Welcome to The Korczak Digital Repository!
Janusz Korczak is a figure of global renown – a man of many talents: pedagogue, doctor, civic activist, writer and philosopher, tutor and authority in the fields of children's rights and wellbeing. He presented his educational ideas in a total of 24 books – espousing a system based on respect, partnership and self-governance which in Korczak's times was very innovative, almost revolutionary, and continues to inspire people all over the world.
In spite of ongoing interest in Korczak and his legacy, knowledge about him tends to be fragmentary and limited, being scattered and hard to find. Korczak's works and publications relating to him can be found in various online libraries, diverse webpages and archives. Often, however, they include poorly prepared metadata or else the metadata is completely missing, the published digital versions being of varied quality, descriptions often repeating well-worn stereotypes instead of being based on valid historical research. In addition, some of Korczak's works and documents relating to him have not yet been converted to digital format – they're kept in museums, archives, libraries and personal collections around the world.
There is a notable need for a space where Korczak's legacy and works can be gathered together, providing a trustworthy and unified source of information. Hence, in the year 2018, a consortium called The Korczak Digital Repository began working on an easily and widely accessible place where, in attractive and modern ways, historical knowledge based on source material, could be made available.
The Korczak Digital Repository is a complex undertaking which aims not only to compile content, but is to be a space for discourse involving representatives of various professions and nationalities – scientists, Korczak experts, including pedagogues, practitioners and persons interested in Jewish-Polish identities, modern methods of educating children, etc. In the future, we aim to host virtual workshops, conferences, meetings and temporary exhibitions. We might feature model lesson plans for young people and information about important events involving culture and sciences related to Korczak and his legacy.
At present, we are releasing resources using a Polish and English language interface. The plan is for our initiative to have a truly international reach and lead to other language resources being made available, such as Hebrew, French and German.
We will continue to expand our Digital Repository, scouring the globe for new documents, photographs and other materials related to the life and works of Janusz Korczak.
This database is managed by one of the parties involved in The Korczak Digital Repository consortium – the Digital Competences Center of the University of Warsaw .
The technological standards used to set up The Korczak Digital Repository meet those of modern contemporary research resources – we have used the Application Programming Interface (API) and the metadata exchange protocol OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). Technical metadata is created in line with current Dublin Core standards and based on descriptive cataloging MARC21 standards.
The further development of The Korczak Digital Repository is to be overseen by the Foundation of the Friends of the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw "KLIO" and other parties belonging to The Korczak Digital Repository:
- Janusz Korczak Association of Canada
- Korczak Foundation
- Institute of History at the University of Warsaw
- Digital Competence Center of the University of Warsaw
- Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia
THE FOUNDATION OF FRIENDS OF THE HISTORICAL INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW "KLIO"
The Foundation of Friends of the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw "KLIO" was established in 1992. It aims to support the academic work of IH UW, currently the History Faculty at UW, and the propagation of trustworthy historical knowledge. The foundation was established by both current and past employees of the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw. The foundation works closely with the Management of the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw. The aims of the foundation are the support of varied historical research, as well as promoting historical truth about Poland around the world, especially supporting academic research into Polish history, Polish migration, Poland's contribution to culture and civilisation around the globe, as well as Polish relations with other countries.
The foundation is a member of KOED (Coalition for Open Education). The Foundation has initiated a series of digital projects, including the digitalisation of archival publications from the Faculty of History at UW. The collection can be found here: www.starodruki.ihuw.pl
THE JANUSZ KORCZAK ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
The Janusz Korczak Association of Canada was established in February 2002, with its home in Vancouver. It has achieved the following: the English language publication of Janusz Korczak's Selected Works, a new edition of Betty Jean Lifton's book The King of Children: The Life and Death of Janusz Korczak, organising a Korczak themed conference (Vancouver 2012), a series of lectures devoted to Korczak (Vancouver, 2015-2016) titled Janusz Korczak – the father of children's rights. Children's Rights in Practice, awarding the Korczak Medal to activists working to help promote children's rights, while awarding renowned paediatricians and social workers the “care for children in the spirit of Doctor Korczak” statuette.
Each year, the Association awards a Janusz Korczak scholarship in the fields of children's rights and education for native residents of Canada. In addition, it has initiated and created a pedagogical course in a summer school for teachers, delivered by the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. The course, created by Dr Tatiana Tsyrlina-Spady from Seattle Pacific University, includes Korczak's concepts and educational practices, following its launch in 2019. The Association works closely with the Education Department and the Paediatric Faculty at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
THE KORCZAK FOUNDATION
The Korczak Foundation, based in Warsaw, has been active since 2011. In line with the Foundation's mission, those associated with it “share their knowledge and interpretations, trying in various contexts to help transfer Korczak's wisdom into contemporary practice”. They promote Korczak's legacy in Poland and abroad, taking part in national and international congresses. They are the authors of the first post-graduate studies course titled Teaching Like Korczak. Practical Education Based on Korczak's Methods and Values. The Foundation joined The Korczak Digital Repository with the conviction that verifiable knowledge about Korczak, accessible to anyone using the internet, is an excellent way of popularising his person, achievement and thought.
INSTITUTE OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
Established in 1930, the Institute is a research and teaching entity carrying out interdisciplinary research into broadly defined history and employing the best Polish specialists in the field. The objective of the Institute’s teaching activity is to educate professionals with a variety of skills in a number of academic disciplines. The Institute’s staff are engaged in many activities which promote historical awareness: at Children's Universities and Universities of the Third Age, in schools, museums and other cultural institutions. The Institute also conducts a range of national and international research projects. The Institute’s Library is the largest historical library in Poland. Since 1.9.2020 the Institute has been converted into the Faculty of History at University of Warsaw.
DIGITAL COMPETENCE CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
The Digital Competence Center of the University of Warsaw was established by the rector of the University in 2018. It is a specialized unit which supports the use of digital tools in research and didactics (e-learning) and the development of digital competences among humanists. It is also an expert base in the fields of digitization, web archiving and e-learning. It creates, among others, data repositories, digital archives, databases and websites. It is also involved in creating virtual reality and 3D modelling projects.
THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA FACULTY OF EDUCATION
The UBC Faculty of Education is a very large institution, made up of four departments, a range of academic and administrative units, as well as research centres and institutes. It offers courses in a range of educational fields: from early learning to adult learner teaching. It is one of the leading centres in its field in the world. The Department of Education is involved in many events popularizing the achievements of Janusz Korczak. In 2012, a commemorative plaque devoted to Korczak was installed in the lobby of the Faculty's main building. Interdisciplinary lectures on Korczak have been held here since 2015. In addition, the Faculty approved a summer course showing the impact of Korczak's concepts on areas such as: paediatrics, social care, psychology and activities for children's rights.