THE ATTEMPT BY 'POLSKIE TOWARZYSTWO KRAJOZNAWCZE' (POLISH TOURIST SOCIETY) (1906-1950) TO DRAFT A GEOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF THE LANDS OF POLAND AND OF COUNTRIES HISTORICALLY LINKED WITH POLAND
The author has analysed the work of members of the Polish Tourist Society (Polskie Towarzystwo Krajoznawcze, PTK) conducted in the 1930s on devising 'A geographical dictionary of the lands of Poland and of countries historically linked with Poland', with the aim of assessing the contributions by particular authors and gaining knowledge of the said dictionary. Because the relevant sources have not been preserved in an adequate degree, the analysis focuses on reports in the key periodicals published by PTK: 'Ziemia' (The Earth), 'Przegląd Krajoznawczy' (Tourist Review), 'Sprawozdania Polskiego Towarzystwa Krajoznawczego' (Reports of PTK) and 'Orli Lot' (Flight of the Eagle), as well as the preserved fascicules of the volume of the dictionary. The study has made it possible to ascertain the following facts: members of the PTK undertook an enormous effort, working both in libraries and, above all, in the field; they managed to enlist the cooperation of eminent scholars; enough material was collected and prepared for two volumes of the dictionary, but only an incomplete first volume was published (events of September 1939 -outbreak of WW II - caused work on the dictionary to be discontinued); as for the methodology, the entries were standardized according to a division between specific entries, more elaborate general entries (e.g. architecture, economy, etc.) and dictionary entries proper, relating to particular localities.The initiative to devise the dictionary as well as the effort that went into drafting it constituted a major research and editorial effort. The editorial board, which was headed by Stanislaw Arnold, and whose role was to supervise the work of many field researchers and systematize the materials that were sent in, managed to publish an incomplete first volume of the dictionary. The project exhibited a very high level of scholarship, thanks to the cooperation of major specialists in the research and editorial work on the dictionary. It is to be regretted that work on the dictionary was discontinued and not resumed after the end of WW II. This, however, was impossible because of the changed political circumstances in Poland after the war.
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