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Wartime Documents Donated to Polish Archives by Library and Archives Canada

Ottawa - January 31, 2005 - At a special commemorative ceremony held in Ottawa today, Library and Archives Canada formally handed over microfilmed documents of historical significance from the Tadeusz Romer collection to the National Archives of Poland.

In attendance at the ceremony were Mr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, His Excellency Piotr Ogrodzinski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Canada, members of the Romer family, as well as representatives of Ottawa and Montréal's Polish community.

"I wish to express warm appreciation to Library and Archives Canada, thanks to whom the holdings of the Polish state archives will soon be enriched with microfilms of valuable archival materials," stated His Excellency Piotr Ogrodzinski on behalf of Daria Nalecz, National Archivist of Poland.

Tadeusz Romer was Poland's Ambassador to Japan from 1937 to 1941 and also Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1942-1943. He also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Polish Government-in-Exile in London, England. In 1948 he immigrated to Canada, where he joined the staff at McGill University.

The Tadeusz Romer fonds was acquired by Library and Archives Canada in 1975 with additional archival material donated in 1979 after Mr. Romer's death. Library and Archives Canada subsequently microfilmed copies of the documents for the Romer family and other institutions. The microfilms contain the historical documents compiled by Tadeusz Romer during one of the most eventful diplomatic periods of the 20th century.

"The documents in the Tadeusz Romer fonds reflect the long and interesting career of a distinguished diplomat, university professor and community leader," said Mr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "With his archival fonds at Library and Archives Canada and now at the National Archives in Poland, future generations in Canada and Poland will know the role that Mr. Romer and many others played in Poland's recent history."

Guests at today's ceremony also had the opportunity to view an exhibit displaying some documents from the Romer collection, including a Polish refugee's letter, which was smuggled into the Polish Embassy in Moscow inside a hat; a photograph of a Polish Embassy dinner in Japan in 1937; and a report on a meeting with Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov.

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Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada

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