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Ukrainian Research Institute
Harvard University



Archives in Ukraine

prepared by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

Following is a brief extract of the ArcheoBiblioBase information system for archival repositories and bibliography of reference literature in Ukraine. The system was established in 1994 at what is now the V. I. Vernads'kyi National Library of Ukraine (NBU) in Kyiv under the National Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Main Archival Adminstration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Culture, and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Initial funding was provided by a generous grant from the Eurasia Foundation.



About This Coverage (introductory notes)

National-Level State Archives

Oblast- and Municipal-Level State Archives

Major Library Manuscript Repositories

About This Coverage

The brief coverage below, drawn from the ArcheoBiblioBase directory and bibliographic database for Ukrainian archives, provides an abbreviated listing of the six current national-level state archives under the Main Archival Adminstration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Secondly, it covers oblast- and municipal-level archives in Kyiv and Lviv. Finally it lists the two major library manuscript repositories under the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

All of the repositories listed below were described in much more comprehensive detail in English, together with an extensive bibliography of their finding aids and other general archival reference literature, in the 1988 publication by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted:

Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the USSR: Ukraine and Moldavia:
Book 1: General Bibliography and Institutional Directory
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988. liii, 1107 p.
(now available on microfiche: IDC-R-18,866)
The electronic files from which that volume was prepared have now been incorporated in the ArcheoBiblioBase information system for updating and expansion. Thanks to a generous grant from the Eurasia Foundation, questionnaires were administered to archival repositories in Ukraine, and some of those data were also incorporated into ArcheoBiblioBase. However, because of lack of staff and inadequate funding, the ABB project has been left unfinished in Kyiv.

The present coverage was prepared for the Ukrainian Research Insearch Institute at Harvard University by Dr. Grimsted on the basis of the ArcheoBiblioBase files in the National Library of Ukraine with the assistance of, and in consultation with, colleagues in Kyiv at the Hrushevs'kyi Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Study. It updates vital data in the 1988 directory, such as names and provides current addresses, telephone numbers, directors, and open hours for researchers. The last two previous names and acronyms of the repositories listed are given in both Ukrainian and Russian, since researchers are likely to find citations in both languages. A brief paragraph explains the nature of holdings and, where appropriate, the historical basis and major reorganization of each repository since Ukrainian independence in 1991.

Included here in terms of bibliography are only the major repository-level guides available. Comprehensive, annotated listings of earlier guides and more specialized finding aids, including articles (through 1986 imprints) can be found in the 1988 Grimsted directory. Accordingly, page references to that directory (PKG Archives: Ukraine [1988]) are provided in each case. Many of the institutions have also been described in other Ukrainian- and Russian-language directories, references to which are provided in the full database. Except in two cases, unfortunately, no new guides have been prepared since 1991, and the earlier published guides are inadequate in covering the holdings now open for research. Nevertheless, they provide a general orientation, and describe many of the holdings. While earlier guides are now all out of print (as is the PKG directory), microfiche editions are available through Inter Documentation Company (IDC) in Leiden, the Netherlands ( and in a few cases through East View Publications (; appropriate notations in the bibliographic data identify those reprint sources.

In fact almost all of the bibliographic entries in Dr. Grimsted's 1988 directory were issued in microfiche editions, and a special IDC catalogue of these Ukrainian finding aids was issued simultaneously with the publication of that directory. The IDC order numbers for all items filmed are listed as part of the bibliographic entry in the Grimsted directory. The separate IDC catalogue, as well as a microfiche edition of the Grimsted directory, are now available directly from IDC (at the web address mentioned above).

Since independence, many of the vast holdings in Ukrainian archives have been declassified and opened for public research. The extensive archives of the Communist Party of Ukraine under Soviet rule have been incorporated into the state archival system, and most of their holdings are now also open for research. Even formerly top-secret files held by the security services in Ukraine have been made available to families of the repressed, and some categories of records have been opened to the research public. However, at the same time a severe economic crisis has produced shortages of staff, lack of technical facilities, storage space limitations, and deteriorating physical condition of many archival repositories. Worries abound regarding the adequate preservation of the Ukrainian archival heritage for future generations. The lack of government funding for archives, libraries, and academic institutions, has also meant the curtailment of many vital processing and public reference services that would normally be found in open public archives in other parts of the world.

Despite economic hardship, Ukrainian archives are nonetheless struggling to keep their doors open for public research and are ready to welcome scholars and other researchers from throughout the world. The present electronic information from ArcheoBiblioBase should help alert researchers to the wealth of holdings and research opportunities in Ukrainian repositories. The initial segment presented here, however, is only a small token of the public information needed.

It is to be hoped that staff and funding can be found in Ukraine to update data promptly for the ABB webpage on the Internet, and to increase and the coverage to state archives in each and every oblast (which now include former CP archives), agency archives under major ministries and other government agencies that are open for research, additional holdings under institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and those in other libraries and museums. It would be highly desirable to expand the data available electronically, with more detailed descriptions of holdings, newly declassified fonds, and more bibliography of finding aids, both in a Ukrainian-language version for Ukraine itself, and in this English-language version for international circulation. Now that Ukraine is at last independent, and now that Ukrainian history has been freed from centuries of ideological straightjackets, it is possible to conduct open research on Ukrainian history and culture. But if information about archival holdings is not publicly available, research is impossible. Ukrainian archives may be open to the world, but without increasing reference access, they will necessarily remain as inaccessible to the public as they were before independence.

At present, public electronic reference information about Ukrainian archival holdings and research facilities are not available in Ukraine itself. The Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute welcomes comments and suggestions regarding this coverage. But HURI regrets that staff limitations mean that it will not be able to answer all reference inquiries.

Family history and/or genealogical inquiries can be addressed directly to several more specialized sources, many of which are listed and described in the Resource Guide on the website of the Federation of East European Family History Societies ( Among other sources from the United States, family history research in Ukraine can be performed through the Russian-American Genealogical Archival Service (RAGAS) ( All questions and correspondence concerning information and requests should be addressed directly to:

Suite 1112
1929 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Or directed by e-mail ( or fax ([7-095]-246-20-20, TO: M-200).

National-Level State Archives
under the Main Archival Administration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

K-0. Holovne arkhivne upravlinnia pry Kabineti Ministriv Ukraïny (HAU)
Glavnoe arkhivnoe upravlenie pri Kabinete Ministrov Ukrainy
Main Archival [Administration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine]

K-1. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi istorychnyi arkhiv Ukraïny, Kyïv (TsDIAK Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv Ukrainy, Kiev (TsGIAK Ukrainy)
[Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine, Kyiv]

K-2. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv vyshchykh orhaniv vlady i upravlinnia Ukraïny (TsDAVO Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv vysshikh organov vlasti i upravleniia Ukrainy (TsGAVO Ukrainy)
[Central State Archive of the Highest Organs of State Government and Administration of Ukraine]

K-3. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv hromads'kykh ob"iednan' Ukraïny (TsDAHO Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv obshchestvennykh organizatsii Ukrainy (TsGAOO Ukrainy)
[Central State Archive of Public Organizations of Ukraine]

K-4. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv-muzei literatury i mystetstva Ukraïny (TsDAMLM Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv-muzei literatury i iskusstva Ukrainy (TsGAMLI Ukrainy)
[Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art of Ukraine]

K-5. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi kinofotofonoarkhiv Ukraïny (TsDKFFA Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi kinofotofonoarkhiv Ukrainy (TsGKFFA Ukrainy)
[Central State of Film, Photo-, and Phonographic Archive of Ukraine]

L-1. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi istorychnyi arkhiv Ukraïny, L'viv (TsDIAL Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv Ukrainy, L'vov
[Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine in Lviv]

O-1. Tsentral'nyi derzhavnyi naukovo-tekhnichnyi arkhiv Ukraïny (TsDNTA Ukraïny)
Tsentral'nyi gosudarstvennyi nauchno-tekhnicheskii arkhiv Ukrainy (TsGNTA Ukrainy)
[Central State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation of Ukraine]

Oblast- and Municipal-Level State Archives
under the Main Archival Administration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

K-15. Derzhavnyi arkhiv Kyïvs'koï oblasti (DAKO)
Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Kievskoi oblasti (GAKO)
[State Archive of Kyiv Oblast]

K-16. Derzhavnyi arkhiv m. Kyieva
Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv g. Kieva
[State Archive of the City of Kyiv]

L_2. Derzhavnyi arkhiv L'vivs'koï oblasti (DALO)
Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv L'vovskoi oblasti (GALO)
[State Archive of Lviv Oblast]


Major Library Manuscript Repositories
under the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

K-17. Natsional'na biblioteka Ukraïny im. V. I. Vernads'koho (NBU)
Natsional'naia biblioteka Ukrainy im. V. I. Vernadskogo (NBU)
[V. I. Vernads'kyi National Library of Ukraine]

L-3. L'vivs'ka naukova biblioteka im. V. Stefanyka NAN Ukraïny
L'vovskaia nauchnaia biblioteka im. V. Stefanika NAN Ukrainy
[V. Stefanyk Lviv Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine]

Last modified 28 April 1998.

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