Ukrainian Archival Collections in Canada Conference

Video tape archive storage (6498637005)

11-13 May, 2018

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB


Information professionals, practitioners, community leaders, researchers, and others in charge of or interested in Ukrainian Canadian archival heritage are invited to submit proposals relating to theoretical and practical issues of Ukrainian Canadian archives from a variety of perspectives. Contributions on various issues of acquisition, preservation, access, and networking are particularly invited. Other topics will be considered as well. Abstracts of 300-words and a short bio should be submitted to ukrfolk@ualberta.ca by January 15, 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by February 15, 2018.

The purpose of the conference Ukrainian Archival Collections in Canada: Preserving the Past, Building the Future is to bring together researchers, archivists, curators, collection managers, and other custodians of Ukrainian Canadian archival collections in order to start a conversation among stewards of Ukrainian cultural documentary heritage. This conference aims to increase awareness about Ukrainian heritage collections in Canada, survey problem areas and needs of archival collections. It will help establish connections and collaboration among the institutions, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge and successes and, therefore, improve their sustainability. The conference is the first event within a larger program of the Kule Folklore Centre with a working title: Sustainable Ukrainian Canadian Heritage (click here for more info).

The conference is organized by the Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta and its Friends Society in cooperation with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta.

Key note speaker: Myron Momryk

Ukrainians started immigrating to Canada over 125 years ago, and first settled mostly on the Prairies. Shortly after they came, they built schools, churches and community halls. Taking great pride in their cultural heritage, they also started creating repositories of materials dealing with the Ukrainian culture: museums, archives, and cultural centres. Today many of these repositories housing rich archival collections face a crisis, they are run by volunteers, lack human, technical and financial resources. Collaboration among them could offer creative ways of approaching numerous problems related to acquisition, cataloguing, access to Ukrainian cultural heritage material and its preservation.

The problem of preserving Ukrainian archival collections has grown in recent years. Although there are numerous Ukrainian archival collections in various Canadian libraries and archives, often only those collections housed by large academic libraries and associated with strong research and teaching programs at Canadian universities, or those housed at governmental archives receive due treatment. Their archival collections have been duly processed, materials catalogued, and access to them is provided for researchers and the public. Other repositories do not have enough resources to professionally manage their materials, which are presented in a variety of different media: text (both published and unpublished materials), photographs, audio, video. Researchers frequently overlook these collections, because they are invisible or inaccessible. The national, provincial and local archives have become more selective about the archival material they acquire which creates further complications. There is an urgent need to raise awareness of the importance of Ukrainian Canadian archival heritage, to help Ukrainian Canadian community archives manage their collections in order to provide access to potential researchers, as well as to preserve these records for the future.

The goals of the conference are:

  • To understand who has what type of archival records, their scope and extent, and how they can be accessed.

  • To introduce those who are preserving archival records to each other, and to open up a way to share information among them.

  • To develop a network for cooperation and sharing of information.

  • To provide an understanding of available resources (preservation and conservation assistance, funding sources, archival societies as support systems, researcher needs).

  • To raise awareness of the value of archives as institutions and as documentary records. 

Organizing and Program Committee

- Maryna Chernyavska

- Irene Jendzjowsky

- Oleksandr Pankieiev

- Viktoriya Yakovlyeva

Contact us: ukrfolk@ualberta.ca