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Lemko Organization Boosts Ukrainian Studies at Columbia Libraries

Representatives from the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc. visited the campus of Columbia University in February 2006 and donated an important collection of books on Ukrainian-Lemko issues, which will help develop the Ukrainian library collection at Columbia.

“We have chosen to donate these books to Columbia University because we support the mission of Columbia’s Ukrainian Studies Program, which includes the acquisition, processing and preservation of Ukrainian books and materials. Our wish is that these books pertaining to Ukrainian-Lemkos be placed in the Columbia library system for students and others to be able to access,” read the statement provided by the Lemko Research Foundation, represented by president Steven Howansky and board members Vasyl Panchak and Steven Malyniak.

Columbia University’s Slavic book collection and archival holdings in the Slavic area are of international significance. They include much that is rare even in their countries of origin. The collections are notable for their breadth and represent an important part of the Slavic world’s intellectual heritage for the last 150 years. A number of valuable items have come to Columbia as gifts. Organizations and individuals who wish to donate Ukraine-related publications to Columbia’s collections may do so through the Ukrainian Studies Program.

The selection of books donated by the Lemko Research Foundation included Eugeniusz Misilo’s Akcja “Wisla”: Dokumenty , a Ukrainian-language collection of rare archival materials pertaining to the 1947 forced resettlement of Ukrainians in Poland, as well as the late Petro Pyrtey’s recently-published Short Dictionary of Lemko Dialects ( Korotkiiy Slovnyk Lemkivskych Hovirok ), one of the few Ukrainian-Lemko dictionaries currently available. Dr. David Magier, Director of Area Studies Library Services; Jared Ingersoll, Slavic Librarian; and Prof. Frank Sysyn, Petro Jacyk Visiting Scholar, accepted the books on behalf of Columbia University.

“Ukrainian Studies is on the rise at Columbia, and the Libraries are making great efforts to keep up with the new demands of the growing program. Literature of the Lemko and similar regional and ethnic communities within Ukraine is important for our understanding of the country’s complex cultural fabric and is often difficult to collect. The gift of such unusual and valuable material is tremendously welcome and useful in creating a rich research resource for scholars today and tomorrow,” Ingersoll later said.

The Lemko Research Foundation is a non-profit organization which promotes the study of the history, culture and traditions of people of Ukrainian-Lemko origin. The foundation’s mission involves providing assistance to students engaged in Ukrainian-Lemko studies; collaborating with academic institutions; and sponsoring the publication of books, magazines and other written materials on Lemkos and the Lemko region. These activities are funded by membership dues, publication sales, fundraising events and individual donations. The Foundation welcomes new members.

Information on ways to support Columbia University’s Ukrainian studies library collection is available by calling the Ukrainian Studies Office at (212) 854-4697 or For more information about the Lemko Research Foundation, please contact Steven Howansky at (203) 762-5912 or

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