The emergence of an independent Ukraine on the world map in 1991 opened long anticipated opportunities for Ukrainians everywhere to realize the Ukrainian national idea. One of the steps taken by Ukraine last year to foster international cooperation among Ukrainian communities in the world was the establishment of the Central State Archive of Foreign Archival Ucrainica (Decree No. 279-r of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from May 5, 2007).
The newly established archive is to help preserve the historical and cultural legacy of Ukrainians by facilitating acquisition and the return to Ukraine of those parts of Ukraine's national and cultural heritage that were found beyond its borders during various periods of history. A key priority is to make these materials available to the public for scholarly and cultural use.
The new archive's effort should provide an opportunity to finally fill some gaps in the history of the Ukrainian nation that exist from Soviet times. Fulfillment of this important mission, however, will be possible only with the help of Ukrainian communities outside of Ukraine, especially assistance in identifying and locating the cultural and artistic legacy of generations of Ukrainians, including unique materials painstakingly collected and preserved by the foremost Ukrainian intellectuals in exile.
On this occasion I turn to you with a sense of humility and respect to ask for your support and cooperation in helping the new Central State Archive of Foreign Archival Ucrainica achieve its mission and successfully preserve for posterity important documents on the struggle for independence and cultural activities of Ukrainian emigres in all counties, and in all of their manifestations (scholarly, scientific, educational, artistic, political and social).
Your support will perpetuate the very reputable tradition initiated by emigres in Prague, as exemplified in the work of the Museum of the Ukrainian Liberation Struggle (Muzej Vyzvol'noji Borot'by) in the 1920s-1930s. This institution sought to cultivate pride in Ukraine and respect for those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle to save the nation's soul. We will always remain indebted to these people who worked so diligently at preserving the dignity of Ukraine and the historic memory of the struggle for independence.
In considering the importance of the tasks before us, we ask that you share the urgency of this matter with family and friends and help refer individuals to the Archive, or provide the Archive with information about individuals and organizations which, in your view, could play a vital role in constructing this archival integral legacy of Ukraine.
We shall do our utmost to justify your trust in our mission, as we have a common goal: the preservation and perpetuation of our nation's historical memory in all of its magnitude and greatness.
On behalf of the staff of the Central State Archive of Foreign Archival Ucrainica, I am
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