Almanac [Альманах; Almanakh]. In the Middle Ages an almanac was a book showing the movements of the heavenly bodies. Later it became a calendar (kalendar) or a compendium of useful information. The first Ukrainian literary compendia or almanacs appeared in the 11th century (Pchela, Menaion). However, the almanac did not become widely used until the 19th century. In Ukraine the following almanacs contained exclusively literary pieces and played a role in the rebirth of Ukrainian literature: Ukrainskii al’manakh (eds Izmail Sreznevsky and I. Roskovshenko, 1831), Utrenniaia zvezda (1833–4), Rusalka Dnistrovaia (1837), Ukrainskii sbornik (ed Izmail Sreznevsky, 1838), Kievlianin (ed Mykhailo Maksymovych, 1840–1), Lastôvka (ed Yevhen Hrebinka, 1841), Snip (ed Oleksander Korsun, 1841), Molodyk (ed Ivan Betsky, 1843–4), Vinok rusynam na obzhynky (ed Ivan Holovatsky, 1846–7), Iuzhnyi russkyi sbornik (ed Amvrosii Metlynsky, 1848), Zapiski o Iuzhnoi Rusi (ed Panteleimon Kulish, 1857), Zoria halytskaia (ed B. Didytsky, 1860), Khata (Saint Petersburg) (1860), and Dnistrianka (1876). Pershyi vinok, an almanac by and about women, was published by Nataliia Kobrynska and Olena Pchilka in Lviv in 1887.
In the early 20th century modernist esthetic trends were reflected in the almanacs Z nad khmar i dolyn (ed Mykola Vorony, 1903), Za krasoiu (dedicated to Olha Kobylianska, ed Ostap Lutsky, 1905), Dubove lystia (dedicated to Panteleimon Kulish, eds Mykola Cherniavsky, Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, and Borys Hrinchenko, 1903), Z potoku zhyttia (eds Cherniavsky and Kotsiubynsky, 1905), Persha lastivka (ed Cherniavsky, 1905), and Bahattia (ed Ivan Lypa, 1905). Also popular were almanacs of poetry and prose: Rozvaha (ed Oleksa Kovalenko, 1905–6), Dosvitni ohni (ed Hrinchenko, 1906–14), Ukraïns’ka muza (ed Kovalenko, 1908), and Ternovyi vinok (ed Kovalenko, 1908). Early Soviet almanacs included Literaturno-krytychnyi al’manakh (1918) and Hrono (1920). The literary groups Hart and Pluh published almanacs in the 1920s. Later, several Soviet propaganda almanacs appeared (Komsomoliia, 1938; Partiia vede, 1958). A popular almanac during the Second World War was Ukraïna v ohni (1942). Most Ukrainian newspapers outside Ukraine publish yearly almanacs. In Canada Pivnichne siaivo (ed Yar Slavutych) has appeared irregularly in Edmonton since 1964.
Boiko, I.Z. (ed). Ukraïns’ki literaturni al’manakhy i zbirnyky XIX–pochatku XX st. (Kyiv 1967)
George Stephen Nestor Luckyj
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine