Envelopes of the Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims in Gdynia
Presented below are the envelopes of the Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims in Gdynia. They are to be found in the holdings of the Historic Archives of the Solidarity National Commission, specifically in the records of the Social Committee for the Construction of the aforementioned monuments. The fond contains 305 archival units (3 running metres on the shelves of the archival storage room). It is divided into three series, including Members Meetings, the Board and the Audit Committee, which reflect quite closely the Committee’s operations in 1970-1980.
It is worth explaining that according to archival science envelopes – as suggested by Methodological guidelines on collecting and processing ephemera in state archives, 2007 – are treated as job printings, that is all types of printings, occasional or utilitarian, usually meant for one use only, e.g. for information purposes. Among them one can find informative job-prints (like public transportation timetables), manipulative job-prints (like securities), editing jobs (like notes), industry jobs and covers. Covers include not only labels, book covers and price lists but also envelopes.
There are four known types of envelopes issued by the Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims in Gdynia. Impressive are those made of untypical paper, most probably handmade, sized 190 mm x 104 mm. In the right side of these envelopes there is the Christ figure, bellowed by the image of the December 1970 Gdynia Victims’ Monument. The drawing is marked “Gdynia 17 XII 1970 – 17 XII 1980” and surrounded by embossed inscriptions: Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims, and Solidarity.
The majority of envelopes in the holdings are those of 228 mm x 163 mm size. They have images of the Gdynia Monument and Polish national flag in the bottom left corner. The Monument is surrounded by the inscription: Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims in Gdynia. Below there is the Solidarity logo. At the bottom the envelopes have a detailed address of the Committee and its bank account number. On some envelopes the bank account numer is crossed out.
The third type of envelopes contains the Monument images with the inscription: Social Committee for the Construction of the Monuments to December 1970 Victims in Gdynia. What is important they have an impression of the Committee’s stamp showing the Monument’s image surrounded by the inscription: unveiling of a memorial plaque commemorating the December 1970 victims, dated 17.12.1980.
The last type of envelopes, sized 160 mm x 116 mm, was dedicated to “December Days”, which were supposed to take place on 13-16 December 1980 in Warsaw, Gdynia and Gdańsk. The bottom left corner of these envelopes is decorated with the image of Gdynia December 1970 Victims Monument and inscription: To the Victims of December 1970 in Gdynia.
These envelopes content was diversified and comprised postage stamps issued to commemorate the monuments of the December 1970 Victims in Gdańsk and Gdynia. They were designed by S. Małecki, J. Konarzewski and A. Garnuszewski and issued by the Polish Security Printing Works. They also contained postcards issued by the National Publishing Agency, presenting the photographs of the December 1970 Victims’ monuments in Gdańsk and Gdynia, designed by E. Pawłowski and J. Uklejewski, as well as the “December Days” timetable, 15 years of Solidarity calendar, and the Committee badge (made of metal).
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/Łukasz Grochowski, The Archives of the Solidarity National Commission,
Iwona Flis, Stanislaw Flis Foundation “Pomerania Archives”/