How to search?

How to search?

How to search / Data description / Record Groups / Glossary / Archival Review / Guide / About the project

Inventory users have the possibility to conduct searches using a full-text search engine with hierarchical and advanced search options.

Searching for unit descriptions in the Archival Inventory

A full-text search allows one to search for issues, persons, cases and problems mentioned in the archival records; selecting the hierarchical search option narrows down the results to selected divisions of the archive and then to the archival fonds and collections assigned to these divisions.


Archival items descriptions come from Cyfrowe Archiwum (the Digital Archive) system and are in Polish. However, English-speaking users will find the search engine easier to use thanks to the translated navigation and function buttons. The new “Query” function makes it easier to save results as well as the possibility to generate a search report in the form of a PDF. 

Full-text search engine

Insert the phrase to start searching.


It is not case-sensitive. Searching is carried out through all available fields  ( Data description ).

Use checkbox "exact phrase only" to narrow  down the searching results.

Search results

The ‘search’ button launches the search process, the ‘clear’ button removes previous search criteria.


After entering a given phrase and launching it with the ‘search’ button, a list of search results will be displayed on the right with an abbreviated description of the archival units in which a given term appears.

Selecting the option “show archival unit description” next to a particular unit in the results list, takes you to a detailed view of the unit in question. The phrase entered in the search field will appear in bold.

After selecting the description details of a particular archival unit, we can add it to the query, generate its description in .pdf format or return to the search panel via the “back to results” button.

Advanced search options

The Archival Inventory allows you to narrow down and refine your search criteria by completing the fields in the advanced search panel. Thanks to this solution, you have the possibility to search for a date range, an archival reference number or the place where the records are kept.


Date range - the search engine returns results with equal or a value greater than the start date and equal or less than the end date value.

Hierarchical search engine

Searching with the hierarchical method entails presenting the inventory entries “from general to specific”.


The search begins by selecting the group under which the IPN archival materials are described ( Record Groups ), then you can select the subsequent values assigned to the division, i.e. “Group / File creator”, “Sub-fonds”, “Series” and “Sub-series”.

With this solution, we can, for example, limit the search results to a particular type of file produced by particular organisational units, e.g.: the Ministry of Internal Affairs, divisions, offices, directorates, etc.

Descriptions regarding the document creator

At the detailed description level of the file, one can go to the description of the record’s creator (Mapping section). The inventory provides information on what institution (or part thereof) produced the documents, the history of the institution and the fate of the files, their nature, etc. Below is a sample description:

Facilities for readers: tooltips

In the detailed description of the archival unit, some fields have been provided with additional comments explaining the given term.

Facilities for readers: Glossary of terms

A glossary of the most important terms used by the security organs of the People’s Republic of Poland describes the most important entries to be found in the descriptions of archival materials.

Glossary of terms

We hope that this service will contribute to the dissemination of knowledge about the archival repository of the Institute of National Remembrance and prove to be a useful tool in conducting academic research.