The ECS’s collection already includes a door from the Shipyard hospital with bullet holes from December 1970; offset plates of the legendary Solidarity Strike Information Bulletin; the sweater Lech Wałęsa wore when he signed the August Agreements; the forklift that served as a rostrum during the strike; two police trucks and postmarks from the internment of political prisoners.

“We want to accumulate a large collection of materials to document Solidarity’s history and heritage. Obviously it’s easiest to obtain items from the Gdańsk region. However, we also reach out to people from all over Poland and abroad; to people and organisations who worked for Poland’s democratic opposition,” says Paweł Golak, historian and archivist, head of the ECS Museum & Archives Department and Library. “We are interested in all items that make up the legacy of Solidarity, such as souvenirs and personal documents, letters, leaflets, posters, books and magazines, photographs, memoirs and eyewitness accounts of those days, film and sound recordings, posters, albums, greetings, handwritten and official documents, commemorative postage stamps, official stamps, printing machines etc. I’m sure that in the nooks and crannies of our homes there are lots of things, and sometimes we come across some real gems”. The lion’s share of the ECS collection will is available on permanent display at the new building in 1 Solidarity Square.