The book’s cover
As the first month of the new year draws to a close, it felt appropriate to look at Ukrainian kalendar’ al’manakh for 1948, 75 years ago.
On its title page, it describes 1948 as a jubilee year, and refers back to the three years of 1648, 1848, and 1918. 1648 saw the start of the Cossack uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which would eventually lead to the creation of the Cossack Hetmanate state. Two centuries later, Galician Ukraine was in the Austrian Empire, and 1848 saw the creation of the Holovna Rus’ka Rada (Supreme Ruthenian Council) in L’viv, which determined the blue-yellow flag Ukraine uses to this day and oversaw the publication of the first Ukrainian-language newspaper, Zoria Halytska (Galician Star, or Galician Dawn). 1918 saw immense changes in Ukraine, starting with the 22 January declaration of the independent state of Ukraine. Continue reading →
This brief blog post looks at a publication produced in France which we hold in the Library in the Peter Yakimiuk collection.
Vpered, Ukraïno! (note the vocative form of the country name) was published in Paris by the group Ukrainian National Unity in France, in their Library of Self-Enlightenment, and describes itself in its sub-title as a narodnyĭ deklamator, a folk reciter.
The book contains Ukrainian poems by Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Oleksander Olesʹ, and many more. Lesi︠a︡ Ukraïnka (1873-1913) has the greatest number of poems in the compilations. Brief biographical notes of the authors follow the body of poems, and looking at these more closely today, I see that the approximate date of publication given to the book (1945) must be wrong – the writer Leonid Mosenda’s entry refers to his death in 1948 – so I will update it it in the catalogue now.
The book has come up in connection with preparations for a small exhibition we hope to curate in the autumn with the local Cambridge refugee community – more details when we know them! – which will celebrate Ukrainian culture and history. The cover is fairly eye-catching, but it’s the encouragement of the title that understandably attracts us in 2022 as Ukraine fights on. Vpered, Ukraïno!
In the past few years, the University Library has been very fortunate in receiving the private libraries of two late British Ukrainians – Peter Yakimiuk and Teodor Kolassa. Together, these donations have added hundreds of chiefly diaspora publications to the Library’s 20th-century Ukrainian collection. This blog post celebrates a few of the many eye-catching book covers to be found amongst them. All but the last of the six items detailed here were produced in Europe within a few years of the end of World War 2. Please click on each image to see a larger version.
Continue reading →