Institute of the History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Image - Ukrainskyi istorychnyi zhurnal, no. 1, 2015. Image - Problemy vyvchennia istorii Ukrainskoi revoliutsii, vol. 7.

Institute of the History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine [Інститут історії України Національної академії наук України; Instytut istorii Ukrainy Natsionalnoi akademii nauk Ukrainy]. Scientific research institute established in 1936 under the name Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR out of various liquidated institutions of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN) and the Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism (UIML). In 1990 it was renamed the Institute of the History of Ukraine and in 1994, with the renaming of the Academy of Sciences as the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the institute assumed its present name. Both the institute and its predecessors have played a seminal role in historiography and historical scholarship in Ukraine.

The antecedents of the institute were the Historical Section and its chairs and commissions, and the Historical Society of Nestor the Chronicler in the VUAN historical-philological division. By 1924 the section had a Chair of Ukrainian History (directed by Mykhailo Hrushevsky) in Kyiv and another (directed by Dmytro Bahalii) in Kharkiv, and several other chairs. The activity of the first was most diverse, and it became the central institution of historical research, co-ordinating the work of almost all the other historical institutions and historians affiliated with the VUAN; it also published Studiï z istoriï Ukraïny (3 vols, 1926–30). The Historical Section published the journal Ukraïna (1914–30) and six issues of Kul’turno-istorychnyi zbirnyk (1924–9). Its Cultural History Commission published Pervisne hromadianstvo ta ioho perezhytky na Ukraïni (6 vols, 1926–9) under the editorship of Kateryna Hrushevska. The Commission for Compiling a Historical-Geographical Dictionary of Ukraine published Istorychno-heohrafichnyi zbirnyk (4 vols, 1927–31) under the editorship of Oleksander Hrushevsky. Four commissions were engaged in regional history. The first (headed by Volodymyr Shcherbyna) conducted research on Kyiv and Right-Bank Ukraine; the second (headed by Yosyf Hermaize), on Left-Bank Ukraine; the third (headed by Mykola Tkachenko), on Southern Ukraine; and the fourth (headed by Fedir Savchenko), on Western Ukraine. Each of them published or had prepared collections of research. The Archeographic Commission (see Archeographic commissions) (directed by Hermaize) published Ukraïns’kyi arkheohrafichnyi zbirnyk (3 vols, 1926–30) and a volume of Ukraïns’kyi arkhiv (1929).

Volumes 6, 11, 17, 20, and 24 of the Zapysky Istorychno-filolohichnoho viddilu VUAN were solely devoted to history and were subtitled Pratsi of the Historical Section. Besides serials, most of them edited by Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the section published collections of articles on the Decembrist movement in Ukraine (2 vols, 1926, 1930) and Ukraine’s socioeconomic history (1932), festschrifts for Dmytro Bahalii (1927) and Hrushevsky (1928–9), and books by Bahalii, Hrushevsky, Pylyp Klymenko, Oleksii Baranovych, Ivan Dzhydzhora, Volodymyr Levynsky, Fedir Savchenko, and Yosyf Hermaize.

From 1922 the institute’s antecedents at the Ukrainian Institute of Marxism-Leninism (UIML) in Kharkiv were the department, chair, and cabinet of Ukrainian history headed by Mykola Skrypnyk and Matvii Yavorsky. In 1931 the UIML became part of the new All-Ukrainian Association of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Research Institutes (VUAMLIN), and an Institute of History was established there; the latter published a one-volume history of Ukraine in 1932.

The invaluable work of all these institutions was cut short during the Stalinist terror of the early 1930s. Many historians were killed or sent to the GULAG; the historical-philological division was closed down; and virtually all research and publishing were halted. A Historical-Archeological Institute, headed by F. Kozubovsky and then Ivan Kravchenko, was established in 1934 to fight ‘Ukrainian bourgeois historiography.’ In 1936 it was merged with the All-Ukrainian Association of Marxist-Leninist Scientific Research Institutes’ Institute of History to form the Institute of History of Ukraine in the Division of Social Sciences of the newly created Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. Thenceforth the institute propagated a Stalinist, Russian chauvinist historiography. It was headed briefly by A. Saradzhev and then S. Belousov (1936–41). In 1940, a branch of the institute was opened in Lviv in newly annexed Galicia on the foundation of the liquidated historical-philosophical section of the Shevchenko Scientific Society; the branch was headed by Ivan Krypiakevych until 1941. Between 1936 and 1941 the institute had only 16 scholarly associates.

After Germany invaded Soviet Ukraine in 1941, the institute was evacuated to Ufa, Bashkiria, and merged with the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR to form the Institute of History and Archeology under Mykola Petrovsky (1942–7). From 1943 to 1944 the institute was based in Moscow. Upon its return to Kyiv it was reorganized in 1944 and again in 1952. The activities of the Lviv branch were revived as part of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR there. In 1947 the institute was condemned for fostering Ukrainian nationalism, and the little work that was done diminished even further under the new director, Oleksander Kasymenko (1947–64). Little of lasting value was published in the years 1934–54.

During the post-Stalin thaw, however, the institute became one of the focal points of the Soviet Ukrainian cultural revival; a great deal of new research on Ukrainian history was conducted, and many fundamental Stalinist historiographic concepts were criticized and modified. In the 1960s a non-official historiography evolved (see, eg, Mykhailo Braichevsky), which even rejected these concepts. At the time Kuzma Dubyna was the institute’s director (1964–7). The institute was again condemned for fostering nationalism in the early 1970s. During the KGB clampdown against the Ukrainian dissident movement in 1972, some historians at the institute were fired (eg, Yaroslav Dzyra); others were blacklisted and even arrested; and even the C0mmunist Party of Ukraine watchdog at the institute, Andrii Skaba (1968–73), was replaced by Arnold Shevelev (1973–8), under whom the topics that could be researched were severely limited. After 1979, however, under the directorship of Yurii Kondufor, some relaxation was discernible.

In 1978 a section of the institute and subdivisions of the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR formed the new Institute of Social and Economic Problems of Foreign Countries of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1985 the institute consisted of 14 departments which researched topics dominated by Soviet ideological and Marxist-Leninist concepts, such as: the history of feudalism; the history of capitalism; the history of the Great October Revolution of 1917; the history of Socialist reconstruction; the history of friendship of peoples of the Soviet Union, and others. In the 1980s the institute’s scholars produced several multivolume works which, in spite of their ideological bias and conceptual limitations, are among the most important achievements of the postwar Soviet Ukrainian historiography. These included Istoriia Kyieva (A History of Kyiv, 3 vols, 1982–6) and Istoriia Ukraïnskoi SSR (A History of the Ukrainian SSR, 10 vols, 1981–5).

In 1987 the Archeographic Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR was restored under the directorship of Pavlo Sokhan (in 1990–1 the commission was transformed into the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, renamed in 1995 to Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). In 1990 in the spirit of reforms introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika, the institute established several new research groups dedicated to: the preservation of the memory of the victims of Stalinist terror of the 1930s–1950s (headed by Yurii Danyliuk); Soviets, Central Rada, Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic: a comparative study of the objectives, methods, and leaders of the opposing parties during the Ukrainian struggle for independence (1917–20) (headed by Yurii Kondufor); the origins and evolution of the Ukrainian statehood prior to 1800 (headed by Valerii Smolii).

After Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the institute became free of the Soviet ideological constraints. Valerii Smolii became the institute’s director in 1993, and the institute has focused its research on the following topics: Kyivan Rus’ and the Middle Ages (Oleksii Tolochko, Volodymyr Rychka, Tetiana Vilkul, Olena Rusina); the social and cultural history of the early modern Ukraine (Olena Dziuba, Natalia Starchenko, Natalia Bilous, Valerii Zema); the Cossack Hetman State and its political legacy (Smolii, Viktor Horobets, Oleksandr Hurzhii, Taras Chukhlib, Petro Sas, and others); the Ukrainian Revolution, 1917–21, the early Soviet period, and the Famine-Genocide of 1932–3 (Vladyslav Verstiuk, Stanislav Kulchytsky, Hennadii Boriak, Ruslan Pyrih, Liudmyla Hrynevych); the history of Ukrainian intelligentsia and the dissident movement (Heorhii Kasianov, Oleksandr Rubliov); and Ukraine during the Second World War (Oleksandr Lysenko, Vladyslav Hrynevych). The most comprehensive showcase of the institute’s new approach to research became the multivolume series Ukraïna kriz’ viky (Ukraine Throughout the Ages, 15 vols, 1998–2000). In 2006 the institute had 137 scholarly associates (including 30 doctors of sciences, of whom two were full members and six were corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and 85 candidates of sciences).

Today the institute consists of eleven departments: the history of Ukraine during the Middle Ages and early modern period, including a section for the study of Kyivan Rus’ and a section of social history; the history of Ukraine in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the history of the Ukrainian Revolution, 1917–21; the history of Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s; Ukraine during the Second World War; the history of Ukraine in the second half of the 20th century, with the Center for Studies of Historical and Cultural Legacy of Ukraine; contemporary history and politics; world history and international relations; Ukrainian historiography; special historical disciplines and electronic resources, including a section of genealogical and heraldic studies and a section of historical-encyclopaedic studies; historical regional studies, including the Center for Studies of the Northern Black Sea Region.

Among the institute’s most significant achievements after 1991 have been numerous collective monographs dealing with the wide range of historical issues, such as Represovane kraieznavstvo: 20–30-ti roky (The Repressed Regional Studies, 1920s–1930s, 1991), Istoriia Ukraïny: nove bachennia (The History of Ukraine: A New Vision, 2 vols, 1995–1996); Narysy z istoriï ukraïns’koho natsional’noho rukhu (Essays in the History of Ukrainian National Movement, 1994); Narysy istoriï ukraïns’koï intelihentsiï (persha polovyna XX st.) (Essays in the History of Ukrainian Intelligentsia, 1994); Ukraïns’ke pytannia v Rosiis’kii imperiï (kinets’ XIXpochatok XX st.) (The Ukrainian Question in the Russian Empire in the End of the 19th–early 20th Century, 1999); Uriady Ukraïny u XX st. (The Governments of Ukraine in the 20th Century, 2001); Narysy z istoriï dyplomatiï Ukraïny (Essays in the History of Ukrainian Diplomacy, 2001); Politychnyi terror i teroryzm v Ukraïni XIXXX st.: Istorychni narysy (Political Terror and Terrorism in Ukraine in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Historical Essays, 2002); Ukraïna i Rosiia v istorychnii retrospektyvi: Narysy (Ukraine and Russia in Historical Perspective: Essays, 3 vols, 2004); Istoriia ukraïns’koho kozatstva: Narysy (The History of Ukrainian Cossacks, 2 vols, 2006–7); Iliustrovana istoriia Kyieva (The Illustrated History of Kyiv, 2012); and others.

Apart from that the institute has published several important documentary collections, chiefly on history of Ukraine in the 20th century, among them Ukraïns’ka Tsentral’na Rada (Ukrainian Central Rada, 2 vols, 1996–7); Chornobyl’: problema zdorov’ia naselennia (Chornobyl: the Problem of Public Health, 1995); Chornobyl’s’ka trahediia (The Chornobyl Tragedy, 1996); Ukraïns’kyi natsional’no-vyzvol’nyi rukh, berezen’-lystopad 1917 (The Ukrainian National Liberation Movement, March–November 1917, 2003); Kryms’ki tatary: Shliakh do povernennia: Kryms’kotatars’kyi natsional’nyi rukh ochyma radians’kykh spetssluzhb (druha polovyna 1940kh-pochatok 1990-kh rr.) (The Crimean Tatars: On the Way to Return: The Crimean Tatar National Movement through the Eyes of Soviet Secret Police. From the Second Half of the 1940s to the Early 1990s, 2004); Dyrektoriia, Rada Narodnykh Ministriv Ukraïns’koï Narodnoï Respubliky. Lystopad 1918lystopad 1920 (The Directory and the Council of People’s Ministers of the Ukrainian National Republic: November 1918–November 1920, 2006); Ukraïna i Pol’shcha 19201939 rr.: Z istoriï dyplomatychnykh vidnosyn URSR z Druhoiu Richchiu Pospolytoiu: Dokumenty i materialy (From the History of Diplomatic Relations between the Ukrainian SSR and the Second Polish Republic: Documents and Materials, 2012); and others. The institute’s scholars have also produced several encyclopedic editions, among them the multivolume Entsyklopediia istoriï Ukraïny (The Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine, 10 vols, 2003–13) and Kyiv: Entsyklopedychne vydannia (Kyiv: An Encyclopedic Edition, 2001).

The institute’s main periodical is Ukraïns’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal (bimonthly from 1956, monthly since 1965; bimonthly since the 1990s). Other periodicals and series include Z arkhiviv VUCHK-GPU-NKVD-KGB (42 vols, 1994–2014); Istoriohrafichni doslidzhennia v Ukraïni (25 vols, 1968–2014); Mizhnarodni zv’iazky Ukraïny: Naukovi poshuky i znakhidky (24 vols, 1991–2015); Problemy istoriï Ukraïny: Fakty, sudzhennia, poshuky (23 vols, 1991–2015); Ukraïna ХХ st.: Kul’tura, ideolohiia, polityka (20 vols, 1993–2015); Istoriia Ukraïny: Malovidomi imena, podiï, fakty (37 vols, 1996–2011); Ukraïns’kyi istorychnyi zbirnyk (18 vols,1997–2015); Ukraïna v Tsentral’no-Skhidnii Ievropi (14 vols, 2000–14); Problemy vyvchennia istoriï Ukraïns’koï revoliutsiï 19171921 (14 vols, 2002–14); Spetsial’ni istorychni dystsypliny: Pytannia teoriï ta metodyky (26 vols, 1997–2015); Storinky voiennoï istoriï Ukraïny (16 vols,1997–2013); Problemy istoriï Ukraïny XIXpochatku XX st. (23 vols, 2000–14); Socium: Al’manakh sotsial’noï istoriï (11 vols, 2002–15); Ruthenica (12 vols, 2002–14); Eidos: Al’manakh teoriï ta istoriï istorychnoï nauky (5 vols, 2005–14); Istoryko-heohrafichni doslidzhennia v Ukraïni (11 vols, 1988–2009); Kraieznavstvo (92 vols, 1927–2015); Zaporoz’ka starovyna (4 vols, 1995–2007); and others.

(See also Archeography and Historiography.)

Komarenko, N.V. Ustanovy istorychnoï nauky v Ukraïns’kii RSR (19171937 rr.) (Kyiv 1973)
Rubliov, O. ‘Instytut istoriï Ukraïny NAN Ukraïny,’ in Entsyklopediia istoriï Ukraïny , Vol 3 (Kyiv 2005)
Istoryky ta istoriï. Do 75-richchia Instytutu istoriï Ukraïny Natsional’noï akademiï nauk Ukraïny (19362011) (Kyiv 2011)

Serhiy Bilenky, Ivan Myhul, Roman Senkus

[This article was updated in 2017.]

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