Encyclopedias of Ukraine

Encyclopedias of Ukraine. The first thematic encyclopedia of Ukraine was published in Petrograd in 1914–16 under the title Ukrainskii narod v ego proshlom i nastoiashchem (The Ukrainian People: Its Past and Present). Its editors were Fedir Vovk, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Fedor Korsh, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Mykhailo Tuhan-Baranovsky, and Aleksei Shakhmatov. Because of the First World War only two volumes appeared. They contained a survey of Ukrainian studies; Hrushevsky’s outline of the history of Ukraine; Vovk’s contribution on the anthropology and ethnography of Ukraine; Stepan Rudnytsky’s article on Ukraine’s geography; demographic statistics by Oleksander Rusov, Volodymyr Okhrymovych, and Stepan Tomashivsky; and Petro S. Yefymenko’s study of customary law.

The first reference work on Ukraine in Ukrainian was a survey entitled ‘Ukraïna’ in the third volume of Ukraïns'ka zahal'na entsyklopediia (The Ukrainian General Encyclopedia, 1935). There for the first time almost all areas of knowledge about Ukraine and the Ukrainians were covered in articles by 79 authors (in 320 pages). The editor was Vasyl Simovych.

In 1942 the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in Berlin prepared a reference handbook in German, Handbuch der Ukraine, under the editorship of Ivan Mirchuk, which was published in Leipzig by O. Harrassowitz. It contained articles by seven authors, among them a long article on the national economy of Ukraine by Roman Dyminsky. In 1949 the handbook appeared in a shortened English translation entitled Ukraine and Its People (Munich).

The Shevchenko Scientific Society, which was revived in Germany after the Second World War, published, in 1949–52, three volumes of the general Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva (Encyclopedia of Ukraine) under the editorship of Volodymyr Kubijovyč and Zenon Kuzelia. This thematic encyclopedia was the most comprehensive reference work on Ukraine and for the first time covered all the areas of Ukrainian studies. One hundred and four scholars participated in its preparation. In 1963 and 1971 an updated and expanded English version of this encyclopedia appeared in Toronto in two volumes under the title Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopaedia. Its publication was funded by the Ukrainian National Association in the United States.

The 17th volume of Ukraïns'ka radians'ka entsyklopediia (The Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedia, URE) can be considered as a general encyclopedia of Ukrainian studies. It was published in Kyiv in 1965 and then separately in Russian in 1967 and in one volume in English in 1969 (entitled Soviet Ukraine). In contrast to Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva published in the West, the material in URE is severely limited by the restrictions of Soviet ideology and policy.

In 1970 a Polish encyclopedic handbook, Ukraina, teraźniejszość i przeszłość (Ukraine: Its Present and Past) appeared under the editorship of M. Karaś and A. Podraza as volume 32 of Prace historyczne of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Its 14 authors discuss almost all areas of Ukrainian studies, particularly archeology and history, fairly objectively, without going beyond what is politically permissible.

Ukrainian general alphabetic encyclopedias. The first general alphabetic encyclopedia in Ukrainian was Ukraïns'ka zahal'na entsyklopediia in three volumes (LvivStanyslavivKolomyia 1930–5) by the co-operative publishers Ridna Shkola. Its editor in chief was Ivan A. Rakovsky; the other editors were Vasyl Simovych, Volodymyr Doroshenko, and Mykhailo Rudnytsky. One hundred and thirty-eight scholars in Western Ukraine and abroad contributed to this work. The general information contained in it was based on the famous German Brockhaus Konversationslexikon, but the information pertaining to Ukraine was original.

The first attempt to publish a large, 20-volume Ukraïns'ka radians'ka entsyklopediia (URE) proved unsuccessful. Work on this project began in the early 1930s in Kharkiv. The editor-in-chief was Mykola Skrypnyk, and Mykola Bazhan was associate editor. The first volume was ready for printing at the beginning of 1933, and two fascicles were published; however, the wave of arrests that began in 1933 put an end to the project. In November 1934 the Ukrainska Radianska Entsyklopediia publishers were abolished. Only in 1957 did the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kyiv undertake again the publishing of Ukraïns'ka radians'ka entsyklopediia. A board of editors was set up, chaired by Bazhan. The encyclopedia appeared in 17 volumes between 1959 and 1965 in Kyiv. (A name and subject index came out separately in 1968.) In 1966–8 the publishers issued a shorter Ukraïns'kyi radians'kyi entsyklopedychnyi slovnyk (Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopedic Dictionary) in three volumes. In 1977 the second edition of URE began to appear. This publication in 12 volumes was completed in 1985.

In 1961–6 the Radianska Shkola educational publishers published Dytiacha entsyklopediia dlia seredn'oho i starshoho viku (Encyclopedia for Older Children and Youth) in 10 volumes, an unrevised translation of the thematic Russian encyclopedia. Because it was oriented towards the Russian culture, it was a convenient instrument for Russifying Ukrainian children.

The only Western alphabetical encyclopedia that provides information in Ukrainian about Ukraine in short articles is the second part of Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva, which was prepared at the European center of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Sarcelles, France. Its editor in chief was Volodymyr Kubijovyč. Eleven volumes of this encyclopedia were published in 1955–95. Other ‘national encyclopedias’ of a similar kind dealing with Eastern Europe are Enciklopedija Jugoslavije (8 vols, Zagreb 1955) and Encyclopedia Lituanica (6 vols, Boston 1970–8).

Work on a revised, English version of the alphabetic Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva began at the University of Toronto in 1977. Entitled the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, it was a joint project of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, and the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies. This encyclopedia was published in five volumes in 1984–93 and an additional Index and Errata volume came out in 2001. In 2001 the Encyclopedia of Ukraine project was transformed into the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine project.

In 1957–67 Yevhen Onatsky published in Buenos Aires his Ukraïns'ka mala entsyklopediia (The Ukrainian Small Encyclopedia) in three volumes. Being the effort of a single individual, it is very uneven: important data are missing, while secondary details are included, and there are many methodological shortcomings.

Specialized Ukrainian encyclopedias and dictionaries. Preparation of specialized encyclopedias began in Western Ukraine in the 1930s. In 1939 the first fascicle of the Ukraïns'ka sil's'ko-hospodars'ka entsyklopediia (Ukrainian Agricultural Encyclopedia) was published by the Ukrainian Publishing Institute in Lviv. The editor was Yevhen Khraplyvy. Publication was interrupted by the Second World War.

In the Ukrainian SSR the first specialized encyclopedia was also an agricultural one—Kolhospna vyrobnycha entsyklopediia (Encyclopedia of Collective Farm Production)—in two volumes, edited by M. Spivak (Kyiv 1950–6). The Politvydav Ukrainy political literature publishers in Kyiv published a translation of B. Ponomarev’s Russian Politicheskii slovar' (Political Dictionary; 2nd edn, 1959). In the 1960s the editors of the Ukraïns'ka radians'ka entsyklopediia began publishing encyclopedias in various areas of Ukrainian studies. Radians'ka entsyklopediia istoriï Ukraïny (The Soviet Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine) was published in four volumes in 1969–72 (chief editor: Andrii Skaba). At the same time Entsyklopediia narodnoho hospodarstva Ukraïns'koï RSR (The Encyclopedia of the National Economy of the Ukrainian SSR) was published in four volumes under the editorship of Stefan Yampolsky. Although both are mines of information, the information is often tendentiously presented. In 1973 Slovnyk khudozhnykiv Ukraïny (Dictionary of Ukraine’s Artists) was published and, in 1978, Shevchenkivs'kyi slovnyk (The Shevchenko Dictionary) in two volumes. In 1964 the Radianska Shkola publishers issued A. Buhaiev’s Korotkyi tlumachnyi matematychnyi slovnyk (A Short Explanatory Mathematical Dictionary). The Ukrainska Radianska Entsyklopediia publishing house published several specialized encyclopedias: V. Peresypkin’s Ukraïns'ka sil's'kohospodars'ka entsyklopediia (Ukrainian Agricultural Encyclopedia, 3 vols, 1970–2); Politychnyi slovnyk (Political Dictionary, 1971, 2nd edn 1976); Entsyklopediia kibernetyky (Encyclopedia of Cybernetics, 2 vols, 1973), edited by Viktor Hlushkov—the first work of its kind in the USSR and one of the first in the world; Ekonomichnyi slovnyk (Economic Dictionary, 1973); Filosofs'kyi slovnyk (Philosophical Dictionary, 1973); Iurydychnyi slovnyk (Juridical Dictionary, 1974); and Biolohichnyi slovnyk (Biological Dictionary, 1974). In 1972 V. Zvarych’s Numizmatychnyi slovnyk (Numismatical Dictionary) was published by Lviv University. Other Soviet publishers issued biographical and bibliographical handbooks of Ukrainian writers (1960–5 and 1966), Ukrainian composers (1968), the academic staff of the institutions of higher learning (1968), and artists (1972). The materials were usually limited chronologically and territorially to the Ukrainian SSR. The first book of this type in the Ukrainian SSR was Materiialy do slovnyka ukraïns'kykh graveriv (Materials for a Dictionary of Ukrainian Engravers, Kyiv 1926–7).

Two volumes of Bohdan Romanenchuk’s Azbukovnyk: Entsyklopediia ukraïns'koï literatury (Alphabetarion: Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Literature, Philadelphia 1969, 1973) and one volume of Osyp Zalesky’s Mala ukraïns'ka muzychna entsyklopediia (The Small Ukrainian Encyclopedia of Music, Munich 1971) were published in the diaspora.

Closely related to specialized encyclopedias are dictionaries of terms in various disciplines (literature, linguistics, journalism, polygraphy, music, geology, etc), which were published in the Ukrainian SSR after 1957, and biographical dictionaries, which have little to do with Ukrainian studies and were published there after 1969 (biographies of Soviet historians, botanists, mathematicians of various nationalities, etc).

A new chapter in the process of preparation and publication of encyclopedias in Ukraine began following the Ukrainian independence in 1991. (See also Lexicography.)

Kubiiovych, V.; Markus', V. Dvi ukraïns'ki entsyklopediï (New York 1961)
Kubiiovych, V. ‘Dovidnyky ukraïnoznavstva i anhlomovna entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva,’ Al'manakh Ukraïns'koho narodnoho soiuzu na rik 1972 (Jersey City–New York)

Volodymyr Kubijovyč, Bohdan Strumiński

[This article was updated in 1995.]

List of related links from Encyclopedia of Ukraine pointing to Encyclopedias of Ukraine entry:

A referral to this page is found in 7 entries.