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Instytut im. Jerzego Grotowskiego
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The collection of materials located within the Archive is the heart of the Grotowski Institute: it drives and shapes its activity, including the organisation of the events programme, the deployment of the educational programme and publishing enterprises, as well as propagating the work of Jerzy Grotowski.

The collection also functions more broadly as a point of reference for institutions and persons from Poland and abroad who wish to invoke the tradition of Jerzy Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre, as well as that of its heirs (Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards) and creative continuators (e.g. Odin Teatret). The materials within the collection and the support of the Archive staff have facilitated the presentation of many documentaries and exhibitions around the world, dedicated to the creative achievements of the Laboratory Theatre. The Archive functions also as a source of materials for scholars from Poland and abroad in the form of rare and original documentation, collections of books, theatrical and cultural journals and films, as well as iconography related to the activities of the Laboratory Theatre and other companies. The staff of the Archive are also available for consultation.


In the Laboratory Theatre's period of activity in Wroclaw (1965–1984), there was no separate archive that functiones as a specialised unit of the organisation. This situation changed after 1984, with creation of the Wroclaw Second Studio (in the place of the dissolved Laboratory Theatre), and the establishment of the Centre for Documentation of the Laboratory Theatre, which organised a permanent exhibition entitled Kres 25-letniej wedrowki [The end of the 25-year journey]. Among its activities in the period 1984–1989, the Centre also organised an international symposium in the village of Wojkowo, near Kowary, which took place on 19th – 21st May, 1989, on the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Laboratory Theatre. This was undertaken together with the Osrodek Badan i Praktyk Kulturowych [The Centre for Research and Cultural Practices] of the Cyprian Norwid Theatre in Jelenia Gora, which was run by the then director of that theatre, Alina Obidniak. The project involved a number of outside lectures, conducted by, among others, Tadeusz Burzynski, a Wroclaw journalist who wrote extensively on Grotowski. However, the Centre’s activities during its existence were largely confined to fulfilling the essential requirements of the State Archive of Wroclaw.

In the period 1990–2006, during the period of activity of the Centre for Study of Jerzy Grotowski’s Work and for Theatrical and Cultural Research, the Department of Archive and Documentation took over the collection of the former Centre for Documentation of the Laboratory Theatre, broadened it substantially, and used the collection of materials to realise a number of public events. It also established partnerships with numerous other artistic and academic centres.


The activities of the Archive of the Grotowski Institute involve:
  • The collection, storing, conservation and supplemention of the materials concerning the activities of Jerzy Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre, the Wroclaw Second Studio, the Centre for Study of Jerzy Grotowski’s Work and for Theatrical and Cultural Research, and the Grotowski Institute, including materials pertaining to their cultural and theatrical contexts. This work is conducted within several departmental sections: Documents, Technical Documentation, Museum Items, Typescripts and Manuscripts
  • The cataloguing and storing of archival items within the aforementioned sections
  • Making additions to the existing materials and making them available to the public through the Accessibility Section, which includes a multimedia reading room (with library materials – Polish and non-Polish journals, press documentation and other printed materials – as well as audio and film catalogues), a Theatre Cinema, and will shortly include an exhibition presenting the creative achievements of Jerzy Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre
  • Documentation of events within the Institute’s programme of activities
  • The creation of a chronicle of the activity of the Grotowski Institute
  • The realisation of bibliographical projects through the work of the Bibliographical Department
  • The establishment of chronologies concerning the activities of Jerzy Grotowski and his collaborators, within the Chronology Department
  • Collaboration in the organisation of enterprises aimed at presenting the work of Jerzy Grotowski, the Laboratory Theatre, the Grotowski Centre, and the Grotowski Institute (publications, film documentaries, exhibitions, demonstrations, and lectures), both at the site of the Institute and elsewhere

Section and departments

The above activities are divided between five Sections and two Departments within the Archive:


  • Documents
  • Technical Documentation
  • Museum Items
  • Typescripts and Manuscripts 
  • Accessibility

Departments (estabilished January 2005):

  • Bibliography department, which draws up bibliographies of texts by Jerzy Grotowski in Polish and in other languages (including translations) and bibliographies of materials concerning the activities of Jerzy Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre. It also collects and correlates a number of other bibliographies on theatre and cultural research
  • Chronology department, which is developing an extensive chronology of the life and work of Jerzy Grotowski, as well as other chronilogies concerning the activities of his collaborators


The Archive is accountable to the State Archive of Wroclaw.