Lviv National Scientific Library of Ukraine
Lviv National Scientific Library of Ukraine [Львівська національна наукова бібліотека імені В. Стефаника; Lvivska natsionalna naukova biblioteka imeni V. Stefanyka]. It was established in Lviv in January 1940, after the Soviet occupation of Western Ukraine, as Lviv Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR: the Lviv branch library of the Central Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kyiv. It was created through the appropriation of the library collections of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (207,900 volumes, 2,250 geographic and historical charts and maps, and 1,500 manuscripts and individual parchments), the People's Home in Lviv (120,000 volumes and 5,000 manuscripts), the Ossolineum Institute (297,460 volumes and 6,270 manuscripts), the Baworowski Foundation (founded in 1856 on the basis of the Stadnicki family’s and Denys Zubrytsky’s collections, 55,000 volumes), the Dzieduszycki collection, the Lviv Jewish Community Library, the Saint Onuphrius's Church and Monastery, and 76 other state, public, private, and theological libraries. The former building of the Ossolineum Institute became the main building of the new library. On the eve of the German-Soviet War of 1941 this new library contained approximately 2 million items in its collection. It was transformed in 1941–2 by the German occupational authorities into the Lviv State Library (Lemberger Staatsbibliothek). In 1944 the retreating German forces removed a significant part of the early manuscript collection (including Albrecht Dürer’s original engravings), some of which was later turned over to various state libraries in Warsaw and Wrocław. As a result of this, a portion of the manuscript collection of the Shevchenko Scientific Society remained in Poland. After the Second World War numerous old prints and manuscripts (70 percent of what had once comprised the Ossolineum Institute’s collection) were also relocated to Poland. In 1949 ten thousand volumes were transferred to the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Leningrad (today the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg).
In 1944 the library once again became the Lviv Scientific Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; in June 1963 it was renamed the Lviv State Scientific Library and placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture of the Ukrainian SSR; in 1969 it was returned to the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; and in 1971 it was named in honor of the Ukrainian writer Vasyl Stefanyk. In 1989 the library gained a status of a scientific research institute. In 1994 it was renamed the Lviv Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In 2008 it was granted a national library status, although it has remained under the jurisdiction of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and it assumed its present name.
As of 2017 the Stefanyk Library (as it is popularly known) contains over 8 million items (books, letters, journals, posters, maps, incunabula, and graphics, including 100,000 manuscripts dating from the 15th century, 120,000 old prints, 378,000 musical scores, 22,000 early modern cartographic items, 50 rare incunabula, and 800 paleotypes). Its Ukrainian collections are among the largest in the world. With its four branches (all located in Lviv) it has the most complete collection of materials on the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural life of Galicia and represents one of the former Soviet Union’s largest libraries. Many of the materials are still housed in their original (pre-Soviet) premises.
The library consists of seven ‘scholarly-research’ departments, including two institutes (that of the printed media studies and the studies of the library art resources) and a number of ‘scholarly-organizational’ departments, including: the formation of information resources; the restoration and conservation of rare items; periodical press; and editing and publishing. In 2015 the library employed 427 staff members, including 99 scholars. It publishes the annual Zapysky Lvivs’koï naukovoï biblioteky imeni V. Stefanyka (21 volumes, 1992–2013) and Zbirnyk prats’ Naukovo-doslidnoho tsentru periodyky (22 volumes, 1993–2014).
L’vivs’ka naukova biblioteka im. V. Stefanyka (1940–1980 rr): Pokazhchyk vydan’ biblioteky ta literatury pro ïï diial’nist’ (Lviv 1982)
L’vivs’ka naukova biblioteka im. V. Stefanyka AN URSR: Zbirka naukovykh prats’ (Kyiv 1985)
L’vivs’ka naukova biblioteka im. V. Stefanyka AN URSR: istorychnyi narys (Kyiv 1989)
L’vivs’ka naukova biblioteka im. V. Stefanyka NAN Ukraїny: dokumenty, fakty, komentari (Lviv 1996)
L’vivs’ka naukova biblioteka imeni V. Stefanyka: pokazhchyk vydan’ biblioteky ta literatury pro ïï diial’nist’ (1981–2000) (Lviv 2004)
L’vivs’ka natsional’na naukova biblioteka imeni V. Stefanyka: pokazhchyk vydan’ biblioteky ta literatury pro ïï diial’nist’ (2001–2005) (Lviv 2007)
L’vivs’ka natsional’na naukova biblioteka imeni V. Stefanyka: pokazhchyk vydan’ biblioteky ta literatury pro ïï diial’nist’ (2006–2009) (Lviv 2010)
L’vivs’ka natsional’na naukova biblioteka imeni V. Stefanyka: peremishchennia i vtraty fondiv. Tom 1 (1939–45): zbirnyk dokumentiv i materialiv (Lviv 2010)
Serhiy Bilenky, Lubomyr Szuch
[This article was updated in 2017.]