Miiakovsky, Volodymyr

Miiakovsky, Volodymyr [Міяковський, Володимир; Mijakovs'kyj; pseuds: V. Porsky, B. Stokhid, V. Svitlytsky, V. Varlamov, B. Yanivsky], b 18 July 1888 in Kovel, Volhynia gubernia, d 22 March 1972 in New York, New York State, United States. Literary scholar, historian, and archivist; full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1947 and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN) from 1948. He studied at Kyiv University (1906–7) and Saint Petersburg University (1907–11, 1912–13) and then taught in gymnasiums in Saint Petersburg and did research in the state archive there. After the Revolution of 1917 he collected documents pertaining to Ukrainian studies in the archives of the tsarist censorship administration and published them in the Kyiv journal Nashe mynule. Miiakovsky moved to Kyiv in December 1917 and worked as chief cataloger in the archives and libraries division of the Ministry of Education. He succeeded Vadym Modzalevsky as director of archival administration and the Kyiv Central Archive of Old Documents in 1920. In the 1920s he was a member of the Commission for the Publication of Monuments of Modern Literature (headed by Serhii Yefremov) at the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN), the Kyiv branch of the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Research Institute, and the VUAN Archeographic and Archeological commissions. He was also an associate of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute of Bibliology, and from 1926 he administered the Taras Shevchenko House and Museum in Kyiv. Miiakovsky contributed to Nashe mynule, Knyhar, Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk, Ukraïna (1914–30), Bibliolohichni visti, Za sto lit, Chervonyi shliakh, Zhyttia i revoliutsiia, and other journals in the 1920s.

In 1929 Miiakovsky was arrested and sentenced in one of the show trials of the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine (SVU) to five years in a labor camp in Karelia, where he worked as a statistician. From 1934 to 1941 he worked in various medical research institutions in Kyiv. During the Second World War under German occupation he attempted to renew the work of the Kyiv Central Archive of Old Documents. A postwar refugee in the displaced persons camps in Germany from 1945, he was a founding member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences (UVAN) and MUR and was a professor at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich (1948–50). In 1950 he emigrated to New York, where he remained UVAN secretary-general and curator of the UVAN Archives and Museum, which he had founded.

Miiakovsky’s research dealt with the history of social, intellectual, and political movements in 19th-century Ukraine (eg, the Decembrists, the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, the hromadas) and 19th-century Ukrainian literature and Russian literature, particularly Taras Shevchenko. He was the author of numerous articles and reviews. His major contributions are a biography of A. Radishchev (1918); booklets on revolutionary appeals to the Ukrainian people in 1850–70 (1920), the correspondence of the members of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood (1928), the Shevchenko House and Museum (1929), Bakunin and the Russian Jacobins and Blanquists as Evaluated by Soviet Historiography (1955), and Dmytro Antonovych (1967); and articles on Panteleimon Kulish’s educational activity (1919), Mykola Hulak (1926, 1928), and Oleksander Markovych (1927) and T. Shevchenko (1962) in the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood. He coedited (with Serhii Yefremov) a collection of articles on the Decembrists in Ukraine (1926) and (with Vasyl Bazylevych and L. Dobrovolsky) a collection of archival materials on the Decembrists in Ukraine (1926); wrote biographical notes for vols 3 and 4 of the complete collection of Shevchenko’s works, edited by Yefremov (1927, 1929); edited a book on Shevchenko’s ‘Moskaleva krynytsia’ (Soldier’s Well, 1930) and Kostomarov’s Book of Genesis of the Ukrainian People (Yanivsky, 1954); and coedited (with George Yurii Shevelov) Taras Ševčenko, 1814–61: A Symposium (1962). A book containing some of his articles and a bibliography of his works, edited by Marko Antonovych, was published in New York in 1984.

Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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