Naukowa”, Kwartalnik Historyczny” LV, 1948, p. 245.

67 W. Konopczyński, Dziennik”, vol.156, note of 10. 10. 1947.

68 Ibidem, vol.158, note of 30. 6. 1948; perhaps because of the existence of this Committee Piotr Hübner wrote, op. cit., p. 468, that during the time of K. Piwarski the periodical was edited by a numerous team.

69 P. Hübner, op. cit., p. 469.

70 The statute of this association, worked out by J. Bardach and registered in March 1950, provided that the Central Board would consist of representatives of the editorial boards of “Kwartalnik Historyczny” and “Przegląd Historyczny” which probably were to become organs of the Association of Marxist Historians, ibidem, p. 458.

71 The value of this report is best illustrated by the following sentence: “An ordinary Soviet MA thesis is on the level of our good doctoral thesis”, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 58, 1950/51, 1-2, p. 76.

72 J. Blot, Rewizjonizm historyczny albo szkoła Annales” (Historical Revisionism or the Annales School), translated by Emil Wojnarowski, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 59, 1952, pp. 92-103.

73 See the statement made by S. Arnold during the discussion at an open meeting held by the Scientific Council of the Institute of History on 25/26 June 1956, when he confirmed that the historians’ milieu distrusted the quarterly which he had edited since 1950, “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 63, 1956, 6, p. 85.

74 M. Małowist, Kilka uwag do artykułu Piotra Hübnera (Some Remarks on Piotr Hübner’s Article), Przegląd Historyczny” 78, 1987, 3, pp. 486-487.

75 P. Hübner, op. cit., p. 477.

76 In 1947 J. Żurawicka helped Ż. Kormanowa organize the ideological courses which the Ministry of Education wanted to be set up for “progressive historians”, P. Hübner, op. cit., p. 452.

77 W. Konopczyński, “Dziennik”, many notes from 1947 and 1948.

78 W. Kula, W sprawie naszej polityki naukowej (With Reference to Our Scientific Policy), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 63, 1956, 3, pp. 151-166.

79 M. Małowist, Kilka uwag, pp. 483-491.

80 O dalszy rozwój Kwartalnika Historycznego” (For a Further Development of “Kwartalnik Historyczny”), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 64, 1957, 2, pp. 215-218.

81 Kwartalnik Historyczny” 65, 1958, 4, pp. 1305-1307.

82 “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 67, 1960, 3, pp. 864-867.

83 Kwartalnik Historyczny” 68, 1961, 4, pp. 1111-1113.

84 B. Leśnodorski, Nasze pragnienia - nasze troski (Our Wishes - Our Worries), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 70, 1963, 3, pp. 637-643.

85 T. Łepkowski, Nowa seria Kwartalnika Historycznego”, 1953-1962, w świetle liczb (The New Series of Kwartalnik Historyczny”, 1953-1962, in the Light of Figures), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 70, 1963, 3, pp. 623-636.

86 T. Jędruszczak, Kwartalnik Historyczny” - problemy aktualne i zamierzenia (Kwartalnik Historyczny” - Current Problems and Plans), “Kwartalnik Historyczny” 84, 1977, 2, pp. 391-396.