UHEC recorded sound collections

The Ukrainian History and Education Center has one of the most extensive and important collections of Ukrainian recorded sound in the world, including

  • LP phonograph recordings of Ukrainian music and recordings by Ukrainian performers published in the USSR and the West. This collection spans all genres and covers the entire 20th century.
  • Early 20th century 78 rpm shellac discs of Ukrainian music and recordings by Ukrainian performers published in Europe and the United States. This includes extremely rare pressings of Ukrainian opera singers such as Solomiia Krushel'nyts'ka and Modest Mentsinskyi, as well as popular recordings issued by Columbia, Victor, and other American labels.
  • Reel-to-reel and cassette recordings made from the 1950s to the early 21st century. Many of these are likely unique, and include live event recordings (such as speeches, concerts, literary readings, and church services), radio programming of the Voice of America and Radio Liberty, interviews, and other materials.

These recordings were acquired primarily through donations of the collections of Stefan Maksymjuk and Mykola Francuzenko, as well as audio materials in other, primarily paper-based, collections.

Digitization status

Given that the expected lifetime of magnetic tape is about 50 years, the UHEC has launched a major "emergency digitization" initiative in order to migrate the reel-to-reel and cassette recordings to modern media. This project is ongoing, and is being done concurrently with the processing of the source collections as a whole. This is somewhat contrary to standard archival practice, but it makes sense given the idiosyncrasies of these particular collections. Until such time as full finding aids are available, we are providing the following spreadsheets with details on some of the UHEC's audio accessions. Some of this material is already digitized. If it is not, then we may be able to provide on-demand digitization of selected tapes or discs.

Browse full or partial inventories:

Online audio access

Selected digitized audio is available throught the audio portal below, which also allows you to search by keyword and to do faceted browsing by language, topic, keyword, or speakers/performers. In part thanks to a collaboration with Dnipro National University, many of these recordings now also have detailed time-coded annotations and descriptions. The text of these annotations are included in the keyword search functionality, and the links allow you to immediately jump to a time point of interest in the recording. Not all digitized audio is available online due to copyright or other considerations. Please contact us with any research questions.

Search and browse all online digitized audio

Featured audio:

Radio Liberty program produced in New York City hosted by Mykola Francuzenko (as "Oleksandr Tereshchenko") on the commemoration of the Holodomor at the Metropolia Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in South Bound Brook, NJ.

Recording date: 1963 Duration: 00:09:46 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian

Radio Liberty program reporting on the 1964 dedication of the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Washington DC. Reporting and interview fragments by Mykola Francuzenko (using the pseudonym Oleksander Tereshchenko), speech fragments, and music clips by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus. The program concluces with summary of American press coverage of the event.

Recording date: 1964 Duration: 00:28:02 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian

Interview of Fr. Ihor Hubarzhevs'kyi regarding his first-hand recollections of his time in Kyiv during the Holodomor.

Duration: 00:10:30 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian

"Interview" of Izydora Kosach regarding her famous older sister, the writer Lesia Ukrainka. It contains her reminiscences, as well as critiques of inaccuracies in Soviet sources on Lesia Ukrainka. Although the content is in the form of questions and answers, it is clear that Kosach is reading from a prepared text. It is likely this was made for Radio Liberty, though it is not so identified.

Annotation of this recording was done with the assistance of students at the Department of Ukrainian History at Dnipro National University.

Duration: 00:19:11 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian

Unedited interview of Metropolitan Ioan (Teodorovych) by unknown female interviewer, and commentary by C. Warvariw. Interview covers the coming 50th anniversary of the 1921 Sobor in Kyiv, reminiscences of his arrival in the US, the Ukrainian Orthodox League, and the current state of the Church. The commentary gives more details about the Ukrainian Orthodox League and its 22nd Convention in Philadelphia.

Recording date: 1969 Duration: 00:28:36 Creator: Voice of America Language: Ukrainian

Radio Liberty program reporting on the events following the dedication of the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Washington DC in 1964, including the Youth Festival at the Washington Coliseum, a gala concert at Constitution Hall, and banquet at the National Guard Armory. Includes excerpts of interviews and speeches, as well as a clip of Jack Palance reading an English translation of Shevchenko's poem "Meni Odnakovo" ("I care not"). Reporting by Mykola Francuzenko (under pseudonym Oleksander Tereshchenko).

Радіо репортаж про заходи які відбулися після посвячення пам'ятника Тарасу Шевченку у Вашінгтоні 1964 р. Ведучий - Микола Француженко (під псевдонімом "Олександер Терещенко"). Подано інформації про фестиваль молоді, ювілейний концерт, та бенкет. Уривки провмов та інтерв'ю представників конгресу Рей Медден, Барратт Огара, Август Йогансен, керівник УНР Миколи Лівецького, др. Василя Кушніра, поета Яра Славутича, та голлівудських акторів Джек Паланс (Володимир Палагнюк) та Майк Мазуркі (Маркіян Мазуркевич). Також чути декламацію Джека Паланса вірша "Мені однаково" у перекладі на англійську мову.

Recording date: 1964 Duration: 00:26:36 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian, English

Interview of dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher Roma Pryima-Bohachevs'ka recorded at the Soyuzivka resort. Although it begins as a formal interview about her dance work, it turns into a wide-ranging conversation regarding mutual friends and other topics.

Duration: 00:30:02 Creator: Francuzenko, Mykola Language: Ukrainian

Statement by Mykola Rudenko at the State Department commemoration of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Translator: Stefan Maksymjuk.

Recording date: 1988-12-08 Duration: 00:10:03 Creator: Maskymjuk, Stefan Language: Ukrainian, English

Radio Liberty program produced in New York City with Mykola Francuzenko (as "Oleksandr Tereshchenko") on two concerts of Ukrainian music and dance at the 1964 New York World's Fair, along with interviews of a singer with the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka and the director of the dance ensemble.

Recording date: 1964 Duration: 00:08:57 Creator: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Language: Ukrainian

This audio is published in the spirit of providing access to these rare (and possibly unique) archival recordings. They are published for personal and research use only. Any commercial use or republication online, in the broadcast media, or in film and television is forbidden except with the permission of the Center and any relevant copyright holders.

Copyright ownership can be very difficult to ascertain, and the Ukrainian History and Education Center would welcome any information regarding the rights associated with this material. Please send all copyright inquiries to one of the addresses below for review.

Completion of the UHEC digital audio portal was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.