History of the Museum The beginnings of today's Poznań Archaeological Museum fall on the second half of the nineteenth century, when in Greater Poland, as in all of Europe, there was a rapid increase in interest in antiquity, including archeology. At the same time, the partitions forced the Poles to set up various social organizations that, as a substitute for their own state, supported the development of Polish culture, science and economy. Such a role - a patron of Polish science and culture - was fulfilled by the Society of Friends of Poznań Sciences created in 1857 after thirty years of efforts.
On September 23 of the same year, the Society established the "Museum of Polish and Slavic Antiquities in the Grand Duchy of Poznań", also called the Museum of National Antiquities. In 1882, it changed its name to "Muzeum im. Mielżyńskich ", in recognition of the huge contribution of the Counts of Milezynski in its development. The Museum gathered various national souvenirs, including archaeological monuments, obtained both as a gift and as a result of excavations.
The seat of the Museum and the entire Society were: Raczyński Library (1857-1870), Hotel Bazar (1870-1882), and then the building at the then Młyńska Street (now Mielżyńskiego), rebuilt several times and expanded.
Collection restorers were supervised by collection restorers (today's custodians). These functions were performed successively by: teacher Maksymilian Studniarski (1858-1860), retired enologist Roger Raczyński and home teacher Albin Gorecki (1860-1866), lawyer and journalist Władysław Wierzbiński (1866-1868), teacher and writer Hieronim Feldmanowski (1868-1882) , Klemens Kantecki (1882-1885), historian, philologist Bolesław Erzepki (1885 - 1923) and prahistorist Józef Kostrzewski (1914 - 1923 - as the second conservator).
In the first years of the Museum's existence, the then secretary of the Society - Leon Wegner - also played a large role in the creation of collections. Already at the end of the 19th century, the Museum of Mielżyński had the largest archaeological collections among scientific societies operating in the contemporary Prussian state. Such a good result was obtained mainly thanks to the support of Polish landowners and clergy, through which many private collections were acquired.
Members of the Society of Friends of Sciences also participated in archaeological research, thus expanding museum collections. Among the acquired collections, there were no unique objects, such as, for example, wełki from Bytynia (Vobotulski poviat) from the early Bronze Age, or objects from sites researched at the highest scientific level at the time (eg materials from Manieczek, district Śremski, examined by Antoni Białecki in 1858). In order to give the archaeological work the highest possible scientific level, the Archaeological Commission was established at the Society (from 1885, the Archaeological Section). Although it operated periodically, it was a center of exchange of ideas, it inspired members to undertake excavations and publish their results. The most well-known members of this commission belonged in the beginning of its existence Antoni Białecki and Kazimierz Szulc, and later also Władysław Jażdżewski and Hieronim Feldmanowski. After the Section was established in 1885, it operated in Klemens Koehler, Romuald and Bolesław Erzepkow, Władysław Łebiński, Wincenty Zenkteller, Augustine Kalk, Ignacy Zakrzewski and Albin Węsierski. Many of these members of the Archaeological Commission contributed immensely not only to the development of archaeological research in Greater Poland, but also supported the collection of the TPNP Museum with their collections.
Jarmila Kaczmarek, the article was published in: "Archeological Museum in Poznan. History and the present day ",
edited by M. Przybył, Poznań 2007
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