Object structure


Dziennik intymny jako źródło historyczne


Polska 1944/45-1989 : studia i materiały 11 (2013)


Kirchner, Hanna (1930- )


Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences


Instytut Historii PAN

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p. 119-129 ; Eng. summary

Subject and Keywords:

Nalkowska, Zofia (1884-1954) - private diaries ; private diaries - history and criticism ; literature and history - Poland ; history in the literature ; diaries - Poland - 19th c., 20th c.


The author argues that even an intimate diary, the most subjective type of this genre, can be a valuable source for historical research. Personality is a creation of culture and is influenced by both social process and historical events. An intimate diary is a record of experienced emotions and thoughts, but even when it is far from historical chronicle and lacks the facts of collective life, it contains evidence about specific moments in history and their cultural formations.As an example may serve an intimate diary of Polish writer Zofia Nałkowska, written between 1899 and 1954. The diary encompassed four stages of the history of Poland, with their social and cultural changes.The diarist herself in her youthful diary considered to ‘close her whole life’ in private, confidential notes. And so Nałkowska’s diary, although an asylum of secret meanings, contains the whole richness of social biography of the outstanding writer. A special evidence of that is the description of difficulties with the publication of the diary in the Polish Peoples’ Republic and with censorship interferences. The author of the present article has prepared a critical edition of The Diaries, so she is able to present examples of such interferences into Nałkowska’s text.A separate problem is the question of omitting in the publication of Nałkowska’s negative opinions about living people, which entailed interventions of these people or their relatives. Dramatic forms of protest of Bogusław Kuczyński, Nałkowska’s former partner, have inscribed into a political context of the publication.The wealth of references in Nałkowska’s intimate diary to the history and culture of the time span indicated by her fully supports the thesis put forward in the title of the article.


Polska 1944/45-1989 : studia i materiały



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Resource Type:

Article : original article



Resource Identifier:



IH PAN, sygn. B.155/11 Podr. ; IH PAN, sygn. B.156/11 ; click here to follow the link



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Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license

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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY-ND 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY-ND 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of History PAS

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