Wladyslaw W. Kulski papers, 1933-1987

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Kulski, W. W. (Władysław Wszebór), 1903-1989
Wladyslaw W. Kulski was born in Warsaw, Poland on July 27, 1903. After earning his doctorate, Dr. Kulski served as diplomat and an educator. He taught Political Science at Duke University from 1964 until his retirement in 1973. He died May 16, 1989. Materials include correspondence, pamphlets, manuscripts, course notes, notebooks, photographs, printed matter and a scrapbook. The collection ranges in date from 1710-1987 and is in English, Polish, French and German.
7 Linear Feet
5000 Items
Material in English, Polish, French, German
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

Contains correspondence, diplomatic papers, conference papers, articles, printed matter and other materials related to Dr. Kulski's role as a Polish diplomat before and during World War II and as a lecturer and teacher of Political Science after the war. The materials, approximately half of which are in Polish, pertain to Slavic Studies, Soviet politics and government, and issues in European diplomacy and politics before, during and after World War II. The collection includes hand- and typed-written manuscripts in Polish, English, French and German and materials by and about his brother, Julian E. (1905-1988), including a memoir of Stefan Starzynski, mayor of Warsaw. Also included is the correspondence of Antonina Kulski, largely in Polish with a few in English and French. Her letters that largely cover the Kulski's time in London during World War II and consists of communication with Polish soldiers, namely Kazimierz Domaszewski and Bohdan Brzozowski. There are also some photographs of presumably Polish soldiers during World War II and likely Kulksi family members and friends. There is also a scrapbook of clippings and correspondence. Material ranges in date from 1710-1987, with the bulk covering 1933-1969.

Biographical / historical:

Born in Warsaw, Poland on July 27, 1903, Wladyslaw W. Kulski was a diplomat and educator who earned a Master of Law degree in 1925 from Warsaw Law School and a Doctor of Law in 1927 from Paris School of Law. In 1938, he married Antonina Reutt of Kislovodsk, Russia. They had no children. He was a member of the Polish diplomatic service from 1928-1945 and Minister Plenipotentiary, Polish Embassy, London from 1940-1945. Dr. Kulski served as Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama from 1948-1951, at Syracuse University from 1951-1964, and at Duke University from 1964-1973. He authored several works, including Thus Spake Germany (1941) and The Soviet Regime (1954) and was editor of the Polish "White Book." Dr. Kulski died in Durham, NC on May 16, 1989.

Dr. Kulski began his diplomatic career as a member of the staff of the League of Nations service at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1928-1933). In that position, he functioned as a legal and political officer, was a member of the Polish delegation to the Conference of the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments in Geneva (1932-1933), and was councilor and later Secretary of the Permanent Delegation of Poland to the League. From 1936-1940, he was head of the legal service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1939, he was sent to London to negotiate the British-Polish Treaty of Mutual Assistance, which soon became the diplomatic basis for Britain's declaration of war on Nazi Germany. In 1940, he became Minister Plenipotentiary at the Polish Embassy in London and held that post until 1945 when he left the Polish service. He came to the U.S. in 1946 and became a naturalized citizen in 1953.

In 1964, he came to Duke University where he was named James B. Duke Professor of Political Science. He retired in 1973. During his academic career, Dr. Kulski continued to lecture to audiences in academia and government. He specialized in comparative government, in particular the Soviet government, international relations, and international law. He was awarded several foreign decorations and held both Fulbright and Guggenheim research awards.

Acquisition information:
The Wladyslaw W. Kulski Papers were received by the University Archives as a gift in 1989.
Processing information:

Processed by Archives Staff, June 2006

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, July 2006

Accessions A89-0073, A89-0078 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

World War, 1939-1945
Diplomatic and consular service, Polish -- Great Britain
Polish language -- 20th century
League of Nations
Kulski, W. W. (Władysław Wszebór), 1903-1989
Kulski, Julian Eugene, 1929-1988
Kulski, W. W. (Władysław Wszebór), 1903-1989


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Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Collection is open for research.

In off-site storage; 48 hours notice required for retrieval.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Wladyslaw W. Kulski Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.