European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk

Author(s): Dannie Snyder (2018) – last update: 2018-06-25.


The European Solidarity Centre (ECS) in Gdańsk holds archives on the Solidarność / Solidarity trade union and the general opposition movement against communism in Poland from 1970-1989.

The archive stores and protects both national and foreign documents, posters and leaflets, press and books of the second circulation, stamps and greeting cards, independent art, photographs and film recordings, as well as collectable souvenirs.

The ECS’s collection includes a door from the Shipyard hospital showcasing bullet holes from December 1970, the sweater Lech Wałęsa wore when he signed the August Agreements, the forklift that served as a rostrum during the strike, two police trucks, postmarks from the internment of political prisoners and much more.

There collection is presented in both permanent and temporary exhibitions, open to all guests on a daily basis, especially to people interested in the history of Solidarity but also hobbyists, scientists, students, etc.


Phone: tel. 58 772 41 34

Office hours: Monday – Wednesday 8–16, Thursday 10-18, Friday 8-16


How to plan and to prepare a visit

Written request must be made for access to archival materials. Upon doing so, detailed rules for using the reading room and general regulations are provided.


As mentioned, the registration process will be revealed in detail after you have emailed the archives with a formal request.

Reading Rooms

The Reading Room of the European Solidarity Center Archive is located on the second floor of the building, next to the D hall of the permanent exhibition. The reading room is equipped with fifteen desks, three of which have computers to provide access to the digital collection of the European Solidarity Center.

In the back room, there are storage areas where the collections of the Archive of the European Solidarity Center are stored.

Archive databases & Online finding aids

Check out their online collection here.

To learn more about the National Commission of Solidarity Trade Union, click here.

Practical advice

Make sure to plan a day to attend the impressive permanent exhibits!

Citation Suggestion

Snyder, Dannie: European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, in: ESE Archives Guide: A Web Guide to East and Southeast European Archives, 2018 (2018-06-25),

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