What is PAHA

The Polish American Historical Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt, interdisciplinary organization devoted to the study of Polish American history and culture. Founded in 1942 as part of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, PAHA became an autonomous scholarly society in 1948. As an affiliate of the American Historical Association, PAHA promotes research and dissemination of scholarly materials focused on Polish American history and culture.

PAHA is recognized as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization (EIN 362729972) and is headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut, with a membership of scholars and individuals interested in Polish immigrant history from around the world. One of PAHA's main functions is to maintain liaison with scholars throughout the world and promote research. The organization also encourages and assists local Polish American programs.

PAHA'S MISSION STATEMENT identifies the following goals:

  • To promote the study of Polish American history and culture as part of the greater Polish diaspora.
  • To encourage and disseminate scholarly research and publication on the Polish American experience in the fields of history, the social sciences, the humanities and the arts, and advance scholarly collaboration across disciplines
  • To support collection and preservation of historical sources regarding the Polish past in America


PAHA's scholarly journal, Polish American Studies, edited by Prof. James Pula to December 2014 and Prof. Anna Jaroszynska-Kirchmann since January 2015, appears twice per year. The organization publishes a semi-annual PAHA Newsletter, available in print and online, as well as a monthly blog, PAHAnews.blogspot.com, with current news and brief articles pertaining to the history of Polish immigrants in America (edited by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk). PAHA also supports the publication of books on Polish and Polish American subjects by the Ohio University Press and has sponsored its most substantial publication, the Polish American Encyclopedia, edited by Prof. James Pula and published in 2011 by McFarland to a great critical acclaim.


PAHA sponsors an annual conference, in conjunction with the American Historical Association, which serves as a forum for research in the field of ethnic studies. The 71st Annual Meeting took place in Washington, D.C., in January 2014 and the 72nd Meeting in January 2015 in New York. The list of earlier Annual Meetings is posted on PAHA Website.


Each year at its Annual Meeting, PAHA bestows a series of awards honoring individuals and organizations for their contributions to the Polish American cultural, artistic, and social life. The Oskar Halecki Prize honors books, the Miecislaus Haiman Award - distinguished scholars, the Amicus Poloniae - individuals not of Polish descent dedicated to the cause of Polonia, the Swastek Prize - articles, and the Skalny Civic Achievement Awards - contributions to Polonia's community. PAHA also bestows Creative Arts Awards, Distinguished Service Awards, and Graduate Student Awards, as well as - occasionally - Honorary Memberships.

    • The annual Swastek Prize for the best article appearing in Polish American Studies.

    • The annual Amicus Poloniae Award for an individual not of Polish descent who is dedicated to studying Polish and/or Polish American culture and/or aiding the Polish American community.