The Historical-Geographical Dictionary of the Polish Lands in the Middle Ages has been compiled in the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences since 1958. Its main objective is to collect and organise source-based information on individuals towns, villages, settlements and physiographical objects. Initially, the work on the Dictionary was primarily focused on providing a reconstruction and comprehensive picture of settlement networks. However, the range of collected data continually broadened as did the scope of enquiry, which came to include issues of ownership, the aristocratic background of owners, ecclesiastical issues, etc. The Dictionary is published in volumes (composed of parts, which are formed of individual fascicles) covering the individual voivodeships and lands of medieval Poland. The most prominent volumes of the series are the voluminous Dictionaries of the Cracow and Poznań voivodeships, which are published on an ongoing basis. In a sense, the Dictionary is the most comprehensive collection of source-based information regarding late mediaeval Poland arranged in geographical order. Most of the published volumes of the Dictionary are available in electronic version. The editors of the Dictionary (and heads of the Department) were, in sequence: Karol Buczek (1958–1974), Jerzy Wiśniewski (1975–1983) and Antoni Gąsiorowski (1984–2003). Since 2003, the Department has been headed by Tomasz Jurek. The department is composed of two sections: one is located in Poznań and the other in Cracow.