Stories from Storage

Not even the biggest museums can put all of their collections on display at once. The UHEC's currently very limited gallery space makes this challenge even more extreme. The situation is even worse for archives, which can easily have millions of individual documents in their repository.

In "Stories from Storage", we show how individual museum items or archival documents held by the UHEC can illuminate the history, culture, art, and religious beliefs of Ukrainians in Ukraine and the diaspora. We will continue to add blog post content, as well as video podcasts and other media, in the coming months.


Displaying 1 - 10 of 34

Perhaps one of the most interesting historical detective stories to be prompted by an item from the UHEC’s collections has been that of a mysterious letter written by a young man named “Alex” serving in the United States Army in post-World War II Germany.

Posted: November 11, 2020
Portrait of Anna Sten by Nicholas Bervinchak

While he is not a household name even among Ukrainian Americans, Nicholas Bervinchak was an important painter and print maker in the American Regionalist and Social Realist style, as well as a church muralist in the heavily Western-influenced Byzantine style popular among immigrants from Austria-Hungary in the early 20th century.

In this video, guest speaker Michael Buryk tells not only the story of Bervinchak, but also one of more unusual works: a portrait of the Kyiv-born Hollywood movie actress Anna Sten, who starred in several films in the 1930s.


Posted: October 19, 2020
Oleksii Balabas passport photograph, 1920

This passport is quite unlike any passport we're used to seeing today. It's not in the usual form of a booklet. And it wasn't even issued by the person's country of citizenship. Learn about how a Ukrainian from the Kuban' region north of the Caucasus Mountains ended up in Constantinople before moving to Prague, Czechoslovakia after World War I.

Posted: October 5, 2020
Cover of 1978 Holmdel, NJ Ukrainian Festival

From 1974 to 1997, the Ukrainian American community of New Jersey and the surrounding area organized a festival at the Garden State Arts Center (later, the PNC Bank Arts Center) as part of the "Heritage Festival" series of the New Jersey Highway Authority under the auspices of the New Jersey Council of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

Beginning from a relatively small start in the 1970s, it reached its heyday in the 1980s before succumbing to low attendance and other issues in the 1990s.

Posted: September 21, 2020
Actors in the play "For Father" in Cleveland, Ohio

Amateur theater was a popular activity at Ukrainian American churches and community centers in the first half of the 20th century. Here we tell a small part of that story through records and photographs from the Fr. Joseph Zelechiwsky scrapbooks, the Fr.

Posted: September 7, 2020
Label of early Columbia recording of "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina"

Learn about the origins and early recordings of "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" from long before it officially became the national anthem.

Posted: August 24, 2020
Woman holding a sheaf of wheat - detail of 1918 Ukrainian banknote

This "virtual revival" presents highlights from the UHEC's 2018 exhibition that explored the building of Ukrainian statehood through education, scholarship, culture, religion, and the arts.

It tells how the newly-independent Ukraine of the Revolutionary period defined a new visual language of statehood, and tells the stories of a few individuals from the amazing body of talent at Ukraine's Ministry of Education, Art, and National Culture.


Posted: August 17, 2020
Man in a group holding an American flag

In December 1918, representatives of local Ukrainian American organizations met in Washington, DC under the auspices of the “Federation of Ukrainians in the United States”. Meanwhile, the newly-independent Ukrainian state was under its third government in less than one year and was fighting for its survival on multiple fronts against nearly all of its neighbors.

Posted: August 3, 2020
Fr. Gregory Chomicky and parishioners

The Ukrainian Orthodox parish of St. Vladimir (now the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathederal in Parma, Ohio) was first organized in 1924 in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.

On January 7th (Julian Calendar Christmas) in 1927, the members of that parish family gathered to take a photograph front of the beginnings of the construction of their brand new church building. This was not just any photograph, but a 3 foot wide panorama photograph!

Posted: July 27, 2020
Kira Arkhimovych

Kira Arkhimovych was a botanist and plant breeder who specialized in tomatoes. Although overshadowed by her more well-known husband, her career spanned several decades and over 5,000 miles -- from Kyiv to Spain to New York. Her papers can be found at the UHEC Archives.


Posted: July 20, 2020