Public records, in various forms, have accompanied humanity since ancient times. Initially, their keeping was mainly related to the need to record facts about property rights. With time, however, along with the development of legal relations, registers were created to collect information about other areas of citizens’ lives. They reached their mature form in the 19th century, developing further quantitatively and technically in the 20th and 21st centuries. Many legal solutions used in the world in public registration are modelled on the Prussian-German legislation. Similar sources of law can also be seen in many registers kept in Poland. It should also be emphasized that many of these registers have already become part of the archival resources but are still valuable to the public. This monograph deals with public registers in Poland and their sources from a historical and systemic perspective. Starting with an examination and description of the system of public registers kept in the Kingdom of Prussia, the monograph presents the extent to which historical solutions have become and continue to be the basis for public registers kept in Poland today.
Assistant professor at the Institute of History and Archival Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, formerly associated with the State Archive in Toruń. The author’s research interests focus on the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly the history of bureaucracy and archival science. He was the head of the National Science Centre Poland grant in the Sonatina 3 programme and did a research internship at the Brandenburg Main State Archive in Potsdam.