Chair of History of Social Care has been existing since 1999. However, its foundation had been planned much earlier, just at the beginning of the re-activation of the Section of Pedagogy in 1981. In that time, thinking about a long-term perspective of development of Section of Pedagogy and about establishing there a Chair of Social Care, it was decided that M. Surdacki MA should specialise in social care in the framework of existing at KUL since 1984 Chair of History of Education and Pedagogical Thought. These problems have been consequently researched by him and the  results have been published for twenty five years now.

Since 1999 the Chairperson of the Chair of Social Care, unique all over Poland, has been Professor dr hab. Marian Surdacki, who works together with Wiesław Partyka PhD, a graduate of Institute of History KUL. Dr Partyka has been working in the Chair since its beginning and earned his doctorate in 2007 on the basis of a dissertation on Opieka społeczna w Ordynacji Zamojskiej w XVI- XVIII wieku (Social care in the Zamojski estate in 16th  - 18th centuries); it was published in 2008.

The research concentrates mainly on widely understood history of social care, hospitals, poverty, different types of institutions and philanthropic and charity initiatives, both in Poland and abroad. Some research has been also done on history of education and school systems. Lately the research has been concentrated on urban problems and also on Church and parish issues. All the works that has been undertaken by the Chairperson of the Chair of Social Care aimed at creating a synthesis of the history of social care and philanthropy on a universal level. Poland, contrary to other Western European countries, does not possess such an analysis.

Problems of the history of social care find their place in Prof. Surdacki's (obligatory and optional) university lectures (History of social care in Poland and in Europe) and during his MA and PhD seminars. More than 100 MA works and 4 PhD dissertations have been written under his supervision. Dr Wiesław Partyka propagate these problems during his classes and lectures.

Results of Prof. dr hab. Marian Surdacki's research there are more than 90 publications, six voluminous monographs among them: Opieka społeczna w Wielkopolsce Zachodniej w XVII i XVIII wieku (Social care in the Wielkopolska region in 17th and 18th centuries) (1992), Dzieci porzucone w Szpitalu Świętego Ducha w Rzymie w XVIII wieku (Abandoned children in the St Ghost hospital in Rome in 18th century) (1998), Il brefotrofio dell'ospedale di Santo Spirito in Roma nel XVIII secolo (2002), Religie - edukacja - kultura (Religions - education - culture) (2002), Edukacja i opieka społeczna w Urzędowie XV -XVIII wiek (Education and social care in Urzędów in 15th - 18th centuries) (2004); Urzędów w XVII- XVIII wieku. Miasto - Społeczeństwo - Życie codzienne  (Urzędów 17th- 18th century. Town - Society - Everyday life) (2007).

 Fifteen publications (one book among them) have been published in foreign languages, mainly in foreign publishing houses (10 in Italian, 2 in French, 2 in English and 1 in Spanish). This is a result of a long lasting and close co-operation of the Chairperson of the Chair of Social Care with the Italian community of historians of social history: Prof. Gabriele de Rosa, Prof. Isa Lori Sanfilippo, Prof. Girolamo Arnaldi, Prof. Rita Angeletti and Francesco Malgeri), and also with numerous Roman scientific institutions: Istituto Luigi Sturzo, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Istituto di Storia della Medicina. Università di Roma - La Sapienza, Biblioteca Lancisiana, Archivio di Stato di Roma, Pontificio Consiglio per la Pastorale della Salute, Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo, Accademia Polacca delle Scienze. Biblioteca a Roma.

Research work of the Chair is effectively enriched and completed by the works of  W. Partyka, PhD, who published many papers on the protective role of the Zamojski estate in many prestigious journals and also presented his papers during many scientific conferences. The Polish historians' community regards his topic of research as a very interesting one as the phenomenon of the philanthropic activity of the Polish magnates and particular magnate families, Zamojski family among them, has not been researched so far.

Scientific research and co-operation with scientific centres abroad, first of all in Italy, are without doubt the most powerful aspect of the activity of the Chair of Social Care. It is an effect of several scholarships of Professor Marian Surdacki (study visit at Sapienza University in Rome - 1980/1981, scholarship in Perugia University - 1980, 1986, scholarship of the Italian - Polish Historical School in Rome - 1988/1990, scholarship of the Lanckoroński Foundation in Rome - 1994, 2001, 2006 r.

Research activity of the Chair can be also measured by the fact that Professor Marian Surdacki twice was granted with an individual grant by the Committee of Scientific Research of the Ministry of University Education (1994-1996), (2004-2006), he got five times special grants for publication of his books (1998, 2002 - twice, 2004, 2007), he also participated in two other grants directed by Prof. Stanisław Litak. It should be said that among different Chairs of the Pedagogy Institute, our two-person Chair can boast a significant output for the last two years, as measured according to KBN marks.

            In the present day Professor Marian Surdacki has been working on a synthesis  „Dzieje dobroczynności i opieki społecznej od starożytności do końca XVIII wieku"  (History of philantropy and social care since the ancient times till the end of 18th centruy) and on the monograph "Chorzy w szpitalu św. Ducha w Rzymie w XVII - XVIII wieku" (Ill people in a St Ghost hospital in Rome in 17th - 18th centuries). Wiesław Partyka PhD has already started his habitation research on social care during the Second World War. Both the Chair and the research done in it have a pioneering and original character in the scale of Poland and the world.

Professor Marian Surdacki is also a very active regionalist. He performs a duty of an editor-in-chief of Głos Ziemi Urzędowskiej, a periodical that has been published for more than twenty years now, and enjoys high respect in the community of regionalists and regional associations. He is also a president of a well-known Association of the Urzędów Region (Towarzystwo Ziemi Urzędowskiej). In 2005 he was nominated a President of the Committee of the 600-year Anniversary of Urzedów Celebration.

(Written by M.Surdacki, translated by Ewa Domagała - Zyśk)