The Tatra Museum began to collect archival materials at the moment of its institution (1888). The first items assembled comprised the Tatra Museum Society’s proceedings and the museum’s own documentation. Yet the archival collection had not been consistently streamlined until 1922, which was when Juliusz Zborowski began to work in the museum. He embarked on the acquisition of ethnographic, linguistic and historic materials focusing on issues connected with the regions of Podhale, Spisz and Orawa on a systematic basis.
At the moment of writing, the Tatra Museum archives contain about 3 500 items from the 17th–20th centuries. The highlights of the archival collections and sets include first and foremost parchment documents, the 1628–1766 royal privileges granted to village administrators by the names of Dzielski, Nowobilski and Chochołowski. There is also the 1674 ennoblement certificate issued by Emperor Leopold I of Austria to confirm the new status of the Moniak family of Zubrzyca Górna. Records of societies and institutions operating in Zakopane as of the late 19th century, the Polish Tatra Society (1873–1930) and its Ethnographic Section (1913–18), Committee for the Tytus Chałubiński Monument Erection (1900–4), the Zakopane Elementary School Society (1909–32), School of Timber Industry (1881–1946) and the PTTK Podhale Society for the Protection of Monuments (1951–80), feature prominently in the archives.
The archives also embrace items concerning the history of the Zakopane press. Here mention is due to editorial documents of the Przegląd Zakopiański [Zakopane Review] (1899–1906), Zakopane (1908–14), Echo Tatrzańskie [Tatra Echo] (1918–19), Gazeta Podhalańska [Podhale Gazette] (1913–34), Gazeta Zakopiańska [Zakopane Gazette] (1893) and Zakopane Publishing Co-op (1913–14).
As a special category in the collection, there are archives of families due to their varied activities connected with Zakopane, Spisz and Orawa. Those worthy of mention in this context are the Homolacs family of Zakopane (1813–1909), the Machay family of Jabłonka (1930–62), the Moniak family of Zubrzyca Górna (17th–18th c.), the Uznański family of Szaflary (1827–1939), the Wilczek and Divéky families of Podwilk (17th–20th c.), and the Witkiewicz family (19th–20th c.).
The region of Podhale, and especially Zakopane have for years been the area of activities of numerous, often outstanding individualities representing culture, politics and economy, who have made important contributions to the development of the town and the region. Stored in the Tatra Museum Archives are papers of Stanisław Barabasz (1857–1949)*, Wojciech Brzega (1872–1941), Jan Bednarski (1866–1926), Bronisław (1888–1912) and Maria Dembowski, Józef Diehl (1882–1955), Kazimierz and Bronisława Dłuski (1900–1922), Stanisław Eljasz-Radzikowski (1869–1935), Aniela Gut-Stapińska (1898–1954), Matylda Jostowa (1882–1977), Kornel Makuszyński (1884–1953), Olga Małkowska (1888–1979), Franciszek Henryk Nowicki (1864–1935), Jan Pluciński (1897–1982), Helena Roj-Kozłowska (1900–1955), Kazimierz Saysse-Tobiczyk (1891–1980), Mariusz Zaruski (1867–1941), and Juliusz Zborowski (1913–1965).
* Dates given in brackets represent the years covered by documents in the museum archives.