The Ukrainian Museum Archives was founded in 1952 as a non-profit institution with a mission to collect and preserve artifacts of importance to Ukrainian history and culture. This was an era when these types of items were being deliberately destroyed in Soviet Ukraine. Over the decades, the UMA has acquired an impressive collection of rare and valuable material. Located in Cleveland’s historic Tremont neighborhood, the UMA is now building on the foundation established by the founders of the institution to make the wealth of archival and artistic materials available to a broad sector of scholars and the general public.
The UMA’s general collection is comprised of a diverse collection of artifacts. These holdings include, but are not limited to
- postage stamps
- commemorative buttons and pins
- programs and fliers, posters from the early-20th century to the present day
- sheet music – including first editions of Mykola Lysenko’s compositions
- historic passports and other documents
- sound recordings
- more than 300 videotapes in what is a complete collection of the US Information Agency’s “Window on America” television program that is beamed by satellite into Ukraine.
Books and Periodicals
Perhaps the most valuable section of the UMA is our book and periodical collection. Our holdings include volumes about every imaginable topic – from Ukraine’s pre-history to last week’s headlines. Our library of more than 20,000 volumes includes rare books from the 19th and early 20th centuries:
- books from the early- and mid-19th century period of modern Ukrainian literature
- books from the early-20th c. revolutionary period in Ukraine
- books and periodicals from the post-World War II Displaced Persons camps
- historic publications from Ukraine representing the period between the World Wars
- publications printed by the Ukrainian Diaspora from all corners of the globe, including cities such as Prague, Istanbul, Shanghai, Vienna, Paris, Winnipeg, Berlin, Budapest, and Buenos Aires.
Voice of America
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives (UMA) in Cleveland is pleased to partner with the Department of Foreign Nations Modern and Contemporary History at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the Ukrainian Association for American Studies in publishing «Sharing America’s Story with Ukraine: The Voice of America’s Ukrainian Service, 1949-2019». This collection of research papers and essays is being released in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Ukrainian Service of the Voice of America (VOA), the global media organization of the United States. Throughout its entire existence, it has been VOA’s mission to serve as a reliable and authoritative source of news, projecting balanced and comprehensive information about American institutions and the policies of the United States, along with responsible discussion and opinion about those policies and our way of life.
There are many diverse artifacts found in the UMA collection that relate to the life and work of Ukraine’s national poet, Taras Shevchenko.
The Museum’s holdings include thousands of books, periodicals, posters, pins, buttons, portraits, postage stamps, banners, fliers, programs, artwork and other memorabilia commemorating the life of this genius. The size and scope of this collection makes it one of the richest of its kind in North America.
Among the rarities are miniature Kobzars published in Geneva in the 1870s-1880s, smuggled into Ukraine during the era when the literary work of Shevchenko had been banned in the Russian Empire. A dramatic bust of Shevchenko by Alexander Archipenko graces the entrance of the UMA’s newly built library and archival storage facility. An original copy of Osnova from March 1861 describes Shevchenko’s last days and funeral.
The UMA collection of Shevchenkiana includes many surprises documenting the intense life of this poetic genius and illustrates the unique place he holds in Ukrainian culture.
The UMA features an impressive and eclectic collection of Ukrainian art, including, but not limited to
- Easter eggs – “pysanky”
- woven textiles
- traditional apparel (folk costume) and related accessories
- works of fine art by world-renowned Ukrainian artists such as Alexander Archipenko, the Krychevsky Family, Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, and Jacques Hnizdovsky, Mykhailo Chereshnovsky
Ukrainian Oral History Project
The UMA’s mission is to preserve and share Ukrainian culture and the immigrant experience. One of the ways that we implement that mission is to capture and preserve memories, stories, and life experiences.
This is the goal of the Oral History Project – to record, for future generations, historical testimonies offered by members of our own community. Of particular interest are testimonies involving Ukrainian-American life and the immigrant experience, recollections of growing up in Cleveland, organizations, challenges faced by newly-arrived Ukrainians, recollections of World War II, and recollections of Displaced Persons Camps.
We invite you to nominate individual(s) who would be willing and able to share their testimonies. We will do our best to collect all of the stories that we can, but please understand that not all nominees can be interviewed, especially those who live outside the greater Cleveland area. To nominate an individual, please complete the Nomination Form and return it to the museum at:
Oral History Project
1202 Kenilworth Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
or email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org (write “Oral History Project” in the subject line)