Celebrate Chicago’s Polish Immigrant History in Partnership With Polish Museum of America

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

11:15 a.m. Sunday, October 8
11:15 a.m. Sunday, October 15
12:30 p.m. Saturday, October 21
12:30 p.m. Saturday, October 28
11:15 a.m. Sunday, October 29

Music Concerts

Eddie Korosa Jr. and the Boys from Illinois
A Musical Tour of Poland from a Land of Old Souls with Mazurka Wojciechowska

Authors, Books and History

Chicagoska: Polish American Woman Writers
Czytanie na dywanie: Bilingual Preschool Story Time
Historic Polish Chicago Churches
Film Screening: The Zookeeper's Wife

Wycinanki Polish Craft Workshops

10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 19
4 p.m. Thursday, October 26
11 a.m. Saturday, October 28
6 p.m. Monday, October 30

Polish American Artist Exhibits

Sammi Skolmoski
Brainerd Branch, October 2 - November 2

Lexi Regan
Archer Heights Branch, October 1 - 31

Coloring Sheet

Polish American Heritage Month Coloring Sheet

Reading Recommendations

Polish American Heritage Month Reads for Kids
Polish American Heritage Month Reads for Teens
Polish American Heritage for Adults