New York Senior Librarian Explores the Ivan Petrushevich Papers

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

By Lyudmila Shpileva

(Above) An extremely rare Ukrainian journal.

The Hoover Library & Archives has several little-researched Ukrainian collections; one of them is the Ivan Petrushevich papers. Petrushevich (Ukrainian, 1875–1950) was a versatile and gifted individual: a journalist, writer, translator, political activist, and public figure who left a significant legacy of not only his published works but his archives as well.

I came to Hoover to gather materials for a future article on the Ivan Petrushevich papers. The results exceeded all of my expectations.

This collection can be divided into several major groups:

  • The Ukrainian Cooperative Movement in Western Ukraine, Canada, and the United States
  • The Ukrainian-Polish conflict and the situation in Eastern Galicia at the beginning of the 20th century
  • The activities of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic (WUNR) and its Mission Offices in London and Paris, 1919–23
  • The Paris Peace Conference, 1919
  • The social and political life of Ukrainian and Ruthenian immigrants in Canada and the United States, 1913–40
  • Published works from Ivan Petrushevich’s private library

         In addition to documents, clippings, and other printed materials there are many original letters and letter books of Petrushevich’s correspondence, dated 1913 to 1923, that should be considerate as primary historical, cultural, and research sources of information.

I was very excited to examine books and serials from Petrushevich’s private library. Many of them are significant sources of information on Ukrainian topics; some of them are extremely rare. These include Magalias S. Spys skonfiskovanykkh I zaboronenykh ukrains’kykh knyzhok ta drukiv v Pol’shchi (L’viv, 1932), Na razvalinakh Velikoi Rossii (Kyiv, 1918), Ukrainska shkola hyne (L’viv, 1922). Examples of extremely rare periodicals are: Viiskovo-naukovyi vistnyk Heneralnoho shtabu and its continuation Viiskovo-naukovyi vistnyk armii I floty (Kyiv, 1918), four issues of Kooperatyvna zoria (Kyiv, 1918–19).  

Ivan Petrushevich donated his archives and private library to the Hoover Institution in 1943 with hope of establishing a Ukrainian section in the Stanford University library.

I am very grateful to Hoover for giving me an opportunity to work with the Ivan Petrushevich papers and appreciate all of the help I received from its staff members. My special thanks go out to Anatol Shmelev and Sarah Patton.

I am a serial cataloger (senior librarian) at the New York Public Library. Prior to 1997, I lived in Ukraine and had a senior leadership position at the Vinnytsia Regional Research Library. I have a bachelor’s degree from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, and a master’s degree in library sciences from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University. To support my lifelong passion for studying the history and culture of Ukraine, I volunteer as a librarian at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in New York and write and contribute articles on Ukrainian topics to American and Ukrainian publications.

Lyudmila Shpileva MS

Senior Librarian / Serial Cataloger

I am a serial cataloger (senior librarian) at the New York Public Library. Prior to 1997, I lived in Ukraine and had a senior leadership position at the Vinnytsia Regional Research Library. I have a bachelor’s degree from Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, and a master’s degree in library sciences from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University. To support my lifelong passion for studying the history and culture of Ukraine, I volunteer as a librarian at the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in New York and write and contribute articles on Ukrainian topics to American and Ukrainian publications