Ukrainian Historians Post 10,000 Documents on the Internet

Apr 17, 2013

The "D-Archive” of the Ukrainian liberation movement was launched at a press conference convened on March 19, 2013 in Lviv, Ukraine by the Lviv National University of Ivan Franko and the Center for Research on the Liberation Movement (CDVR). D-Archive allows for free access over the Internet to more than ten thousand catalogued, digitized copies of documents: avr.org.ua

D-Archive will be an important resource to researchers, historians, students and graduate students, and everyone interested in the history of Ukraine, the USSR, and Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century, including the Second World War, the struggle of the nations of the USSR for national independence, and the history of totalitarian regimes and repression.

The D-Archive was presented at the press conference by: Dr. Bohdan Kotur, Vice-Rector for Research Affairs, Doctor of Chemistry, Professor, Lviv National University of Ivan Franko; Volodymyr Viatrovych, PhD, D-Archive Research Project Manager and Chairman of the Academic Council of the CDVR; Vasyl Kmet, PhD, Director of the Scholarly Library, Lviv National University of Ivan Franko; Ruslan Zabily, Director, National Museum and Memorial to Victims of Occupation Regimes "Prison at Lonsky"; and Andriy Kohut, D-Archive Project Manager. D-Archive was implemented on the initiative of Dr. Ivan Vakarchuk, Rector of the Lviv National University of Ivan Franko.

Historians and volunteers involved in the project, organized and catalogued documents in order to make the archive accessible to historians and the general public, including downloading and printing in the PDF format. A continuous stream of documents will continue to be added to D-Archive, thus expanding public access to historical sources.

D-Archive developers believe that www.avr.org.ua is the answer to the challenges of our time: "History begins with sources. With D-Archive, accessing sources is convenient: enter the site, find your document, and download it. Now you can focus on the facts rather than waiting for months to receive permission to access the archive or search among private collections," said Dr. Viatrovych. "If the world develops open electronic database archives, Ukraine will not be able to hide information about the liberation movement and political repression at the request of certain officials. If access to the past is limited by officials, then the obligation of historians is to not only access and research the past but also make available primary sources to everyone. The Digital Archive is for us and our colleagues - faster, easier and more economical than trying to access multivolume collections of documents,” Viatrovych concluded.

Dr. Vasyl Kmet noted: “Recall the days when portions of archival documents were expurgated, and even when they had to be first reviewed by censors. Establishing the Digital Archive, where copies of documents will be offered in their totality, is an important step that will contribute to the development of Ukrainian history as a social science."

According to Andriy Kohut, the project was developed in accordance with Recommendation № R (2000) 13 of the Council of Europe concerning the rights of citizens to have free access to archives and to know objectively the elements of their history as an integral feature of democracy .

For the Ukrainian-language press release on the launch of the D-Archive, visit: http://www.cdvr.org.ua/node/1996

 

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  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
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