HGIS Lublin is a website containing information about the history of the Lublin city and the region, which enables searching for information about people, events, places and sources. This information is presented on interactive maps, using historical cartographic sources. We dedicate the service to our late colleague Tadeusz Przystojecki.

HGIS Lublin is a website containing information about the history of the Lublin city and the region, which enables searching for information about people, events, places and sources. This information is presented on interactive maps, using historical cartographic sources. We dedicate the service to our late colleague Tadeusz Przystojecki.

NN Theatre

About the databases

The database of the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Centre is a module-based collection of records related to Lublin and the Lublin region’s past. It was created in order to organize, interrelate and present archival and historical information from various sources in an accessible way. 

In 2012, the Centre started designing and implementing a database dedicated to collecting information about the history of the city and the region. The resulting system makes it possible to search for information on people, events, places and sources and to build a network of relationships between those elements.

It is an innovative solution thanks to which the website editors can develop multidimensional narratives of historical events. At the same time, the database resource is available to the public, allowing every Internet user to freely explore and navigate the collected materials.

Purpose of creation and database contentDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Since its inception, the "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre" Centre has been collecting historical materials and information on the past of Lublin and the Lublin region. In the course of the Centre's activity, a significant problem turned out to be the abrupt increase in the collections. As the years went by, managing the collections through  traditional methods became less and less effective. At the same time, technological progress has provided digital tools (spreadsheets, online indexes, databases) that facilitate gathering, ordering and daily work with large data sets.

Since 2016, the Centre has been systematically collecting, organizing, describing and sharing information about the inhabitants of Lublin and the Lublin region, including places and events related to them.

This data covers historical periods for which reliable source material exists to identify people and places. Where possible, this information is also shared within the system as separate records. For obvious reasons, the most extensive source material concerns mainly the 20th century, followed by the 19th century and, to a lesser extent, the 18th century and earlier times, reaching back to the Middle Ages.

Modules used in the databaseDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The database consists of four basic modules:

  • People
  • Places
  • Events
  • Sources

These modules allow developers to process, organize and present large amounts of information about the city and region, easily and transparently.

"People" module

Contains information about the former inhabitants of the city and the region. It has been created on the basis of available source materials, such as books of residents, taxpayers rolls, civil registration records, press materials and many other sources. It contains basic data about a specific person, allowing for their identification: name and surname, date of birth or age, residence address, parents' names, profession.

Here you can find information about members of various social groups living in Lublin and the Lublin region over the centuries. There are, for example, records of Polish kings who lived temporarily in these areas, or the townsmen and noblemen who were subject to the jurisdiction of town and land courts and therefore were immortalized in the records.

An important part of the collection is the names of representatives of the Jewish community of Lublin and the Lublin region, who lived here at least since the 15th century, and who, in the course of dramatic historical events, irretrievably disappeared from the panorama of our city and region. Each person in the database is usually linked to the place where they functioned. This may be a residence, school, craft workshop and so on). Relationships with other people (family members, neighbors, students and teachers of the school they attended) are important elements. In this module, it is possible to create groups of people who are related to each other (families, organizations, social groups, school classes, etc.).

"Places" module

Organizes information on geographical space in various historical periods (from the 16th to the 21st century). It consists of elements with varying degrees of detail: regions, cities, districts, streets, plots, houses. Due to the degree of conceptual generalization, places can be represented in a conventional way (e.g. a pushpin showing the "center" of the city) as well as by very precisely defined sequences of coordinates (e.g. house or specific area of a plot marked as a geometric shape ). An important part of the module consists of  archival cartographic materials, which give users the opportunity to get to know and imagine the appearance of a place in the past. Old maps and plans constitute the background for the presentation of past events, thanks to which the historical narrative is placed in its proper context. This allows for the tracking of spatial changes that took place in a given area as a result of various historical events (e.g. the Holocaust, the demolition of the Jewish quarter in Lublin, and then the complete transformation of this space in the post-war period). This module also offers the possibility to create maps and thematic routes.

"Events" module

Enables the organization and description of all types of events, including those of a historical nature (e.g. city location, outbreak of an epidemic, beginning of the German occupation), as well as those related to the lives of individuals or single places (birth, marriage, renovation or reconstruction of buildings, the establishing of a business activity such as a hairdresser at a given address, etc.).

Events function closely with the modules mentioned above (People, Places). They are also an indispensable link between places and people - a person connects to a specific place at a specific time (marked with an exact date or time interval).

"Sources" module

All information contained in the above-mentioned 3 modules (People, Places and Events) is based on verified source materials. This module allows you to organize, describe and quote a given source entry in the appropriate place.

This information comes from archival materials (including written, iconographic and cartographic documents), printed sources (e.g. press) and historical studies. Important elements of this category are also accounts of witnesses (oral history), diaries, memories and memorials. The "sources" module furthermore  contains genealogical information passed on by the descendants of former residents of Lublin and the Lublin region, often in the form of loose notes.

Database functionalityDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

As noted in the introduction, individual people, places, events and sources are represented by separate records. Each record has a unique identifier and is represented by a single article in the web platform management panel (CMS). Managing a single element of the database is analogous to creating a blog entry. The secret of the platform's operation is an extensive set of functions, enabling editors to use the information contained in the database. All these elements are then used in more complex forms of descriptions, such as family or organization histories, thematic maps or event calendars. In this way, the database allows for the creation of extensive relationships that are readable to the user.

As part of the database, the following activities are: possible (among others):

  • recreating family connections thanks to the possibility of defining child-parent or husband-wife relationships;
  • linking a given person with information from various sources (official documents, press materials, historical studies, photographs, oral history reports);
  • merging records for the same person from different source records;
  • linking the person to various places with which they had contact at different periods throughout their life;
  • linking events to source records containing information on the origin of the source or, in the case of digitally published documents, cross-referencing links from their place of origin.
  • creating various types of maps based on a database of places with the use of various underlays, geometries and markers.

An integral part of the database is the Geo-Historical Information System (H-GIS).

It allows you to create maps with a description of phenomena and events from the past. Thanks to this, we obtain the presentation of historical facts in the right spacial context . Moreover, it offers an opportunity to understand the spatial transformations that have taken place in a given area. If you want to compare the location of former streets and lots with a modern map or satellite image, you can compile layers from different historical periods. In the event of changes in street names and numbering of houses and plots, it is possible to quickly identify the former address.

Read more → About the historical Lublin geoportal (Lublin HGIS)

Examples of family studies:

Examples of thematic maps:


Projects implemented on the basis of the database:Direct link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Lublin. 43 thousand

The most meaningful and symbolic activity carried out with the use of the database is the project “Lublin. 43 thousand”. Its aim is to recreate the knowledge about the pre-war Jewish inhabitants of the city, with an emphasis on restoring the identity and commemorating each individual person, taking into account the spatial and temporal context. 43.000 is the approximate number of Jews constituting about 1/3 of the total population of Lublin in 1939.

Go to the article


The Lublin-Antwerp project adds information to the database that documents the fate of Lublin Jews who moved to Antwerp mainly during the 1920s and 1930s (mostly as part of economic emigration). This documentation has been obtained from: Antwerp police files (containing detailed notes on the person's biography, as well as descriptions of family connections and photographs), the Kazerne Dossin in Mechelen, online family research, and information gathered from various private and public resources including descendants of Lublin families. The fate of individuals and families born in Lublin who left for Antwerp are intertwined with the stories of their families who stayed in Lublin.

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Map of the Union of Lublin

The reconstruction of the map of Lublin from the period of the signing of the Union of Lublin (1569), is an interdisciplinary project using knowledge of history, architecture, city geography, cartography, art history and archeology. Based on research documentation, made available by the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments and various types of sources in the resources of the State Archives in Lublin and the Archdiocese Archives in Lublin, as well as research studies, experts undertook a graphic representation of buildings, the water supply system and the layout of roads and plots within cities. During the reconstruction of the Lublin plan from 1569, the information obtained was divided into three main groups, which are marked in different colors on the map:

  • Certain places and buildings, confirmed by both historical and archaeological or architectural sources;
  • Places and buildings that are known from one type of source, e.g. only historical;
  • Reconstructed places and buildings known only from general historical mentions;
  • Historical information about the inhabitants of Lublin during this period and related events were added to the map.

Go to the article (in Polish)

Database updatesDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The database contains several hundred thousand records in all modules. The content is systematically supplemented and edited, and actively extended with new data - as new documents and information received from private persons become accessible. It is worth noting that the database is, in a sense, a living entity. The entered records are for example subject to constant verification,  leading to regular elimination of factual inaccuracies, clarification of time and spatial frames, merging of duplicates - such as those resulting from the recording of the same information in multilingual sources. According to the law of scale, each "newly discovered" document is verified against thousands of collected records. New findings, after being approved, are entered into the database on an ongoing basis. As a result, the teatrnn.pl platform is the most up-to-date database of information about the history of the city and the region.