Ohloblyn, Oleksander

Ohloblyn, Oleksander [Оглоблин, Олександер], b 6 December 1899 in Kyiv, d 16 February 1992 in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Historian, historiographer, and archeographer; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1947 (honorary member from 1988) and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN) from 1948. He graduated from Kyiv University in 1919 and obtained doctorates in Ukrainian cultural history (Odesa, 1926) and historical sciences (Moscow, 1941). He was a professor of Ukrainian economic history at the Kyiv Archeological Institute (1920–1), the Kyiv Institute of People's Education (1921–33), the Kyiv Institute of the National Economy (1927–30), Kyiv University (1938–41), and Odesa University (1938–41); a full member of the Kharkiv-based Scientific Research Institute of the History of Ukrainian Culture (1926–31); a senior research associate at the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN) (1926–33) and the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1935–41); deputy director of the All-Ukrainian Historical Museum in Kyiv (1931–2); director of the Kyiv Central Archive of Old Documents (1932–3); chairman of the department of capitalism at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1937–41); and chairman of the department of Ukrainian history at Odesa University (1939). He was imprisoned for several months in 1930–1 and forced to recant his ‘bourgeois nationalist’ scholarship. From 1933 to 1935 he was relieved of all academic positions and suffered persecution by the GPU. In the autumn of 1941, during the German occupation of Ukraine, he headed the Kyiv municipal administration and was a member of the Ukrainian National Council (Kyiv). He lived in Lviv in 1943 and Prague in 1944.

A postwar émigré, Ohloblyn was a professor in Munich at the Ukrainian Free University and the Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church from 1946 to 1951. He emigrated to the United States in 1951. There he chaired the UVAN Historical Section (1951–84) and was a contributing editor of Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva and Encyclopedia of Ukraine. He also contributed to Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopaedia and chaired the scholarly council of the Lypynsky East European Research Institute (from 1964). He was president of the Ukrainian Genealogy and Heraldry Society (1963–74), the Ukrainian Historical Association (1965–80), and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1970–9, honorary president from 1988); was a visiting history professor (1968–70) and thesis adviser (1970–3) at Harvard University; and was elected an honorary member of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute in 1973.

Ohloblyn is the author of over 700 publications (monographs, articles, and reviews) on Ukrainian history, historiography, genealogy, and other historical disciplines. They include monographs on manufacturing in the Hetman state (1925), the precapitalist factory in Ukraine (1925), and the peasant factory in 18th- and 19th-century Ukraine (1931), all of which were reprinted in Munich in a volume titled A History of Ukrainian Industry (1971); a textbook on the history of the Ukrainian economy (1929); books of essays on Petro Petryk's rebellion (1929) and the history of capitalism in Ukraine (1931); a book on the Muscovite theory of the Third Rome in the 16th and 17th centuries (1951), The Treaty of Pereiaslav, 1654 (1954), and a book on Ukraine during the hetmancy of Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1957); a book-length article, ‘Ukrainian Historiography, 1917–1956,’ in the Annals of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States (1957); monographs on the late 18th- and early 19th-century elite in the Novhorod-Siverskyi region (Liudy staroï Ukraïny [People of Old Ukraine], 1959) and Hetman Ivan Mazepa and his era (1960); and shorter books on Opanas Lobysevych (1966) and contemporary Soviet Ukrainian historiography (1963).

Ohloblyn’s autobiography, articles about him, and a bibliography of his works appeared in a 1977 festschrift in his honor, edited by V. Omelchenko. A collection of his essays, edited by Lubomyr Wynar, appeared in 1995 as Studiï z istoriï Ukraïny (Studies of the History of Ukraine).

Vynar, L. Oleksander Petrovych Ohloblyn, 1899–1992: Biohrafichna studiia (New York 1994)
Verba, I. Oleksander Ohloblyn: Zhyttia i pratsia v Ukraïni (Kyiv 1999)
Vynar, L. Oleksander Mez’ko Ohloblyn: Doslidzhennia i materiialy (Ostrih 2000)

Lubomyr Wynar

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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