Preservation of Ukrainian Diaspora Continues Through Manor College’s Project Resilience

Hundreds of boxes have been sorted and preserved since the program’s founding in 2021. 

A piece of Ukrainian literature from the late 1880s is among thousands of documents found in Manor College’s Project Resilience.

At the advent of the latest war in Ukraine, Manor College created Project Resilience

Project Resilience acquires and digitizes materials of significant historical and cultural value to the Ukrainian Diaspora – the spread of a people from their original homeland. This effort creates global access to preserve, enrich and inspire future generations. 

More than two years since its inception, efforts continue to record thousands of records. 

“The greatest generation of Ukrainian immigrants is aging,” Nicholas Rudnytzky, Dean of Academic Services at Manor College, said. “Libraries, and the cultural institutions this generation founded, are not finding a home with their successors. They are in danger of being lost. Project Resilience came into being to preserve these archives.” 

The first boxes came from the late Dr. Alexander Lushnycky. He served as a member of the Ukrainian Advisory Council and was a dedicated historian of the Ukrainian Diaspora. 

Manor College Head Librarian Sarah Baum compiles a box of records.

Over time, hundreds of boxes ranging from journals and newspapers to microfilm were brought to Manor College’s library. George Danyliw, a local volunteer, performed a “first pass” on every item, categorizing and indexing the items to “give order to chaos.” The boxes, once stacked and spread out in a third of Manor’s library, now are organized and sorted as the project continues in a small room in the library. 

Thanks to the support of Mary Lushnycky, Dr. Lushnycky’s wife, Manor College hired a librarian assistant to continue indexing and digitizing the entire collection. 

A library assistant has cataloged and packaged a large portion of almanacs dating back to 1892. Tables of content were copied and photographed to make the information accessible to researchers. 

With almanacs nearly completed, the assistant turned her attention to journals from Ukrainian life and arts, the political scene and religious issues.

Currently, Manor College is searching for funding for a proper book scanner that would allow the institution to more efficiently process and digitize the thousands of publications in its possession. 

“This is a massive undertaking, but one that’s incredibly necessary,” Rudnytzky said. “With the destruction of Ukraine on the part of Moscow and the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural treasures, it is more important now more than ever to preserve what we have.”

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