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COLLECTION Identifier: 93M-305

NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization) printed political ephemera


All printed material except one item. Includes membership card, Konfederacja Polski NiepodlegGlej; Gazeta Polska, no. 3; Droga, no. 7.

The periodicals seem to duplicate holdings already in Solidarity archives.


  • 1979

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Access requires permission of curator.


.04 linear feet (1 envelope)

Biographical / Historical

The NSZZ "Solidarity" is translated from Polish to English into: Independent Self-governing Free Trade Union "Solidarity." In Polish, the full name is Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność." NSZZ "Solidarność" is a trade union founded in August 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland. Subsequently, it was the first independent free trade union in a Warsaw Pact country to be recognized by the state. The union's membership peaked at 10 million in September 1981, representing one-third of the country's working-age population. Solidarity's leader, Lech Wałęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and the union is recognized as having played a central role in the end of communist rule in Poland.

In the 1980s, Solidarity was a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement, using methods of civil resistance to advance the causes of workers' rights and social change. Government attempts in the early 1980s to destroy the union through the imposition of martial law in Poland and the use of political repression failed. Operating underground, with financial support from the Vatican and the United States, the union survived and by the later 1980s had entered into negotiations with the government.

The 1989 round table talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition produced agreement for the 1989 legislative elections, the country's first pluralistic election since 1947. By the end of August, a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed and in December 1990, Wałęsa was elected President of Poland. Following Poland's transition to liberal capitalism in the 1990s and the extensive privatisation of state assets, Solidarity's membership declined significantly.



Ownership and Custodial History

Source unknown.

Processing Information

Minimal description derived from existing records and converted to online finding aid, Betts Coup, 2020.

NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization). NSZZ "Solidarność" (Labor organization) printed political ephemera, 1979 (93M-305): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
November 16, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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