The Polish American Historical Association is among the sponsors of The Polish American Encyclopedia edited by James S. Pula and published by McFarland & Company, Inc. in 2011.

The August 2011 issue of Choice, the journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries, commented that: "The publication of this work is a landmark in reference and ethnic studies and represents an impressive effort on the part of its creators to include significant amounts of regional and ethnic history and culture in an affordable volume." Its recommendation to its members was a single word: "Essential." Further, the American Library Association named it to its list of "most outstanding reference works" published in 2011.

Named to the list of the 2012 Outstanding Reference Sources

This annual award is offered by the Reference and User Services Association, or RUSA. The Outstanding Reference Sources award recommends and celebrates the most outstanding reference publications for small and medium-sized public and academic libraries.

About the Book

At least nine million Americans trace their roots to Poland, and Polish Americans have contributed greatly to American history and society. During the largest period of immigration to the United States, between 1870 and 1920, more Poles came to the United States than any other national group except Italians. Additional large-scale Polish migration occurred in the wake of World War II and during the period of Solidarity's rise to prominence.

This encyclopedia features three types of entries: thematic essays, topical entries, and biographical profiles. The essays synthesize existing work to provide interpretations of, and insight into, important aspects of the Polish American experience. The topical entries discuss in detail specific places, events or organizations such as the Polish National Alliance, Polish American Saturday Schools, and the Latimer Massacre, among others. The biographical entries identify Polish Americans who have made significant contributions at the regional or national level either to the history and culture of the United States, or to the development of American Polonia.

The Polish American Encyclopedia is a collaborative effort of 128 scholars:

  • Designed as a basic research tool for students, researchers and the general public
  • Includes 1,200 entries richly illustrated by more than 350 photographs
  • Brings together in a single volume, thematic essays detailing Polish American participation in organized labor, education, ethnic organizational life, politics, religious life
  • Explains important subjects such as the histories of various Polonia organizations, Polish National Alliance, Polish American Saturday Schools, the Lattimer Massacre, the Polish Army in France, the Polish American Journal
  • Features cultural elements such as wigilia, the polka, and ethnic foods
  • Enhanced with biographies of prominent Polish Americans who made significant contributions to the development of American life and culture or the Polish American ethnic community
  • Nearly all entries include one or more references for readers seeking additional information

Click Here for more information about purchasing The Polish American Encyclopedia.

Selected Reviews

  • "long awaited...this work is a landmark in reference and ethnic studies...impressive. If a public or an academic library needs only one reference work on Polish Americans, this is the resource. Essential"--Choice
  • "bold-faced cross-references in each entry...readers will find the frequency of illustrative photographs helpful...vital to understanding the intricacies of historical and contemporary Polonia"--Library Journal
  • "with the appearance of this splendid reference work... readers have available to them, for the first time, a scholarly and comprehensive encyclopedia devoted to Polish American history and culture. It is so successful and valuable that one wonders how the field could have done without something like it until now... impressive...excellent...it will stand as an essential resource in the field for years to come"--The Polish Review
  • "a useful compendium of information"--C&RL News;
  • "this is the first comprehensive reference source on Polish Immigrants' contributions to American history...it provides welcome insights into long-neglected aspects of Polish life in America...highly recommended"--ARBA
  • "as one of the best general references devoted to the biographies and contributions of Polish Americans...admirably fulfils its aim to fill the gap...excellent...The range of topics covered in this single-volume reference work is impressive"--Reference Reviews
  • "impressive...recommended"--Catholic Library World