Today is Taras Shevchenko’s 209th birthday. In his fairly short life (he died one day after his 47th birthday), Shevchenko revolutionised Ukrainian literature and language and art. Our oldest Shevchenko holding is the 4-volume set of his works, published in L’viv between 1893 and 1898.
As Dr Rory Finnin of Cambridge Ukrainian Studies described in his Liberation lecture in November (full recording here), Shevchenko’s importance to Ukrainians domestically and further afield cannot and could never be overstated. Thanks to donations made to the UL over the last 12 years, we have a rich collection of émigré Ukrainian books dating in particular from post-WW2 migrant communities. Here are the earliest 1945- Ukrainophone Shevchenko editions from South America, North America, and Western Europe: Continue reading →
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 month’s item is yet another lovely arrival through the donation from the New York Shevchenko Scientific Society Library. Problemy uspishnoho vykhovanni︠a︡ provides a 20-chapter guide to raising children. Vykhovanni︠a︡ can also mean education, but the chapter list makes it quite clear that the book is about bringing children up more generally. The book covers birth and new parenthood, first steps and nursery, some coverage of early school years, general topics such as behaviour, interest, authority, and music, and the spiritual education of children. There are also chapters about language and about nurturing national consciousness in the family – both interesting since the book was written and published in the US with the Ukrainian diaspora its primary audience. Continue reading →
The Ukrainian-Slovak border is 60 miles long and lies largely in the Carpathians. Communities near the border on both sides often reflect in their demographics the ethnic history of the area, with Ukrainians, Slovaks, and Rusyns present. There are also more institution-based signs of this diversity; another 60 miles or so on the Slovak side of the border is the village of Svidník (Свидник/Svydnyk in Ukrainian), where the Museum of Ukrainian Culture is to be found.
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The decorative cover of ‘Dusha narodu i dukh nat︠s︡iï’ (The soul of a people and the spirit of a nation) by I︠U︡riĭ Rusov. The word across the middle reads ‘Ukraine’ and the three slogans at the bottom read ‘For faith, for Ukraine, for glory’.
Last year, I wrote about the first books to be catalogued from a donation sent to us by the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York. Today’s post looks at several other books in the collection which passed through my hands last week.
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