Próby organizacji polskiej służby geologicznej przed utworzeniem Państwowego Instytutu Geologicznego.

Stanisław Czarniecki




The Polish Geological Institute was founded on April, 1919, barely within half a year after the recovery of independence of Poland. However, the first conceptions and attempts at organizing the geological survey within the territories of Poland date back to a considerably earlier period. In 1787, an article on this theme was published in the Warsaw monthly "Historical and Political Memories".

The article was written by Józef Kromer, who took his doctor’s degree at the Jagellonian University, and enjoyed even a title "king’s land-surveyor in ordinary". He suggested in this article that a ,,Corps of miners-geophysicists" should have been created with the aid of the skilled officers in the Polish army. This suggested organization would have conducted field reconnaissance particularly, however, soil research, geologic-mining prospections, plotting of maps of useful mineral deposits; also collecting geological specimens for a special museum. The purpose of these investigations would have led to a more detailed reconnaissance of the natural resources of the country, and to the elaboration of better methods of their use.
At that time, the project presented by Kromer was a precursory one in the geological surveys. However it was not met with, approbation, and the developing political situation stopped all the attempts at realizing the programme intended. Only more than 40 years later new steps were made to initiate the planned geological research in the Po1ish territories. In 1830 Ludwik Zejszner, appointed as a new professor in mineralogy at the Cracow University, presented a project of a complex natural research concentrated mainly on the geological investigations in the region of the Free City of Cracow. The investigations aimed at prospecting the geologica1 structure of the area, discovering useful mineral deposits, examining hydrogeological conditions, and plotting geologic maps. The research works would have been carried on by three professors employed at the Jagellonian University. Two of them were, however, completely inactive in this domain, whereas Zejszner, apart from his removal from the chair in 1833, for political reasons, executed, a great deal of the wilful research himself.
Later on, in a period from 1858 to 1869, Zejszner acted as a civil-servant for special, tasks at the authorities of the so-called Polish Kingdom, a part of Poland incorporated, in the Russian empire. His tasks consisted mainly in plotting geologic maps of this province, and in conducting research and prospections for useful mineral deposits. His works, resembling tasks of a state geological survey, resulted in plotting 68 sheets of the geologic map of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains and their marginal area. Unfortunately, the originals of these sheets got lost during the World War II. The third conception, discussed in the present article, concerns a project of creating an establishment of Polish geological survey in the then Galicia, a part of Poland incorporated in XVIII C. in the Austrian territory. The project was presented in 1904 by Władysław Szajnocha, professor in geology at the Jagellonian University.
Professor Szajnocha was a meritorious person for the development of Polish geology, and an outstanding organizer of the first Polish Department of Geology at the Jagellonian University. In addition to this, he was a co-author, of the Geological Atlas of Galicia, the organizer of the Polish Geological Society, and an associate of numerous scientific organizations. In a period from 1904 to 1909 efforts were made by him to organize a geological survey in Ga1icia. Unfortunately, these efforts, most probably due to the objections of the central authorities in Vienna, were not realized before the World War I.
A fact that the motion-concerning the establishment of the Polish Geological Institute was tabled in the Polish Parliament by the peasants’ and workers’ deputies, coming from the former Galicia, proves that, the efforts of prof. Szajnocha tending towards the creation of the Polish geo1ogical survey, were entirely successful.


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