THE POLISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, LIBRARY AND RESEARCH CENTER IN ROME is one of seven research centers established abroad by the Polish Academy of Sciences. It was founded in 1927, when according to the agreement between the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU) in Cracow and the Metropolitan Archbishop of that same city, twelve rooms were rented at the Hospice near the Church of St. Stanislaus on Via delle Botteghe Oscure, which served as the base for the foundation of the research center PAU in Rome.However, the idea to create a Polish Center of Sciences in Rome dates back to the papacy of Leo XIII, after he announced his intention to allow access to the Vatican Secret Archives in 1881. Consequently, researchers from across the world, also from Poland, started to arrive in Rome searching for literary sources of their nation’s history.
In 1886, the first Expeditio Romana, headed by professor Stanisław Smolka, departed for Rome from Cracow. Two years later, a project was conceived to establish a “Polish Research Center” in Rome.T In 1912, the idea was undertaken by count Józef Michałowski, a Polish historian and lawyer living in Rome, who donated his precious collection to PAU. His donation to the Academy, which consisted in several thousands of volumes, was officially made in 1921, and deposited in the rented rooms of the Hospice.
For years, Józef Michałowski scrupulously tended to the Polish Library in Rome, and was also director of the Research Center, which became an important place for the participants of the Expeditio Romana journeys, that resumed in 1922. In 1938, the Center moved to its present location, in Palazzo Doria Pamphilj near Piazza Venezia, where spacious rooms could adequately host the significant collection of works as well as serve as a venue for the conferences and meetings to be held.
The outbreak of World War II interrupted the activity of the Center and Count Michałowski managed, due to his personal contacts, to depose the collection of books at the Vatican Library, hence preventing its sequestration.
After the War, due to lack of money, the library was administrated temporarily by The British Interim Treasury Commission for Polish Affairs. In 1946, Poland regained the rescued collection and all property belonging to the Research Center. Because of the restrictions imposed on PAU by the new government, the Roman Center of PAU, was transferred to the newly-founded (1952) Polish Academy of Sciences.
The Roman center began to slowly regain its position after the interruption of the war, reaching its peak activity during the years 1956-1984 under the direction of Profesor Bronisław Biliński. In that period, collaboration with the Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche [the National Research Council] and the National Academy of Lincei in Rome and other numerous Italian universities and scientific institutions was initiated; collaboration which lasts to the present day.
Since 1962, the Polish Center has been a member of the International Union of Institutes of Archaeology, History and Art History in Rome (UIIASSA), which is comprised of about forty international and Italian scientific centers. Krztsztof Żaboklicki, former director of the Polish Center (1992-2005), was twice president of the International Union (1997-1999 and 1999-2001).
Under the initiative of Professor Biliński, extended texts of chosen lectures held during conferences at the Center, have been published in Italian in the series Conferenze, which reached 127 publications in 2013.
Today, the Polish Academy of Sciences, Library and Research Center in Rome continues to be a strong Polish presence in the Roman metropolis and an important point of reference for scientists and researchers visiting Italy, especially in Rome.
The activity of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Library and Research Center in Rome is defined by the Status assigned by the decision of the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which reads:

II. Object of the activity
§ 4


1. The Center contributes to the development of scientific cooperation, primarily in the fields of humanities, social studies and cultural exchange, between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Italy and to perform this task, it collaborates with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and with the Polish Institute in Rome as well as with other Polish scientific and cultural institutions operating in Italy.

2. The Center’s objective is: 
- to promote Polish scientific achievements in Italy by organizing conferences, meetings, lectures and panel      discussions as well as exhibitions and events of a scientific nature; 
- to provide assistance to Polish scientists visiting Italy and facilitate their contact with Italian scientific institutions and to Italian scientists in contact with Polish institutions and Polish scientists; 
- to publish bulletins or other scientific publications and manage the Center’s web site, used for promoting the Center’s activity.

3. The Center participates in the implementation of agreements on the cooperation between the Polish Academy of Sciences, other Polish scientific institutions and Italian scientific institutions, and gives its opinion about the projects regarding the initiation of cooperation of this kind.

4. The Center maintains contact with Italian scientists who are foreign members of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

5. The Center makes proposals and projects regarding new opportunities for the development of Polish and Italian scientific cooperation.

6. The Center provides support to Polish scholars staying in Italy as far as information and organization is concerned, in order to make their scientific activity possible.

7. The Center is in contact with international scientific organizations located in Italy, dealing particularly with the field of humanities and social studies, according to the agreements signed by the organs of the Polish Academy of Sciences and in accordance with the character and the specificity of these organizations.

8. The Center can conduct research, particularly in the field of the history and archeology of the Mediterranean region with the participation of the personnel employed who possess a diploma of adequate studies or a scientific degree.

9. The Center owns a Library entitled to Józef Michałowski, accessible to Polish and Italian scientific domains.

(The Status of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Library and Research Center, Decision n. 29 issued by the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences on June 11, 2012)

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