Chair: Irene Jendzjowskyj   – Provincial Archives of Alberta (retired)

Irene Jendzjowsky holds a Masters of Arts in Ukrainian and Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta. She has worked for over 28 years in the heritage field. In 2012, Irene retired from the Provincial Archives of Alberta, where, as the Director of Access and Preservation Services, she was responsible for preservation services, outreach and exhibit programs as well as the reference and client services which included the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy program. As a member of the Archives Society of Alberta, Irene served on the education committee for a number of terms. She was and is also an active member of several organizations in the Ukrainian community. She continues to volunteer her time in the heritage field and remains a strong advocate for archives and preserving archival records. Most recently she joined the Friends of the Ukrainian Folklore Centre. She has a passion for history and Ukrainian culture and is a strong advocate for learning and sharing knowledge about the past.

Chrystia Kolos – Ukrainian Canadian Resource and Documentation Centre

Chrystyna Kolos –Board member of the Ukrainian Canadian Resource and Documentation Centre and volunteer archivist at the Centre, involved with interviews, material maintenance, and cataloguing. University of Toronto BSc Pharmacy graduate, retired Hospital Pharmacist. Board member and program coordinator of NTSh Canada. Life-long member of Plast Canada involved with youth programming and leadership training.


The collection of archival material at the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre (UCRDC) in Toronto started as a project in 1982 of producing a documentary film about the 1932-33 Holodomor in Ukraine. This project was conceived and carried out by a group of Ukrainian Canadian activists in Toronto, organized as the “Ukrainian Famine Research Committee”, and included Wasyl’ Janischewskyj, Bohdan Onyshchuk, Jurij Darewych, Peter Smylski, William Kereluk, Wsevolod Isajiw, Ostap Wynnyckyj and Marko Carynnyk. At that time the USSR was still in existence and access to Soviet archives was not available. The Committee collected funds and engaged experienced Ukrainian Canadian film makers Slavko Nowicki and Yuri Luhovy to make the film “Harvest of Despair”, which was premiered in Toronto on October 21, 1984. The film, which was also released in Ukrainian, French and Spanish, won many international awards and was widely shown on Canadian and foreign TV networks.

The UCRDC thus came to possess a large and invaluable collection of filmed interviews with survivors of the Holodomor, as well as with Western scholars. In 1985 Iroida Wynnycka joined the UCRDC Board as Chief Archivist to deal with this ever-expanding audio-visual collection. She brought together a group of volunteers to help with the task of organizing the archive.

Subsequently the UCRDC produced a film about Ukraine in WWII and again gathered new material. This included filmed interviews with participants and survivors of the War, Ukrainians who served in Canada’s armed forces, veterans of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), the “Halychyna” division, and Ukrainians who were deported to work as forced labourers (“Ostarbeiters”) in Germany. A recent undertaking is a film about Ukrainians who served in Canada’s armed forces during WWII. John Paskiewicz of Winnipeg has been engaged as producer.

Currently the UCRDC is involved with gathering materials for three important new projects: Ukrainians who helped Jews during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine, Children of Holodomor Survivors, and Oral History of Ukrainian Canada (OHUC), which involves video recording the life stories of Ukrainian Canadians, starting with our most senior population.

The maintenance of the UCRDC, its premises, activities and projects, requires substantial funding. This is obtained largely from private sources, benefactors, donations, and grants from various non-governmental institutions and agencies.

Oleksandr Pankieiev & Viktoriya Yakovlyeva – Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies

Oleksandr Pankieiev coordinates digital communications and media for a number of teams at the Arts Collaboration Enterprise, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta. He is also an associate researcher, Department of Act Archaeography, M. S. Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archaeography and Source Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and coordinator and co-coordinator of various print and multimedia projects, including the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine website and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Digital Archives. His research interests include the history of southern Ukraine, the history and theory of bureaucracy in Ukraine, oral history, and digital humanities and the digital media. He is the author of two historical sourcebooks, The Azov Vicegerency: An Unrealized Project (Zaporizhia, 2011) (co-authored with A. Olenenko) and Group Service Registers of Officials of Novorossiisk Province, 1798 (Zaporizhia, 2011), and many articles.

Vita Yakovlyeva is the Archival and Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. She holds a PhD in Social Theory and Cultural Studies, and has been involved in several major research and archival projects, which include the “Memorial for the L’viv Ghetto Victims” for the Lviv Interactive Project at the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv, Ukraine), as well as “Jewish sites of Memory in Lviv – a Survey”, conducted by Neue Synagogue Stiftung, Centrum Judaicum and Robert Bosch Foundation (Berlin) with then Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv). She also worked on cataloguing and systematization of the audio-visual collection at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, at the Kule Centre for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore (University of Alberta, Edmonton).


For the past two years, we have been compiling an institutional digital archive for the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Developed in close cooperation with the University of Alberta Libraries and the Arts Resource Centre in 2016, the CIUS’s Digital Archive aims to digitize, systematize and describe the core publications of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies that have been produced over the last 40 years — essentially since it was founded in 1976.

To host the Archives, we use Omeka, which is a free, open source content management system for online digital collections. Currently, our collection consists of 1655 items, 82 collections, and is described by 1912 tags.

In this presentation, we will touch upon the content of our existent collections, some issues of metadata, copyright policy development, audio-visual content repository, and some challenges commonly encountered by those working with the Ukrainian language content, as well as a design of search and retrieval tools that compensate for abbreviated or incomplete cataloging or descriptive information.

Kateryna Kod & Maryna Chernyavska – Kule Folklore Centre/Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives

Kateryna Kod is an Archival Assistant at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, Kule Folklore Centre, University of Alberta. Kateryna holds a Master of Arts degree in Ukrainian Folklore from the University of Alberta (2016). Her research interests include: folklore archives, material culture, ethnic cultural heritage and identity.

Maryna Chernyavska holds a position as the Folklore Archivist at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives, Kule Folklore Centre, University of Alberta, Canada. She also administers Alberta on Record – a provincial online database of the Archives Society of Alberta. Maryna holds a Master of Arts degree in Ukrainian Folklore and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Alberta. Her research interests include: folklore archives, digital archives, traditional knowledge and memory keeping, postmodern archives, and ethnic cultural heritage. Maryna serves on the board of the International Council on Archives – Section on University and Research Institution Archives, and is a co-chair of the Working Group on Archives of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore.


Ukrainian Folklore Archives started in the late 1970s with a collection of ethnographic projects of students in the first Ukrainian Folklore classes at the University of Alberta taught by Bohdan Medwidsky. It grew to become a large research repository with fieldwork materials of faculty and graduate students in the Ukrainian Folklore program and an extensive research library. Thematic content of archival holdings reflected research interests of ethnographers and covered traditional songs and tales, sayings, beliefs, calendar and life cycle customs, material culture, folk arts, performance traditions (dance, choral activity, drama), as well as studies of vernacular and popular culture that relate to Ukrainian identity.

In the process of its professionalization, the Archives developed policies and procedures, secured institutional memberships with provincial and national archival associations, and hired an information professional to manage it. Its mandate both narrowed and expanded, with a greater focus on Ukrainian Canadian vernacular culture and that of other diaspora communities, and the inclusion of Ukrainian Canadian community life in the broad sense.

In this presentation, we will talk about diverse collections housed at the Ukrainian Folklore Archives, and will address challenges we have encountered managing archival materials and making them accessible to researchers and the general public. We will discuss changing acquisition practices, specifics of working with research materials, databases for managing archival collections that we have used, and the ways we have been making archival holdings of the Ukrainian Folklore Archives available, especially through the web.