Territorial structure of the Latin Church in the Republic of Poland on the eve of World War II


The main goal of the project is to prepare a database and a web application concerning the territorial divisions of the Latin Church on the territory of the Republic of Poland before World War II (ca. 1938). The research is geographical and historical in nature, consisting in the identification and characterization of parish churches (location, type of churches, invocation/title, type of building material), as well as the reconstruction of deanery and diocesan boundaries. They will be based on an in-depth source analysis of elements enabling the identification of religious buildings, i.e. the typology of churches (parish churches, rectoral churches, monastic churches, filial churches, chapels, oratories, etc.), their administrative affiliation (boundaries), titles and building material.

The project's primary source base consists of diocesan schematisms and old maps. The project involves an inventory count of all mentions of churches in the 1938 diocesan schematisms (21 dioceses) and additionally in one, the most complete, schematism for each diocese from the years 1935-1939. The @INDXR IHPAN application is used in the documentation and annotation process, which allows linking a fragment of a raster image (scan) with a record in the relational database. The descriptions (source database) refer to all temples mentioned in diocesan schematisms - about 10,500 records for parish churches and about 25,000 records for temples of other categories. 

Schematism of the Diocese of Przemysl from 1937 in the @INDXR IHPAN application

The scheme of the description of churches, apart from the right of patronage, is consistent with the data structure contained in the work of S. Litak for 1772 (Atlas of the Latin Church in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Eighteenth Century, Lublin 2006) and the application prepared on this basis available on the Institute's website (http://atlas.kul.pl/katolicy_ron_1772). Spatial identification and boundary drawing will be done with the help of maps from the pre-World War II period (mainly from the Military Geographical Institute). The use of databases and GIS technology will enable the harmonization of spatial and attribute information, source resources and the result of source criticism. The set of information prepared as part of the project will constitute an important part of the Institute's data resources, which will be used for further research. By making the results of the study available in the form of applications and files to be downloaded in various formats (csv, geojson, shp), these data will also serve other researchers (historians, genealogists, art historians, editors of historical sources, etc.). In the methodological dimension, solutions will be prepared to collect and integrate data on territorial divisions of the Latin Church with external repositories.

Project team: Bogumił Szady, Ph.D. Hab. – leader, Edyta Chomentowska, Ph.D., Robert Kozyrski, Ph.D. Hab., Joanna Kumor-Mielnik, Ph.D., Sławomir Mielnik, Ph.D., Agata Mirek, Ph.D. Hab., Aleksandra Wołyniak, B.Sc.