Kachkovsky Society

Kachkovsky Society (Общество им. М. Качковского; Obshchestvo im. M. Kachkovskogo). A cultural and educational society named in honor of Mykhailo Kachkovsky that was founded in 1874 in Kolomyia by Galician Russophiles led by Rev Ivan Naumovych. It was modeled on the populist Prosvita society (est 1868), and its purpose was to enlighten the common people. In 1876 its head office was moved to Lviv. The society had branch offices in county towns and libraries in villages. Its main activity was publishing inexpensive religious books, calendars, farming manuals, and popular entertaining novels. From 1930 its monthly booklets were known as Narodnaia Biblioteka. I. Naumovych’s works came out separately in seven editions. Some of these publications were written in the local Ukrainian vernacular, and others in the artificial yazychiie. The society also reprinted the works of Russian writers. Besides publishing, it organized practical courses on farming and co-operation. In 1924 the journal Nauka, which was founded by I. Naumovych in 1871, became the official journal of the society. Despite its large financial reserves, the society’s importance diminished with the decline of the Russophile movement. In 1914 it had only about 300 reading rooms, compared to 2,944 of the Prosvita society, and in 1936 its membership was 5,975, compared to Prosvita’s 306,000 (1935). The society’s presidents were Rev I. Naumovych, Rev Teofil Pavlykiv, B. Didytsky, and Pylyp Svystun before the First World War, and A. Aleksevych, Marian Hlushkevych, Ya. Verbytsky, and Adriian Kopystiansky after the war.

Andrusiak, M. Geneza i kharakter halyts'koho rusofil'stva v XIX–XX st. (Prague 1941)

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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