Archival collecting policy

The Ukrainian History and Education Center has among the most important and distinctive United States-based archival repositories of personal papers and institutional records on Ukraine and the Ukrainian American experience. It includes the papers of notable writers, scholars, artists, ethnographers, political and millitary leaders, Ukrainian Orthodox clergy and bishops, as well as those of many “ordinary” people who may not have been famous but whose lives (and their accumulated records) shed light on the struggles and triumphs of 20th century Ukraine and the lives of Ukrainians in the United States. The Center's archives also preserve and make accessible the institutional records of a number of Ukrainian American community organizations, Ukrainian Orthodox parishes, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church central administration in post-war Germany. A number of its collections are of significant importance to genealogists and family historians.

The holdings of the Center's Archives are particulary strong in the following areas: records relating to Ukrainian (especially Ukrainian Orthodox) religious history; personal and institutional records relating to the experience of Ukrainian Displaced Persons after World War II; the papers of Ukrainian-American scholars, writers, and political leaders (some of whom were successful in the US, and others who found their options extremely limited); and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the experience of Ukrainian exiles in Europe during the inter-war period. Materials consist of letters, diaries, writings, photographs, scrapbooks, minutes, radio scripts, audio recordings, posters, programs, other ephemera. The majority of the Archive's textual records are in languages other than English (primarily Ukrainian, but also German, Russian, Polish, Czech, Belarusian, and others).

The Center grew out of the Museum and Archives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Given the very small number of institutions that were willing to accept Ukrainian-language materials during the 1970s and '80s, many Ukrainian-Americans (especially those of the Orthodox faith) found the UOC of USA to be a convenient institution to which to donate their personal and family papers. These “legacy” collections make up the core of the Center's archival holdings, and they span an extremely wide range of subjects (from politics to tomato breeding).

The Center's Archives continues to acquire materials, focusing primarily on those that document the following areas:

  • 20th century Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American religious history, through the papers of priests, religious leaders, and parish records
  • The experience of Ukrainian political and religious exiles in post-WW II Germany and inter-War Europe
  • The experience of Ukrainian economic migrants and political/religious exiles in the United States through personal/family papers and institutional records
  • 20th century Ukrainian-language radio broadcasting in Western Europe and the United States at the local, national, and international levels
  • Records of use to genealogists and family historians

Preference will be given to collections with textual records or spoken word audio recordings in Ukrainian and/or English, and having only limited amounts of incidental material in other languages.

Areas in which the Archives is not actively seeking new acquisitions include:

  • Collections consisting primarily of literary or political writings
  • Papers of Ukrainian-Americans which do not contain distinctively Ukrainian cultural, historical, or religious elements
  • Collections which primarily cover the time period after 1991.

In addition, the Center does not currently have the technical capabilities to adequately preserve and make accessible collections with:

  • Extensive electronic records (computer discs, hard drives, flash drives, or other storage devices)
  • Substantial quantities of film or video recordings
  • Substantial quantities of audio in formats other than cassette or 1/4" open reel

The archives staff will work with donors offering collections outside of the Center's archival collecting scope to find other repositories (including ones with whom the Center has working relationships) that would be interested in their materials.

Loans of materials are not accepted, except in unusual circumstances (e.g. for display in a specific exhibit). Deposits of records by still-active organizations or institutions will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

At the time the donation is made, the donor will be asked to sign a deed of gift or some other legal instrument which transfers ownership of the materials and possibly also the intellectual property contained therein to the Center. This document will also allow the donors to indicate their preference for how materials not suitable for archival preservation will be dealt with. The determination of suitability will be done using the standard appraisal and selection practices of the American archival profession.