Village center (селянський будинок or сельбуд; selianskyi budynok or selbudpeasants' building’). A rural cultural and extramural educational institution established in Soviet Ukraine by the regime in the 1920s to compete with the local Prosvita society branch. In 1921 there were 4,007 Prosvita branches and 116 village centers. After the liquidation of the Prosvita society by the Bolsheviks in 1922, the communist-dominated village centers expanded rapidly, to 4,550 by 1929. Usually each center maintained a library, and the larger ones had auditoriums for theatrical performances and facilities for various artistic, educational, and sports activities. During collectivization the village centers were replaced by collective-farm clubs and by rural palaces of culture run by the Ministry of Culture. (See also Reading house.)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine