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Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller, Agata Skrukwa


photo Marta Ankiersztejn © IMiT

Year: 2019


Category: Category V. Scientific research, documentation and animation, popularization of folk culture


Field of activity : Scholar and editor of Oskar Kolberg’s written legacy and biography for the publication project of his Complete Works and for the Oskar Kolberg Institute in Poznań, a promoter of Kolberg’s legacy and folk culture in general.


Region: Poznań, Wielkopolska


Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller was born on 31 July 1940 in German-occupied Warsaw, but, ever since 1945, she has lived in Poznań, where her family settled after returning from war exile. She is a graduate of a reputable liceum (a comprehensive secondary school) and a State School of Music. In 1963, she completed Polish studies at the then Faculty of Philology and History of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In the summer of the same year, she was employed as an editor of Oskar Kolberg’s Complete Works in a project led by Prof. Józef Burszta.

She spent decades working in a team with Agata Skrukwa and musicologist Danuta Pawlak, initially on the inventory and identification of Kolberg’s collected manuscripts and subsequently on their edition. With the course of time, the small team developed its own research techniques and editorial principles, which formed the basis for the whole edition of Kolberg’s Complete Works. She adored working with manuscripts containing folk stories and age-old literary texts, as well as with scores of publications consulted by Kolberg for his monumental Lud. She is a real enthusiast of words and she is passionate about language and literature. 

During more than half a century, Krzyżaniak-Miller edited texts and prepared to print several volumes of Oskar Kolberg’s Complete Works: Bohemia. Slovakia (vol. 59/II), Southern Slavic Lands (vol. 59/III), Chełmskie (vol. 82) and Przemyskie (vol. 83/I and II). Working with Agata Skrukwa, she prepared and edited Studies, essays and articles (vol. 63). A joint effort between Krzyżaniak-Miller, Skrukwa and Pawlak resulted in the publication of a thorough, three-volume edition of Krakowskie. Supplement (vol. 73/I–III). Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller has also been the editor or co-editor of the following volumes: Mountains and Foothills (vol. 44–45), Musical Writings (vol. 61 and 62) and Letters (vol. 64–66; with her extensive comments). She has also written numerous research articles, not only about Oskar Kolberg himself but also about folklore, folk literature and history of ethnography in general. Based on the folk tales gathered by the author of Lud, she edited a selection of children’s stories titled Aż tu nagle… / And Suddenly... (Poznań 2014), prepared for the Kolberg Year celebrations. She is also a passionate promoter of the figure of Oskar Kolberg and his works, as well as folk culture in general. Her retirement in 1997 did not diminish her passions. She is an irreplaceable teacher and a role model for the younger generations of scholars. In recognition of her impeccable work, she received the Silver Cross of Merit in the Kolberg Year 2014.

Presently, Krzyżaniak-Miller is working on a scientific biography of Oskar Kolberg, one that will wrap up the entire edition of his Complete Works. At the same time, she is conducting research into the famous ethnographer’s contribution to the development of Polish folklorism. She has recently prepared to print source materials about the region of Chełmskie using Kolberg’s recently (2014) found collection.

Apart from her love of literature, Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller is also enthusiastic about music, mountains and her own family. She has seven grandchildren, whom she dotes on and loves spending time with while travelling or just talking to. On the other hand, she values time that she devotes to quiet contemplation while hiking in the Tatra Mountains, finding refuge in a library or sitting at her own desk. She loves delving into the lives of Poles who lived in the nineteenth century, „that incredible time in the history of our nation, which gave life to people like Oskar Kolberg”.

 

Ewa Antyborzec

 

Agata Skrukwa was born on 21 October 1939 in Kobryń (present-day Kobryn in the Republic of Belarus). Her parents were teachers. After the end of the Second World War, her family settled in Wrocław. Skrukwa completed Polish studies at the local university in 1961 and received a Master’s degree after defending the thesis titled A Discussion about Collecting Folk Songs in the 1840s, written under the guidance of Prof. Bogdan Zakrzewski.

Her interest in folk literature started at university proved to define her entire subsequent professional career. After moving to Poznań in May 1962, she was employed as an editor of Oskar Kolberg’s Complete Works in a project led by Prof. Józef Burszta.

She spent decades working in a team with Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller and musicologist Danuta Pawlak, initially on the inventory and identification of Kolberg’s collected manuscripts and subsequently on their edition. With the course of time, the small team developed its own research techniques and editorial principles, which formed the basis for the whole edition of Kolberg’s Complete Works. Such work could easily be described as extremely painstaking, but Agata Skrukwa found it immensely fascinating.

During more than half a century, she edited texts and prepared to print several volumes of Oskar Kolberg’s Complete Works: Lusatia (vol. 59), Kuyavia. Supplement (vol. 72/I and II), Lubelskie. Supplement (vol. 75), Pokuttya. Supplement (vol. 81) and Volhynia. Supplement (vol. 84). Working with Elżbieta Krzyżaniak-Miller, she prepared and edited Studies, essays and articles (vol. 63). A joint effort between Skrukwa, Krzyżaniak-Miller and Pawlak resulted in the publication of a thorough, three-volume edition of Krakowskie. Supplement (vol. 73/I–III). Agata Skrukwa has also been the editor or co-editor of the following volumes: Silesia (vol. 43), Kaliskie and Sieradzkie (vol. 46), Sanockie-Krośnieńskie (vol. 49–51), Belarus-Polesie (vol. 52) and Letters (vol. 64–66; with her extensive comments). She has also written numerous research articles, not only about Oskar Kolberg himself but also about folklore, folk literature and history of ethnography in general. She has published a widely popular book called A jak będzie słońce i pogoda… czyli ludowe przysłowia, przepowiednie, przesądy i przypowieści związane z pogodą (Poznań 2000) about the importance of weather in folklore and a richly illustrated biography, Oskar Kolberg (Poznań 2014), prepared for the Kolberg Year celebrations. She is also a passionate promoter of the figure of Oskar Kolberg and his works, as well as folk culture in general. Her retirement in 1997 did not diminish her passions. She is an irreplaceable teacher and a role model for the younger generations of scholars. In recognition of her impeccable work, she received the Silver Cross of Merit in the Kolberg Year 2014.

Presently, Skrukwa is working on a scientific biography of Oskar Kolberg, one that will wrap up the entire edition of his Complete Works. At the same time, she is conducting research into what happened to the famous ethnographer’s personal notes and source materials that he used. She is also working on the publication of Materiały do etnografii Słowian wschodnich (Source Materials for the Ethnography of Eastern Slavs).

Agata Skrukwa is a passionate lover of nature; she has put a lot of effort into making the Oskar Kolberg Institute in Poznań a much greener place. She is interested in minerals, too; she places them on her desk beside a rich collection of books, manuscripts and notes. She is also an enthusiastic photographer, especially of birds and architectural wonders, not solely the most typical ones, like mansions or churches, but also ones that people take photos of much less frequently, e.g. historic water towers. She loves picking mushrooms, too, and in her private life she is a grandmother of two lovely grandchildren.   

 

Ewa Antyborzec

 

 

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fot. Marta Ankiersztejn © IMiT

Agata Skrukwa

2019 Winners

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