Biliashivsky, Mykola

Image - Mykola Biliashivsky Image - Mykola Biliashivsky Image - Mykola Biliashivsky, Vikentii Khvoika and other organizers of a folk crafts exhibition 1906. Image - A plaque commemorating Mykola Biliashivsky (Kaniv).

Biliashivsky, Mykola [Біляшівський, Микола; Biljašivs'kyj], b 24 October 1867 in Uman, Kyiv gubernia, d 21 April 1926 in Kyiv. Archeologist, ethnographer, and art historian; full member of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1919 and the Shevchenko Scientific Society; full member of the Historical Society of Nestor the Chronicler from 1887. He studied at Kyiv University, Odesa University, and Moscow University. Between 1992 and 1897 he worked in various archives in Moscow and Warsaw and discovered many sources related to the history of Ukraine. From 1898 he worked as a librarian at Kyiv Polytechnical Institute. He established and edited Arkheologicheskaia letopis' Iuzhnoi Rossii (1899–1905). Biliashivsky was one of the founders and from 1902 to 1923 served as director of the Kyiv City Museum of Antiquities and Art; he played a particularly significant role in the development of this museum and amassing its extensive collection. In 1906 he was a member of the first Russian State Duma and belonged to its Ukrainian caucus (see Ukrainian caucus in the Russian State Duma). During the First World War the Russian Academy of Sciences entrusted him with the preservation of cultural monuments in Galicia and Bukovyna. Biliashivsky was a member of Central Rada in 1917 and headed the Department of Museums and the Preservation of Historical Monuments at the General Secretariat of the Central Rada. From 1917 he presided over the Kyiv Society for the Preservation of Ancient and Artistic Monuments. He was one of the first members of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (from 1919), and in the 1920s was a member of the Archeological Commission of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN) and later of the All-Ukrainian Archeological Committee.

From 1887 Biliashivsky was involved in researching the cultural and artistic monuments from the Stone Age to the early Middle Ages. His most important archeological excavations unearthed the Kyivan Rus’ city of Roden at Kniazha Hora near Kaniv (1891–2), Slavic settlements and graves in Volhynia, and Trypillia culture settlements in the Uman and Kyiv regions (specifically, at the village of Borysivka, Kyiv region, in 1904). Some of the artifacts recovered in these excavations went to the Shevchenko Scientific Society museum in Lviv. Biliashivsky is the author of Monetnye klady Kievskoi gubernii (Caches of Coins in Kyiv Gubernia, 1889) and of numerous (over 300) articles on Ukrainian archeology, many of them in Kievskaia starina.

Vynnyts'kyi, A. Mykola Teodotovych Biliashivs'kyi (Kyiv 1926)

Yaroslav Pasternak, Marko Robert Stech

[This article was updated in 2021.]

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