Taras Shevchenko Scientific Research Institute

Taras Shevchenko Scientific Research Institute (Науково-дослідний інститут Тараса Шевченка; Naukovo-doslidnyi instytut Tarasa Shevchenka). A scientific research institute under the jurisdiction of the People's Commissariat of Education, established in Kharkiv in 1926 as the central repository and research institution of all published, archival, and artistic materials pertaining to Taras Shevchenko in particular and to modern Ukrainian literature in general. Until 1932 the director was Dmytro Bahalii. Serhii Pylypenko was Bahalii's deputy and the institute's managing director, and Yarema Aizenshtok was the scholarly secretary. A branch of the institute was founded in Kyiv; Oleksander Doroshkevych was its director, and Borys Navrotsky was its secretary. Many other prominent scholars (eg, Oleksander Bahrii, Oleksander Biletsky, Vasyl Boiko, Volodymyr Derzhavyn, Pavlo Fylypovych, Volodymyr Koriak, Yevhen Kyryliuk, Andrii Loboda, Volodymyr Miiakovsky, Mykhailo Novytsky, Oleksii Novytsky, Viktor Petrov, Mykola Plevako, Dmytro Revutsky, Andrii Richytsky, Petro Rulin, Ahapii Shamrai, H. Sinko, Borys Yakubsky, Mykola Yashek, Serhii Yefremov) taught at the institute and/or took part in its projects and publications.

Research work was divided among seven cabinets. The cabinets of pre-Shevchenko literature, Taras Shevchenko's works, Soviet Ukrainian literature, bibliography, and history (added in the early 1930s) were in Kharkiv. The cabinets of Shevchenko's biography and post-Shevchenko literature, and sections for the study of Shevchenko's poetics and the links between Shevchenko's works and post-Shevchenko literature, were in Kyiv. Work was also done by several commissions: the commission of Shevchenko's period and milieu, the commission for the study of Shevchenko's art, the commission to study the Soviet Ukrainian reading public, an archival commission, the commission for contemporary oral literature (the living word), and, in Kyiv, the commission for the preparation of a dictionary of Shevchenko's language. The institute's library had a collection of manuscripts by Shevchenko, Panteleimon Kulish, Yakiv Shchoholiv, Volodymyr Samiilenko, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Hanna Barvinok, and Arkhyp Teslenko; the archives of Oleksander Potebnia and the Soviet Ukrainian writers' organizations Pluh and Hart; and a collection of journals, including Chervonyi shliakh. In 1932 the Shevchenko Literary Museum was founded at the institute; a large part of its collection of 700 of Shevchenko's paintings, drawings, and engravings was transferred to the Shevchenko Gallery in Kharkiv in 1933.

The institute published two collections of articles titled Shevchenko (1928, 1930), the bimonthly journal Literaturnyi arkhiv (1930–1), Taras Shevchenko's journal and correspondence (2 annotated vols), four monographs and collections of articles on Shevchenko by single authors (Oleksander Bahrii, Borys Navrotsky, Oleksander Doroshkevych), four collections of articles on Shevchenko by various authors, and several popular editions of Shevchenko's individual works with commentaries. It prepared a series of memoirs about Shevchenko (eg, by Panteleimon Kulish), trained graduate students (including scholars such as Hryhory Kostiuk, Yurii Lavrinenko, and Davyd Kopytsia), and organized art exhibitions, seminars, and lectures. Its holdings and research facilitated the preparation of scholarly editions and textological studies of works by Shevchenko, Marko Vovchok, and other Ukrainian writers. Most of the institute's personnel fell victim to the Stalinist terror between 1930 and 1933. Under Dmytro Bahalii's successor, Yevhen Shabliovsky (1933–5), the institute was basically inactive. In 1936 jurisdiction over the institute was transferred to the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (now NANU) and it was renamed the Institute of Ukrainian Literature; that name was changed to the Institute of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in 1952.

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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