The Central Archive of Modern Records (pol. Archiwum Akt Nowych, AAN) in Warsaw was established by the decree of the Head of State Józef Piłsudski of February 7, 1919 "On the organization of state archives and the care of archival materials" under the name Military Archives, which was under the Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment. Since 1930 it operatd under the name of The Central Archive of Modern Records. The purpose of the Archive was to secure documentation of the German and Austrian military occupation authorities from 1915-1918. During World War II, between October and December 1939, 96 military trucks loaded with files were taken to Potsdam. These files concerned the occupation authorities during the German and Austrian occupation in 1914-1918. In March 1940 - another 3 carriages of the files were taken to Vienna. At the beginning of 1944, files were evacuated: 396 chests and 698 packages of files (about 3% of the overall content). Evacuation of the most valuable collections was not completed due to the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. On November 3, 1944, the AAN building was set on fire. On January 1, 1947, the Central Archives of Modern Records were officially closed and its collections and staff were taken over by the Central Archive of Historical Records. By decision of the Minister of Education of September 6, 1948, AAN was reactivated.
The AAN fond currently consists of 2667 sets and archival collections of about 34 thousand meters of storage shelves. The most important archival sets in the Archives of New Files include: Archive of Ignacy Jan Paderewski 1880-1940, Home Army (Armia Krajowa) records 1940-1945; Chancellery of the State Chief in Warsaw 1918-1923; Ministry of the Internal Affairs 1918-1939; Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw 1918-1939. One of the most unique collections includes file of Polish governemt-in-exile (up to 1945) and Polish United Workers' Party Central Committee in Warsaw 1948-1990. No files stored in AAN are classified.
Archival materials stored in the Archives of New Files directly and free of charge are made available for the Scientific purposes. The reading room is open from September to June: from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:30, on Friday from 9:00 to 15:30; in July and August from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 15:30. Archival materials are made available in the amount of up to 15 archival units per day, the user has the right to make digital copies of archives with his/her own camera.
Following the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the archives collected in it relate to documents of the state security organs produced and collected from July 22, 1944 to December 31, 1989, as well as the security organs of the Third German Reich and USSR concerning:
A) committed on persons of Polish nationality or Polish citizens of other nationalities in the period from September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1989, Nazi, communist crimes, other crimes constituting crimes against peace, humanity or war crimes.
B) other repression of political motives, committed by officers of Polish law enforcement or judicial authorities or persons acting on their behalf.
The following are recognized as state security organs: the Ministry of Public Security, the Committee for Public Security, and organizational units subordinate to bodies, organizational units of the Security Service of the Ministry of the Interior, and subordinate field units in provincial and equivalent commands Citizens' Militia and in provincial, district and equivalent internal affairs offices, Scout of the Border Protection Forces, the Main Board of the Internal Service of the military units of the Ministry of the Interior and subordinate units, Information Board of the Supreme Command of the Polish Army, Information Board of the Polish Army, Main Board Information of the Polish Army and units subordinate to these organs, the Military Internal Service, the Management Board of the Second General Staff of the Polish Army, other services Armed Forces conducting operational and reconnaissance or investigation activities, including in types of weapons and in military districts. Within the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance, state security organs also include civil and military organs and institutions of foreign states with tasks similar to those of the organs referred to above.
The documents of the state security authorities, within the meaning of the Act, are: all information carriers, irrespective of the form of information storage, including: files, registers, computer files, letters, maps, plans, films and other image carriers, sound carriers and all other recording forms, as well as copies, transcripts and other duplicates of these information media.
Users: Users of the IPN Archive, mainly due to the scope and rights in accessing the accumulated resource, can be divided into several groups. First of all, according to the Act on the Institute, every citizen has the right to request access to documents gathered in the Archives of the Institute of National Remembrance. However, this does not mean access to the entire resource of the Institute of National Remembrance, but only to documents concerning: - personal documents, deceased close relative or deceased related person data; - a person performing a public function; - employee or officer of a state security authority; - file of the completed lustration case. Another group of users will be people who, in turn, have completely free access to archival resources, formalized only by the need to submit an appropriate application for access to archival materials. These are employees of the other substantive departments of the Institute as well as journalists and researchers. In the latter case, it was specified that these rights are vested only in the fields of humanities, social sciences, economy or law. Applications may also be submitted to the Archives of the Institute by public administration, justice and law enforcement agencies, other offices, institutions, associations or persons who indicate a legitimate legal interest. On the basis of such a request, the Institute provides archival materials to perform statutory tasks. And finally, a separate category of users defined by law are former employees or officers of the state security authorities who can submit a request for a copy of their own personal files.
The IPN also has field branches in: Białystok, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Wrocław, and archival departments at the IPN delegations in Bydgoszcz, Kielce, Koszalin, Olsztyn, Opole and Radom. They store files created by delegations of central offices, e.g. Delegation of the Office for State Protection, passport files, files of Provincial and Municipal Headquarters (including personal files of their officers), personal files from prisons and detention centers regarding political prisoners, files of District Prison Inspectorates , etc.
Procedures regarding access to archives for both scientific purposes, press publications (within the meaning of the Act of 26 January 1984 - Press Law (Journal of Laws item 24, as amended)) or for personal, non-commercial purposes (e.g. pursuant to Art. 35c, paragraph 3: Officers and employees of state security authorities may obtain upon their request copies of their personal documents) are specified strictly in the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance in chapter 3. Access to archives for the purpose of conducting scientific research or publication of press material takes place upon a written request to the director of the branch of the Institute of Remembrance, competent for the applicant's place of residence or seat. This means that if a person residing in Legnica would like to familiarize themselves with the archives contained in the Archives of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw, they must apply for access to the director of the branch of the Institute of National Remembrance in Wrocław, who will consider the case, if the applicant has indicated the reading room of the file in Warsaw they made available in Warsaw.