Kyiv Literacy Society

Kyiv Literacy Society (Київське товариство грамотності; Kyivske tovarystvo hramotnosti). Society established in 1882 to promote literacy in Kyiv gubernia, Podilia gubernia, and Volhynia gubernia. The society had branches in Uman, Smila, and other provincial centers. It operated libraries and reading rooms at parish schools, organized evening and Sunday schools for adults, provided financial assistance to primary-school teachers and students, sponsored literary and musical evenings, provided textbooks for schools, and published popular literature, including the works of Taras Shevchenko. In 1902 the society built the Trinity People's Building in Kyiv. The last head of the society (from 1903) was Volodymyr Naumenko. In 1904 it was one of the first organizations to advocate publicly the repeal of the Ems Ukase prohibiting the use of the Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire. This brought it the enmity of conservative Russian circles in Kyiv, and the society was finally closed in 1908 by the Kyiv governor-general.

[This article was updated in 2015.]




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