Polish Guild of Gutenberg's Knights officially in existence since 1996 is an integral part of the European Confraternity of the Knights of Gutenberg, an organization operating in six European countries. The idea of the Guild was born in France from where it was transplanted to Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Poland.
As a result, the members of the Polish association are among the elite group which brings together more than 700 citizens of countries belonging to the European elite regarding the development of the printing industry. Gutenberg confreres from around the Vistula River are the only representatives of the Central and Eastern Europe in the ranks of this pan-European organization.
The history of the Guild begins in Paris in 1978, then a group of French journalists and publishers founded European Confraternity of Gutenberg's Knights in order to prevent the process of French language contamination with English words. This idea found fertile ground in other countries of the Continent and in 1994 reached Poland when the first insignia were given to gentlemen of Polish origin - Jacek Kuśmierczyk and Piotr Mikosz.
Three years later at the Collegium Novum of the Jagiellonian University this European organization formally adopted 17 other representatives of the Polish art of printing. Grand Master of the Brotherhood - Phillipe de Chartres, Minister of Labor in the government of General De Gaulle came to Cracow especially for this occasion. Numerous representatives of the association from other countries also witnessed those activities.
At the end of 1996 the ceremony of adopting next 16 members into the ranks of the organization took place in Warsaw. The meeting was held in the halls of the "Bristol" hotel and a group of 30 top officials of the organization honored them with their presence.
Formalities related to registering the association called Polish Guild of Gutenberg's Knights were completed on 18 October 1996 at the inaugural general meeting in Warsaw.
That ceremony can be called the crowning of the first period of existence of Polish Guild during which it had remained unincorporated. Shortly after the registration, that is, at the turn of 1996 and 1997, the Chapter decided to activate the Guild. It was decided to begin work to enable the practical implementation of the objectives enshrined in the statute such as the popularization of the Polish language, the promotion and development of Polish culture, promotion of the idea of fair and fraternal Europe, improvement and development of printing, support and promotion of reading and education - particularly among children and adolescents.
By preparing a number of projects addressed to the youngest citizens of Poland, members of the Guild are trying to prevent the financial status from limiting the process of educational and cultural development of Polish children. Among the beneficiaries of the association there are always disabled pupils and pupils from orphanages and other educational and welfare institutions.
Every year aid is offered to children and schools that have suffered from natural disasters.
For the past 13 years performances have been organized for young people at the most prestigious stage of our country - the Grand Theatre - National Opera and thanks to the association for the last 10 years children have been able to associate with beautiful classical music at concerts in Warsaw National Philharmonic.
Together with the authorities of the Polish capital a "Licealiada" project has been carried out for the past 2 years through which young people of Warsaw get to know the history of their city.
The number of books received to date by school libraries is close to a million copies.
In addition, Polish Guild of Gutenberg’s Knights has been digitizing collections of Polish culture, making scientific discoveries on an international scale in the process.
The association also publishes unique books; here it is worth mentioning an album "Printing in art - the art of printing" which has become the object of desire of librarian circles.
Scientific conferences and industry symposia have been regularly organized and in 2011 together with KPMG - one of the world's largest auditing firms, the first report was published under the title 'Print media market in Poland'. The second edition of the report will be presented at Drupa 2012 in Dusseldorf.
The priority, however, is the international promotion of Polish culture, arts, and economic and scientific achievements.
In view of the above achievements it cannot be surprising that the association was joined by Marshals of the Sejm, Prime Ministers and Ministers of the Polish Government, members of Parliament, Ambassadors of Germany, France, China, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and even the clergy.
At this point it is worth noting with pride the fact that the Polish Guild of Gutenberg's Knights is one of the few non-governmental organizations which has been consistently working with the offices of three Polish presidents.
The activity of the association is funded by donations of people and institutions sympathetic to us, revenues from economic activity and the money obtained through charity projects, such as "Ball of the Polish Word", the fourteenth edition of which will be held on 6 April 2013 in Warsaw.
In this way, this little association with only 260 members with their dedication and hard work every day proves that dedication to noble purposes is always a superior value and satisfaction derived from achievements is the greatest reward.
Dear Reader, if you are reading these words it means that you are holding yet another effect of the work of people associated with the idea of Polish Guild of Gutenberg's Knights.
We all turn to you with a request: Help us! Because together we will achieve even more!
For information about us please visit www.bractwogutenberga.pl or the Office
of Polish Guild of Gutenberg's Knights Daniszewska 2,
Warszawa 03-230, tel./fax.: +48 22 652 19 33