Imagine finding a dust-covered bankers box full of proclamations, bills and treaties signed by a multitude of American presidents, from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

That’s essentially what happened recently in Poland, except on a much older scale.

A collection of documents signed by a series of Polish monarchs, some more than 450 years old, turned up unexpectedly at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Zoran Karisic, an archivist at the university library, found the documents by chance in a storeroom, according to Polskie Radio, Poland’s national publicly funded radio broadcasting organization.

“It was a simple cardboard box, lined with paper and tied with string,” she told the Rzeczpospolita daily.

The papers range from as far back as 1555 up through 1790, and include items signed by Bona Sforza (1494-1557), the Renaissance queen reputed to have had a habit of poisoning her enemies, including her daughter-in-law.

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