Join Chicago Public Library as we celebrate Chicago's rich Polish American immigrant history.
Polish American History
The contributions of Polish immigrants and Polish Americans have left an enduring legacy that continues to shape the United States to this day. Today, nearly 9 million Americans claim Polish ancestry. The first wave of Polish immigrants arrived in the late 1800s, seeking escape from economic hardship and political turmoil in their homeland, with other waves following throughout the 1900s.
Their resilience, dedication and diverse talents have enriched American society in numerous ways, from the economy to politics, culture and beyond. These traditional Polish customs, cuisine and festivals have become an integral part of the American cultural tapestry. This is especially true here in the Chicagoland area, where the establishment of Polish American organizations, places of faith and community centers helped preserve and celebrate Polish identity while fostering a sense of belonging for immigrants in their new homeland.
This year, in recognition of the significant role that Poland and Polish Americans have had in the U.S., CPL is partnering with the Polish Museum of America, one of the oldest and largest ethnic museums in America. PMA is conducting a series of guided museum tours specially developed just for CPL patrons to explore the rich history of Polish contributions to the growth of America as well as the Polonia community within Chicago.
Check out the tour dates below as well as all Polish American Heritage events at CPL.
Polish Museum of America Guided Tours
Authors, Books and History
Wycinanki Polish Craft Workshops
Polish American Artist Exhibits
Brainerd Branch, October 2 - November 2
Archer Heights Branch, October 1 - 31