Ukrainian recorded sound archives

The Ukrainian History and Education Center Archives contain numerous audio recordings, 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 (speeches, concerts, church services, literary readings, etc.), 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.

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.

Selected digitized items from the UHEC's audio holdings are also available online below.

Stay tuned for some major improvements coming soon!

Thanks to an ongoing collaboration with Dnipro National University, many of these audio recordings now have detailed time-coded annotations and descriptions. You will soon be able to search these descriptions, and immediately jump to the relevant spot in the recording, as well as do searching and faceted browsing.

A historical and literary analysis of Anna Akhmatova's poem cycle "Requiem" by Volodymyr Biliaiv, followed by a reading by Mykola Francuzenko of selections in a Ukrainian translation.

Володимир Біляїв представляє історичний та літературний аналіз поетичного циклу "Реквієм" Анни Ахматової. Микола Француженко читає кілька віршів із циклу в українському перекладі.

Live event recording of the commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of independence of Carpatho-Ukraine presented by the Carpathian Alliance branch of Washington, DC. After introductions, there is a poetry reading by Halia Moroz, followed by the keynote address of Vikentii Shandor.

Запис відзначення 43-ї річниці проголошення незалежності Карпатської України, представлений відділом Карпатського Союзу у Вашингтоні. Після представлень декламації Галі Мороз поезії Василя Ґренджі-Донського та доповідь Вікентія Шандора.

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 Live recording of an event honoring the 6th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group.

Opening remarks, singing of national anthems, and speech by Gen. Petro Hryhorenko. The program continued with musical selections, which are not included here for copyright reasons.

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Proceedings of congressional hearing regarding the Ukrainian Helskinki Group. Introduction, prepared statement by Petro Hryhorenko read in English and questions and answers through interpreter; expert witness testimony by Myroslav Smorods'kyi; statement by Nina Strokata Karavansky and questions and answers; and Volodymyr Malynkovych statement and questions and answers.

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Audio recording of the Orthodox Rite of Consecration of a Church, officiated by Metropolitan Ioan and Archbishop Mstyslav. It is followed by the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. There may have been two choirs present, one of which would certainly have been conducted by Vasyl' Zavitnevych.

St. Volodymyr Cathedral is on 82nd Street in Manhattan, and continues to function as one of the episcopal cathedrals of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

New York City

Radio program reporting on the 1964 dedication of the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Washington DC. Reporting by Mykola Francuzenko (under pseudonym Oleksander Tereshchenko), including clips of music by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, speeches and interview fragments from Dwight D. Eisenhower, Volodymyr Dushnyk, Iaroslav Rudnyts'ky, Metr. Ambrose Senyshyn, Metr. Ioan Teodorovych, Roman Smal'-Stots'kyi, Lev Dobrians'kyi, and various attendees of the dedication festivities. Also includes an overview of the history of the project, and a summary of press coverage.

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Recording of Dr. Mikhail Stern (Mikhail Shtern) at an event in Washington, DC during his tour of Ukrainian American communities in the United States after his release from Soviet prison and arrival in the West. His speech covers a wide variety of topics, including his work treating endemic goiter in the Ukrainian Carpathians, the circumstances of his arrest and trial, and his prognosis for the future of the Soviet Union. It is followed by a question and answer session.

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Live recording of the Orthodox Paschal Liturgy celebrated at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathederal of St. Volodymyr on W. 82nd St. in Manhattan. The celebrants were the rector of the Cathederal Mitred Protopresbyter Ivan Danylevych and Protodeacon Mykhailo Ol'khovyi . The choir was conducted by Dr. Vasyl' Zavitnevych. The soloists in the "Anhel Vitav" ("The Angel Cried") were Olena Zаmiata, Sophie Pershyn, and Hanna Sherey.

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Unedited interview with General Petro Hryhorenko recorded at the Voice of America studios.

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Ievhen Malaniuk reading poetry, followed by conversation involving unknown individuals.

Євген Маланюк читає власні вірші.

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New York City

Interview of Voice of America correspondent Israel Kleiner by Mykola Francuzenko on the Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky (Volodymyr Zhabotyns'kyi), particularly regarding his views on politics and Jewish-Ukrainian relations.

Інтерв'ю кореспондента Голосу Америки Ізраєля Клейнера проведене Миколою Француженком про лідерa сіоністського руху Володимира (Зеева) Жаботинського. Інтерв'ю особливо звертає уваго на його політичні тенденції та думки про взаємин між українцями та євреями.

Greetings and introductions by Metropolitan Mstyslav, a representative of the Ukrainian Congress Committee, and by the president of the Ukrainian Institute in New York City, followed by speeches from Leonid and Tatiana Pliushch.

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Recording of a panakhyda (memorial service) for those who perished under the Soviet regime that took place at the Ukrainian Orthodox church in New York City. The introductory speech by Archbishop Mstyslav (start of reel 1) makes an allusion to a visit to the US by Metropolitan Nikolai of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Запис панахиди жертвам комуністичного режиму в Україні, яка відбулася в українські православні церкві в м. Нью-Йорку. Вступне слово Арх. Мстислава натякає на візиту Митр. Ніколая Російської Православної Церкви до США.

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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.

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Recording of a Mother's Day-themed program created for the Voice of America by Mykola Francuzenko. Includes musical performances by "Khor Pyzhukа Romanova" and the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, and a talk by Fr. Myroslavs'kyi (possibly a pseudonym).

Аудіозапис радіопрограми на тему Дня Матері. Музичні виконанная від "Хору Пижука Романова" та Капели Бандуристів ім. Т. Шевченка (Детройт), та доповідь о. Мирославського.

Mykola Francuzenko reads the 1917 poem "Zolotyi Homin" by the Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna.

Микола Француженко читає вірш "Золотий Гомін" Павла Тичини.

Interview of Mykola Shlemkevych by Mykola Francuzenko of Radio Liberty Ukrainian Service regarding the periodical "Lysty do Pryiateliv" ("Letters to Friends") (January 3, 1964, 9 minutes). Readings by Mykola Shlemkevych of two essays from "Lysty do Pryiateliv" titled "Holosy z kraiu" and "Spovid'" in 1957-58 for the "Holos Ukrainy" radio program in Chicago under the direction of Zenon Holubets'.

Copyright is owned by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and is republished here with permission.

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1957-1958, 1964

Radio 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 by Rep. Ray Madden (D-Indiana), Dr. Vasyl' Kushnir, Rep. Barratt O'Hara (D-Illinois), Rep. August E. Johansen (R-Michigan), UNR leader Mykola Livyts'kyi, poet Iar Slavutych, actors Jack Palance and Mike Mazurki, and others (Orest Buiniak, Volodymyr Biliaiev, and Iaroslava Korbutiak).

Lecture by noted Ukrainian-American lawyer, journalist, and community activist Semen Demydchuk recorded at an unknown live event. His speech is mostly concerned with the history of Ukrainian immigrants to the United States.

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After 1959 but before 1964
This excerpt of a recording of the full dedication service of St. Andrew Memorial Church that took place on October 10, 1965 consists of the speech given by then Archbishop Mstyslav. He unfortunately lost his voice partway through the reading, and the presentation of the speech is completed by Fr. Kovalenko.
The passage that is displayed in the exhibition in the Mausoleum can be heard beginning at 13:15.
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