HURI's Special Collections

The chronological extent of the Institute's manuscript and archival collections ranges from 1860 to the present. The material in the collections includes personal documents, correspondence, telegrams, minutes, financial and administrative records, manuscripts, publications, press clippings, and photographs. The predominant languages of the various documents are Ukrainian and English, although some of the documents are written in other European languages. The collections are a particularly important historical resource for the study of Ukraine during the revolutionary years 1917 to 1921, and Ukrainian refugee and émigré life in Europe and the United States following the Second World War. The papers and archives are also useful for studying Ukrainian cultural life from the viewpoint of individual lives and institutional activities. 

Below is an overview of our special collections, excerpted from Ksenia Kiebuzinski's guide to Ukrainian special collections. To learn more about specific collections, browse the list, or search for something specific, go to our Browse Special Collections page.

For annotated descriptions of all the Ukrainian archival collections at Harvard University libraries consult A Guide to Ukrainian Special Collections at Harvard University prepared by Ksenya Kiebuzinksi. Bibliographic records for all archival collections could be found in HOLLIS. Finding aids and digital images of selected archival collections could be found in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

Post-World War I Collections

early radio intelligenceSeveral collections provide insights into the immediate post-World War I period in Ukraine. The Yaroslav Chyz collection includes telegrams relating to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in early 1917 and the ensuing hostilities that enveloped Eastern Europe. Another collection useful for the study of Ukrainian history and politics from 1917 to 1921 is that of Stepan Dushenko. The Chuchman, Hanydziuk, and Solowij collections contain postage stamps and/or paper currency issued by the government of the Ukrainian state from 1918 to 1920. The Victor Peters collection includes research material for his book on Nestor Makhno. His notes trace the history of Makhno's anarchist movement during the Ukrainian revolutionary ferment. The Jan Tokarzewski-Karaszewicz collection contains documents regarding the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) under the command of Symon Petliura and, subsequently, the government-in-exile. It is also a good source for studying Ukrainian political refugee life of members of former Ukrainian diplomatic and economic missions of the UNR. The notebooks of Ivan Liubusko contain articles from the American newspapers Ameryka and Batkivshchyna, as well as excerpts from books, about the Ukrainian revolutionary period that he copied in longhand over a ten year period beginning in 1969. The Antin Podufalyi papers include documents issued to him by the UNR, Poland and France. Another collection of interest for this period of Ukrainian history is the biographical sketch of Andrii Livytskyi, former head of the government-in-exile of the UNR, written by Stepan Vytvytskyi.

Interwar and World War II Collections

The period leading up to and including the Second World War is best documented by the records of the hetmanite movement and the papers of Mykola Lebed. The hetmanite collection includes correspondence from 1926 to 1932 between leading members of the movement who went on to establish the Ukrainian Union of Agrarians-Statists, an émigré conservative monarchist organization founded in Vienna by Viacheslav Lypynskyi which stood in direct opposition to the Government-in-exile of the UNR. The Lebed collection comprises correspondence, documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, and publications dating roughly from the 1930s to 1990s that pertain to his involvement in various Ukrainian political and civic organizations, including the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UVHR), and the Prolog Research Corporation. These organizations were engaged at various times in struggles against occupying forces in Western Ukraine, including the Polish inter-war regime, the German and Soviet Armies during the Second World War, and, subsequently, the Soviet post-war regime.

Displaced Ukrainians Collections

Catholic church clergyThe experience of Ukrainian displaced persons following the Second World War can be traced in several of the other collections housed at the Institute. The Volodymyr Nestorovych collection includes a scrapbook he kept during his years as bookkeeper for the World's YMCA-YWCA for displaced persons in the British zone of Germany. It includes photographs of joint conferences of Ukrainian YMCA-YWCA leaders from the American and British zones. The archives of the Ukrainian Council for Physical Culture (RFK) comprise a photo album containing images of various Ukrainian DP sports clubs in Germany. Additional material regarding Ukrainian DP sports clubs can be found in the records of the Berchtesgaden (Orlyk) DP Camp, which also include documents from the "Zaporizhzhia" sports club in the Aschaffenburg DP Camp and the RFK. The Ukrainian student movement archives consist of records of the Central Union of Ukrainian Students, the Union of Ukrainian Student Associations of Germany, and the Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations of America. The Bohdan Kozak collection includes letters and photographs relating to the Ukrainian Catholic chapel of Chrzanowo in northeastern Poland, the only chapel to have mass celebrated in the Ukrainian Catholic rite in Warmia diocese. 

Émigré Life Collections

Additional collections at the Institute document Ukrainian émigré life in the United States. The two largest collections are the papers of Bohdan Krawciw (Kravtsiv) and Mykhailo Bazhanskyi. The Krawciw papers consist of clippings, notes, and correspondence related to his work in the U.S. as a member of the editorial boards of the newspapers Ameryka and Svoboda, the journal Suchasnist, and the Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva. The papers of Bazhanskyi contain material related to his work as a journalist, and as an active member of the Ukrainian community in Detroit and of the Ukrainian scouting organization Plast.

Local History of Ukrainian Immigrants Collections

Sunday mass poster 1939A number of smaller collections should also interest scholars working on local history of Ukrainian immigrants. The Dmytro Bratush collection provides information about organizations such as the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party, Defense of Ukraine, and Prosvita Society, as well information about Ukrainian community-life in Rochester, New York. The archives of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart in Boston contain information on the establishment of the church and the subsequent conversion of the parish to the Orthodox creed. The Petro Moroz collection is also useful for studying the Ukrainian community in the Boston area, particularly the development of its Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Ukrainian community in Chicago may be studied by looking at the Alex J. Zabrosky papers. The Stephania Halychyn collection mostly relates to her activities as organizer and president of the Ukrainian Gold Cross in the United States. The Ievhen Kulchytskyi collection spans the first fifty years of Plast and covers some its activities in Ukraine, the United States, and Canada. The activities of professional organizations in the United States, such as the Ukrainian Engineers' Society of America, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and the Ukrainian American Association of University Professors, are documented by circulars and other printer matter in the Oleksander Smakula papers. The organizational life of Ukrainian-Americans can also be studied by examining the papers of Joseph Lesawyer, a community leader active for many years in the Ukrainian National Association and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, and the archives of Defense of Ukraine, Branch 11, Buffalo, New York; the Ukrainian Cultural Society in Detroit, Michigan; the Ukrainian Knowledge Society (Prosvita) in New York City; and the Ukrainian Technical Institute in New York

1932-33 Famine and Soviet Collections

The library holds few records relating to Soviet Ukraine. It does, however, house copies of the documents gathered and written by the International Commission of Inquiry into the 1932-33 Famine in Ukraine. This collection contains testimonies of famine eyewitnesses and prominent international experts of Stalin's terror policy, and documentary evidence, including diplomatic reports, publications, and Soviet decrees. Besides this collection, the library has a memoir of the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine written by Ivan Tsven. The period of Soviet Ukraine in the early 1970s is covered by photographs originally printed in the journal Po radianskii Ukraïni. The Kostiantyn Morozov interviews document the end of the Soviet Union and the birth of Ukraine. They provide detailed reminiscences of the period from 1988 to early 1992, when he came to Ukraine as the commander of the Soviet 17th Air Army and ended up the first minister of defense of independent Ukraine. A report written by Tatiana Vlasova and Iurii Lositsky examines the changing cultural and architectural policy towards the historic Podil district in Kyiv during the second half of the twentieth century. 

Cultural Interest Collections

people at pianoPapers that are of a more cultural interest include those of Zenon Kuzelia. Much of the collection of this bibliographer, editor, and journalist, is comprised of correspondence from his years in Berlin from 1920 to 1945. The Zinovii Lysko collection provides insights into the experiences and problems Ukrainian composers and musicologists faced working outside Ukraine. The collection includes correspondence with noted composers, conductors, musicologists, and musicians, as well as Lysko's musical scores and writings. The Mykola Ponedilok collection gives a sense of post-World War II émigré life among Ukrainian writers, journalists, and literary scholars. Other collections of writers held by the library include manuscripts of Andrii ShelestKostiantyn VanchenkoMykhailo Iurchenko, and Igor Pototskii, as well as correspondence, documents, poetry, and other writings of Kost VahylevychMary Lesawyer's papers help track the numerous Ukrainian musical productions given throughout North America. The bulk of the Theodore Wacyk collection includes photographs of his art work and family; and original charcoal and ink drawings, pastels, and oil paintings. The library also houses illustrations by Mykola Butovych. The material in the Volodymyr Sichynskyi collection reflects his career as a prolific scholar of Ukrainian architecture, art, and graphics, while that in the Augustin Stefan collection reflects his scholarly work on Carpatho-Ukraine. The archives of the Conference on Ukrainian Economics, the Permanent Conference on Ukrainian Studies, and the Seminar in Ukrainian Studies document the vast scholarship on Ukraine in a wide range of disciplines. 

Personal Collections

Collections of a more personal nature include those of Myroslav Kotys and Volodymyr Solowij, who trace their family history in their respective memoirs. The Konstantyn Schynkar collection consists of notebooks of Ukrainian poetry that he collected from 1915 to 1917 while living in New York City. The correspondence in the Stepan Salyk collection consists of letters from the pedagogue and writer Mykhailo Lomatskyi. The letters discuss not only personal matters and Lomatskyi's work on Hutsuls, but reflect general émigré concerns. The Kalenik Lissiuk collection consists of his correspondence with members of the Republican National Committee and The John Birch Society, as well as an autograph book containing signatures of various prominent Ukrainians. Besides these personal papers, there are miscellaneous documents from the families Alchevskyi of KharkivPiotrowski of Vilnius, and Kalytovskyi of Detroit, Michigan; and correspondence of Myroslav Sichynskyi and Mykola Davyskyba of Boston.