Monday, February 28, 2011

PARI, Part 1, Who, What, When, Where, and Why

PARI stands for Polonica Americana Research Institute. If you're researching ancestors of Polish descent in the metro Detroit area, this is definitely a place you want to check out. If you're researching Polish ancestors from other Polish-American enclaves around the U.S. you should come research here too. They've got resources for you as well. And if you're in Poland reading this and you are trying to locate family members who came to the U.S. years ago, you should visit PARI too. There's something for everyone of Polish descent here!

Let me begin by explaining that PARI is a part of the Polish Mission, a organization that promotes Polish and Polish-American culture. It's located on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools, on the shores of beautiful Orchard Lake, in Oakland County, Michigan. PARI has a wonderful resource room located in the building marked with an X in the image below off Indian Trail Rd. just south of Commerce Rd. (thank you, Google Maps). There is free parking right beside the building. Enter the building from the east end. The resource room is on the main floor, just up the wheelchair ramp on the right. If you're using a GPS system to find your way to campus, use the address 3535 Indian Trail, Orchard Lake Village, Michigan 48324. You can follow the Polish Mission on Facebook. Yep, and there's a blog. :-)


PARI is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10am - 4pm. There is free WIFI available. My friend Ceil Jensen is the Director of PARI and she's there to help along with other volunteers.

Use of the PARI library material and computers is free of charge. Treat items gently as some of them are old and irreplaceable. If you need help on the computer, a volunteer will assist you. If you require personal assistance by the director, Ceil Jensen, it is best to call for an appointment at 248-683-0323. You can also reach her by email at: cjensen@orchardlakeschools.com. Translations of documents from Latin, Russian, or Polish into English can be arranged via this email address: kpolgen@gmail.com.

OK, so I've told you who should visit PARI, where it's located, what times it's open, and who to talk to when you get there. All that's left is to tell you about all the wonderful resources available at PARI. And there are so many of them I have to do an entire series about them. No kidding! So stay tuned, Part 2 is coming up next.

The Complete PARI Series:
PARI, Part 1, Who, What, When, Where, and Why
PARI, Part 2, The Computers and Databases
PARI, Part 3, Special Collections
PARI, Part 4, The Art
PARI, Part 5, The Wall
PARI, Part 6, The Panorama Room

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