Slavic Institute

Slavic Institute (Slovanský Ústav). A Czechoslovak state-funded research institution, founded in Prague on the initiative (1920) of President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. It was legally constituted in 1922 to study and develop Czechoslovakia’s cultural and economic relations with other Slavic countries. Under the directors Lubor Niederle (1928–32) and M. Murko (1932–40) the institute was active in the field of Slavic studies. During that time it published many serials, over 70 monographs, and over 50 annual volumes of Byzantinoslavica, Germanoslavica, Slavia, and Slavische Rundschau. Its Slavic Library (Slovanská Knihovna, est 1924) was one of the largest Slavic libraries outside the USSR; in 1946 it contained 244,000 monographs and 150,000 annual periodical runs. The institute supported scholarly institutions and individual scholars engaged in Ukrainian studies. Ukrainian émigré scholars who were members of the institute included Leonid Biletsky, Filaret Kolessa, Dmytro Chyzhevsky, Oleksander Kolessa, Ivan Ohiienko, Oleksander Lototsky, Stepan Smal-Stotsky, Oleksander Mytsiuk, Fedir Steshko, and Vladimir Timoshenko; they worked on its numerous commissions, particularly on its autonomous Research Board on Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia. From 1931 to 1940 the Ukrainian Historical Cabinet functioned within the institute. The institute’s activities were restricted during the German occupation, and it was closed down in 1943. It was reactivated in 1945, but Soviet repression forced it to suspend its activities in 1948. In 1953 it was revived as part of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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