J. William Gorski Collection
1909, 1920, 1954-55, 1964, 1972-2002
J. William Gorski was born February 16, 1929 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Grand Rapids native who later settled in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
Gorski began researching his family’s history in the 1970’s. He perceived that Michigan libraries held relatively few history sources on the state’s Poles. Thus, he began the J. William Gorski Collection in 1977, collecting anything that he could find on the Polish in Michigan. (Some materials on Canadian Poles were added later.)
In 1981, he became Editor-in-Chief of The Eaglet, the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan’s official periodical. This encouraged him to put more work into his collection. He worked to photograph all Polish churches in Michigan and to collect church anniversary books. He photographed all buildings along Detroit’s Michigan Avenue between West Grand Boulevard and Wyoming Avenue. He photographed headstones in Polish cemeteries and collected histories of Polish communities.