Meeting protocol of the Ukrainian National Council, 1919
This 12-page meeting protocol of the Ukrainian National Council is an important historical artifact. it was signed in 1919 by Ivan Horbachevsky, a renowned chemist and professor, who was born in the Galician province of Ternopil, but spent most of his adult life outside Ukraine. This document was produced by the Ukrainian government-in-exile, which was comprised of individuals who fled from the Bolshevik revolution and lobbied for Ukrainian independence from the outside. It predates the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922 and is a byproduct of the tumultuous period most often referred to as the Russian Civil War. Former imperial subjects articulated many differing political projects and visions of the future in the wake of the Russian Empire’s collapse. Among them were the Central Rada and the Ukrainian National (or People's) Republic, which after the fall of the Romanov dynasty lobbied for greater autonomy within the framework established by the Provisional Government. Once it became clear that the Bolsheviks had no intention of honoring that arrangement, they declared the independence of the nine southwestern most provinces, which they referred to as Ukraine.
This piece hints at the breadth, depth and variety of materials found in the Zina Genyk-Berezovska Collection at the T.H. Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv. As with most private archives, her collection developed organically and is comprised mostly of her own work as a literary scholar. However, Genyk-Berezovska and her husband were also integrated into a vibrant Ukrainian émigré community in Prague. Therefore, Genyk-Berezovska’s collection extends beyond personal papers to include materials from the larger community. There is a subsection in her archive with the title “Documents relating to the cultural life of the Ukrainian community in Prague,” as well as material relating to a number of prominent community leaders from the early 20th Century, like Ivan Horbachevsky. As a result, many surprises await scholars and researchers who plan to work with this collection. Among the materials are a list of interned officers, officials and Cossacks from the archive of Petro Krytskyi, a former colonel in the Ukrainian National Republican army. His papers also have documents relating to humanitarian work of Ukrainian organizations in Czechoslovakia from 1939, and his own personal documents--IDs, passport, directives--from 1914-1919. In the files labeled as the Ivan Horbachevsky Archive, one can find photographs of Horbachevsky himself as well as the Ukrainian community in Prague from 1924, letters written to Professor Horbachevsky in the years 1920-1945, as well as an appeal to Ukrainian "brothers and sisters across the ocean" drafted by the UNR government-in-exile in 1919.
- Kulick, Orysia Maria