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COLLECTION Identifier: HOLLIS 009549939

Papers, 1877-1971 (inclusive), 1951-1959 (bulk).


Papers of scholar of Ukrainian architecture, art and graphics Volodymyr Sichynskyi including correspondence, manuscripts, subject files, and photographs.


  • 1932-1971

Language of Materials

In Ukrainian, English and German.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is by appointment only. Contact the Institute Bibliographer/Archivist.


1 collection (4 boxes (3 linear feet))
The collection as a whole reflects Volodymyr Sichynskyi's career as a prolific scholar of Ukrainian architecture, art and graphics. The personal files contain biographical sketches of Sichynskyi's life and bibliographies of his work. Also related to his personal life is correspondence received by him. This series is arranged alphabetically. It provides an insight into Sichynskyi's influence and stature around the world, with letters addressed to him from all over Europe, North and South America, and as far away as Australia. In general, the letters pertain to his scholarly interests and publications in art and architecture, but they also reveal the hardships faced by his colleagues as they tried to pursue their own academic and artistic lives outside of Ukraine.

Sichynskyi corresponded with a number of artists and art historians, including Ivan Kurakh, Mykhailo Babii, Mykhailo Mykhalevych, Damian Horniatkevych, Ivan Keivan, Serhii Lytvynenko, Bohdan Stebelskyi, and Petro Andrusiv. His other correspondents include writers and scholars such as Pavlo Bohatskyi, Mykhailo Miller, Marta Kalytovska, Iurii Tys-Krokhmaliuk, Semen Demydchuk, and Stepan Protsiuk. One interesting letters is from Savella Stechishin who wrote to Sichynskyi regarding her cookbook Traditional Ukrainian Cookery. She explained to him the politics behind writing a Ukrainian cookbook in English, and that her goal was to educate North Americans about national customs and to elevate Ukrainian cuisine to the rank of that of other cultures. Still others wrote to Sichynskyi asking for advice on architectural projects, such as the building of churches in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Brazil. A significant number of the letters in this series relate to Sichynskyi's work as head of the Mazepa Jubilee Committee that commemorated the 250th anniversary of the hetman's death in 1959. In addition, there are letters from Ukrainian-born French film director Eugène Deslaw (pseudonym of Ievhen Slabchenko) that describe his attempts to make a film about Ivan Mazepa.

The bulk (1 c.f.) of the collection consists of manuscripts and notes for Sichynskyi's articles and books. These are arranged alphabetically by title. This series includes manuscripts for his books Ukraine in Foreign Comments and Descriptions from the Sixth to the Twentieth Century (1938; English translation 1953), Ukrains'ka kul'tura (1949), Ivan Mazepa: liudyna i metsenat (1951), Istoriia ukrains'koho mystetstva (1956), and Roksoliana (1957), as well as other monographs and articles. Many of the articles were published in Ukrainian émigré newspapers such as Chas, Nedilia, Ukrains'ke slovo, Svoboda, Narodna volia, Ovyd, and The Ukrainian Weekly. Sichynskyi kept clippings of these articles and these form part of the publications series. Notes, clippings, and citations that Sichynskyi used for his research are arranged in the subject files. The photographs, mostly portraits of Ivan Mazepa, as well as architectural and ornamental designs, also pertain to his scholarship.

Biographical / Historical

Volodymyr Sichynskyi (1894-1962) was born on June 24, 1894 to the family of Ievtym Sitsinskyi in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. He graduated from the Kamianets Technical School in 1912, and then continued his studies at the St. Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineers (1912-1917) and at Charles University in Prague (1924-1927). During the interim between St. Petersburg and Prague, Sichynskyi taught at the Kamianets Gymnasium (1918-1919), helped organize the Architectural Institute in Kyiv (1918-1919) and served as director of the construction department of Podilia gubernia. After fleeing from Soviet rule to Lviv, he taught at the Academic Gymnasium there (1921-1923) and then moved to Prague. In Prague, he worked on his doctoral degree, taught at the art-school "Studio" (1923-1945), and served as a lecturer of the history of art at the Ukrainian Higher Pedagogical Institute (1923-1933). He received his PhD and was promoted to the rank of professor on October 5, 1927. He also chaired the Library and Bibliographic Commission of the Ukrainian Society of Bibliophiles in Prague from 1927 and served as the society's president (1934-1943). In 1930 he co-founded the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists in Lviv. From 1930 he was also a full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv. Sichynskyi was appointed an assistant professor of art history on January 25, 1940 at the Ukrainian Free University, and then was promoted to associate professor on March 22, 1942. In 1943-1945, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo in Prague and in Berlin. A postwar refugee in Germany, in 1949 he emigrated to the United States where he continued to teach at the Ukrainian Technical Institute in New York. He died on June 25, 1962 in Paterson, New Jersey.

In addition to teaching, Sichynskyi worked as an architect designing churches, schools, and many private and public buildings in Ukraine, Slovakia, Brazil, Canada and the United States. He designed the Redemptorist Church of the Holy Spirit in Michalovce (1933-1934) and the Boiko-style wooden Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Komarnyky (1937), both in Slovakia; the Ukrainian churches in Whippany, New Jersey (1949), and Pôrto Uniao, Brazil (1951); and the Orthodox cathedral in Montreal (1957).

Sichynskyi published over 500 articles, books and reviews. He is the author of works on Ukrainian art, culture, architecture, engraving and printing, industry, and foreign sources on the history of Ukraine. Two bio-bibliographies of Sichynskyi have been published: Volodymyr Sichyns'kyi: arkhitekt, mystets'hrafik, mystetstvoznavets', doslidnyk, by Ivan Keivan (Toronto, 1957), and Volodymyr Sichyns'kyi: biobibliohrafichnyi pokazhchyk (Lviv, 1996). In addition, proceedings of a conference devoted to Sichynskyi have been published under the editorship of Viacheslav Kolomiiets in Kyiv in 1996.


Organized in six series:
  1. I. Personal files [Box 1]
  2. II. Correspondence, 1949-1969 [Box 1]
  3. III. Manuscripts, 1946-1958 [Boxes 1, 2]
  4. IV. Publications, 1937-1960 [Box 2]
  5. V. Subject files, 1877-1959 [Boxes 2, 3]
  6. VI. Photographs, 1939-1959 [Box 4]

Acquisition Information

Letters to Volodymyr Sichynskyi donated by Jaroslav Sichynsky on February 28, 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ksenya Kiebuzinski
Link to catalog
Sichynskyi, Volodymyr, 1894-. Papers, 1877-1971 (inclusive), 1951-1959 (bulk): A Finding Aid.
Ukrainian Research Institute

Repository Details

Part of the Ukrainian Research Institute Repository

Special Collections at the Ukrainian Research Institute Library include primary sources documenting the history of Ukraine in the 20th century, and Ukrainian émigré social and cultural life in Europe, and the United States:

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