Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research
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About the Jacyk Centre

The support of historical research

The Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research was established in 1989 through the generosity of its founding benefactor, Peter Jacyk. Impressed by the Institute’s work, Mr. Jacyk endowed CIUS with $1 million, matched two-to-one by the government of Alberta. Dr. Frank Sysyn, a renowned specialist in early modern Ukraine, was appointed the Centre’s director.

The Jacyk Centre’s major project has been the translation of Mykhailo Hrushevsky’s monumental History of Ukraine-Rus′ into English. Published in ten volumes between 1898 and 1937, this authoritative work has held up well with the passage of time. Neglected in Soviet times, the history has enjoyed a popular revival in Ukraine since independence. The entire work was reprinted by the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography of the National Academy of Sciences in Kyiv, together with an index to all its volumes.

Translating and editing Hrushevsky is a complex undertaking. Besides translating the text into English, it is necessary to verify and update thousands of footnotes and consult sources in a variety of languages, including Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Latin. Other challenging tasks are compiling bibliographies for all volumes, with updates of important literature, as well as introductions that provide the scholarly context of each volume. The project employs several scholars and editors in its Toronto and Edmonton offices, in addition to freelance translators, subject editors and specialists for specific volumes.

The project has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the U.S., the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies and the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation of Taras Shevchenko. A number of individuals and institutions have donated $100,000 to sponsor individual volumes.

As new volumes have appeared, they have been introduced to the academic and Ukrainian communities through press releases and book launches. The latter have been organized at major academic centers such as Harvard University, Columbia University and the Universities of Alberta and Toronto, as well as at annual conventions of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and the Canadian Association of Slavists. Equally important have been community-sponsored launches in major Ukrainian centers across North America and at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. The publication of volume 1 was followed by the appearance of volumes 7, 8, and 9, book 1. The Jacyk Centre has now also published volume 9, book 2, parts 1 and 2, as well as volume 6. These volumes, like the preceding ones of the History of Ukraine-Rus′, have been highly acclaimed by scholars and supported by the Ukrainian community.

The magnitude of the Hrushevsky Translation Project and the resources committed to it have not overshadowed other activities of the Jacyk Centre. The Centre’s scholars have been regular participants at international conferences, often as panel organizers. The Centre has arranged academic exchanges with universities and institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and awards research grants and doctoral fellowships in Ukrainian history to scholars around the world.

Documents on Ukrainian history are often scattered in archives of numerous states. Locating the material and cataloguing it has been a major concern of researchers and scholars. The Peter Jacyk Centre has supported many archival projects in Ukraine, as well as in Moscow and Warsaw, where many valuable Ukrainian archival collections have been unearthed.

Publication Series

In addition to the History of Ukraine Rus′, the Peter Jacyk Centre sponsors an English-language monograph series and a series of Ukrainian translations of Western works on Ukrainian history. The “Ukrainian Historiography in the West” series is published in cooperation with scholarly institutions in Ukraine. The first book in the series, Istorychni ese (Historical Essays), by Ivan Lysiak-Rudnytsky, was edited by Yaroslav Hrytsak of Lviv. It was followed by Rosiis′kyi tsentralizm i ukra├»ns′ka avtonomiia: Likvidatsiia Het’manshchyny, 1760–1830 roky (Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy: Imperial Absorption of the Hetmanate, 1760s-1830s), by Zenon E. Kohut, and Serhii Plokhy’s Nalyvaikova vira: Kozatstvo ta relihiia v rann′omodernii Ukraïni (Nalyvaiko’s Faith: The Cossacks and Religion in Early Modern Ukraine).

The first book in the English-language monograph series was Ihor Ševčenko’s Ukraine between East and West: Essays on Cultural History to the Early Eighteenth Century, which was subsequently also published in Ukrainian translation. Other books in the series include Voluntary Brotherhood: Confraternities of Laymen in Early Modern Ukraine, by Iaroslav Isaievych, Western Ukraine in Conflict with Poland and Bolshevism, 1918–1920, by Vasyl Kuchabsky, Fashioning Modern Ukraine: Selected Writings of Mykola Kostomarov, Volodymyr Antonovych, and Mykhailo Drahomanov, edited by Serhiy Bilenky.

The Jacyk Centre also sponsors the publication of archival documents and other materials relating to the history of Ukraine. For detailed information on all the Centre’s publications, see The Hrushevsky Translation Project and PJC Publications.