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Conference of Polish Museums, Archives and Libraries in Montresor

We participated in the thirty first session of the Standing Conference of Polish Museums, Archives and Libraries in the West. It took place on September 10 - 13 in  the Montresor Castle, a Polish property in a town of the same name in the valley of river Indrois in France. Zamek w Montresor The castle, dating to XI century was bought in 1849 by the Branicki family - mother Róża nee Potocka and her son Xavery, and remains in the hands of their descendants ever since. The castle is now a museum with a fine collection of paintings, a library and archive. Hospitable family who owns the castle and part of the town, welcomed us warmly. The sessions lasted almost three days and there was a great deal of exchange of information between participating Polish organizations. The first day, Friday, was devoted to reports on the organizational activities of the institutions, the second  day was a session on Polish immigrants and their cultural and political influence. We stayed at  the neighboring town of Loches, with another old castle and a tower.

During the short breaks between sessions we visited the town and the Montresor Castle, which hosted most of the conference (except for one session) and the official dinner. In addition to members of the thirteen polish museums, archives and libraries abroad, invited guests included representatives of the Polish Ministry of Culture, National Archives, National Library and other organizations. The Polish ambassador to France, Tomasz Orłowski, addressed the conference.

We made two presentations: Iwona Korga spoke about the first Polish ambassadors in the US, and Marek Zielinski spoke about digitization of archival resources. Both were received with interest; it turned out, that the portrait of the mother of count Kazimierz Lubomirski, first Polish ambassador to the US, hangs in the castle; we also found that a number of other organizations perform or consider digitization, and we had a number of useful conversations. The next, thirty second session of the conference will take place in Warsaw in the fall 2010.

We would like to thank the Rey and Potocki families and the organizing committee for a warm welcome and a successful conference. We invite you to browse photos from this conference.