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Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv
(TsDIAL of Ukraine)

Address: 3a Soborna sq., 79008 Lviv
Tel.: +380 (32) 235-40-63; 235-56-57
Fax: +380 (32) 235-45-08

Director: Pelts Diana
Deputy Director: Lisovska Ievhenia
Deputy Director: Stefanyk Olesia

Historical Background

The archives was created in November, 1939, as the Central Archives of Ancient Deeds in Lviv. It consolidated three major archives that existed in Lviv up until the Second World War,- the Archives of old deeds of the city of Lviv, the Zemsky archives, and the State archives, as well as a number of well-known corporate and private collections.

At first, the Central Archives of Ancient Deeds was considered an archival branch of the UNKVS UkrSSR of Lviv oblast. On June 24, 1941, the archives was reorganized as a branch of the Central State Historical Archives of the UkrSSR (the decree was passed on December 1, 1943); however, this resolution was not carried out due to the outbreak of the war. During the German occupation of 1941-1944, the activity of the archives was renewed under the name of the Archives of the City of Lviv, reporting to the Archival Management of the General-Governor in Krakow. From 1944 to 1945, the archives existed as a department of ancient deeds under the Lviv oblast state archives; after 1946, it was again a branch of TsDIA UkSSR.

As a result of the division of documents between the TsDIA branch and the Lviv regional state archives between 1947-1950, collections relating to Austrian and Polish institutions and organizations in Galicia and activities which occurred outside the borders of the Lviv Voivodeship (excluding documents from the era of the feudalism) were absorbed into the TsDIA.

In 1958, the archives was reorganized into the TsDIA UkSSR in Lviv reporting to the Archives administration of the RM UkrSSR. At the beginning of the 1960s, initiated by academic I. Krypjakevych, the archives became the basis of research for specialized historical disciplines; in them there were created departments of archival study - archeographics, archaeology, diplomacy, paleography, filigreeology, heraldry and sphragistics. The archives became a research and methodology center for all archives in the region.

By Ordinance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 415, dated July 21 1992, and Decree No. 35 of the Main Archival Administration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated July 31 1992, the name of the archives was changed into the Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine, in Lviv (TsDIAL of Ukraine).

Total Volume of Funds

Description of Archives Holdings

The archives preserves documents from various historical epochs: the Halych-Volhynian state (XIII-XIV centuries), the Grand Duchy of the Lithuanian and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (XIV-XVIII centuries), the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Monarchies (1772-1918), the Western Ukrainian National Republic (1918-1919), the Ukrainian National Republic (1917-1921), the interwar Polish period (1919-1939), the wartime periods of Soviet rule (1939-1941) and German occupation (1941-1944), the Soviet period after 1944, and the period of Ukrainian Independence after 1991.

The oldest documents of the archives date back to 1233 and are located in the Collection of Parchment Documents (f. 131), which contains 1,113 documents. Unique within this collection is the Union of Brest document of 1596. In 1994, three documents written on a birchbark during the years 1110-1137, found during excavations in the medieval town of Zvenyhorod, were added to this collection.

The oldest group of documents from the periods of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth consists of documents of the local self-government bodies - magistrate and civic governments (67 funds). The oldest and largest fund is from the Lviv magistrate (f. 52). It includes the Raietsko-Lavnycha book (1382-1389) and the book of income and expenditures of the city (1404-1414). Valuable historical sources are the chronicles of J. Alembeck, S. Kushevych, V. Zymorovych, Ia. T. Iuzefovych, mercantile books and "news" (newspapers) from the XVII-XVII centuries. The collection of letters (f. 132) contains the autographs of hetmans of Ukraine Bogdan and Yuriy Khmelnytskyi, I. Vyhovsky, P. Teteria, a Germanic emperor, a Turkish sultan, Polish and Swedish kings, and other foreign dignitaries.

Exceptionally valuable is the large collection of books (over 6.5 thousand ones) chronicling the Acts of the hrodsky, zemsky, pidkomorsky, and starostynsky courts of Eastern Galicia during the XV-XVIII centuries.The oldest of them are the books of the Sianotsky Zemsky Court (from 1423). They contain charters, revisions, and inventories of estates; protestations of Orthodox and Greek Catholic metropolitans, archbishops, and fraternities; documents about the rise of the Cossacks, insurgents of I. Mukha, S. Nalyvaiko, Khmelnytskyi Uprising, the liberation movement of the Opryshky, and the Haidamaky Rebellions; and documents the szlachta confederacies, wars, trade, commerce, agriculture, and the everyday life of the population during the Middle Ages and the Modern Era.

The unique fund of the Lvivske Uspenske (Stavropihijske) Fraternity (f. 129) is the only virtually complete collection of documents of Ukrainian social organizations of the XVI-XVIII centuries. The archives of the Fraternity constitute detailed information about the history of the Orthodox Church from 1378, about the introduction of unions and the Gregorian calendar as well as its polemic struggle, about the relations between the Orthodox and the Arians and the Lithuania and Poland Protestants in the battle against the encroachment of Catholicism.

There are numerous old documents of church history in the funds of institutions of different religious confessions: consistories, ordinariates, chapters, monasteries, and spiritual educational institutions. Among the pastoral letters and sermons are letters written by leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, including those of A. Anhelovych, S. Lytvynovych, H. Iakhymovych, A. Sheptytsky and J. Slipyj.

The funds of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, Jewish, and Evangelical religious institutions offer an abundance of information about the lives of national and religious minorities. The oldest documents of this collection (Roman Catholic chapter in Lviv, f. 197) date back to 1417.

The largest group of funds in the archives is comprised of collections of documents from the period of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian Empires (1772-1918). The most important of them is the fund of the Galician vicegerency (f. 146) which contains over 200 thousand files of 1772-1921.

Irreplaceable sources for the study of economic and historical geography, agriculture, the composition and situation of the population and toponymy are the resources of the first territorial cadastres of Galicia - so called Iosyfinsky (f. 19) and Frantsyskansky (f. 20) Certificates from 1788 and 1820.Valuable supplements to these are cadastral maps and property inventory documents from the population settlements of the Regional Land Tax Comission (f. 186). In the funds of the agriculture-economic and financial institutions, such as the State Account (f. 187), Regional Financial Directorate (f. 160), Financial Chamber (f. 161), Galician Financial Prosecuting Magistracy (f. 159), the Kraiova Tabulia (f. 166) and others, are inventories of cities, villages, and estates, salterns, land property books about settlements, property inventories of churches, and monasteries, as well as other historical information about them.

A massive amount of information about the social-political processes and national-liberation and revolutionary movements from the end of XVIII to the beginning of XX century can be found in the documents of the resources judicial institutes: Szlachta Court in Lviv (f. 149), the High Regional court in Lviv (f. 150), Regional court in Lviv (f. 152), Appeal Court in Lviv (f. 156), State Prosecuting Magistracy in Lviv (f. 458), Prosecuting Magistracies Appeal Court in Lviv (f. 205), Lviv Division of General Prosecuting Magistracies of Poland in Lviv (f. 158). Revolutionary events in Galicia between the years 1848-1851 are revealed in the unique collections of documents from the Main Ruska Rada in Lviv (f. 180). Documents about the period of liberation struggle in Ukraine are preserved in the collection of documents concerning the activities of the governments and armies of the UNR and ZUNR (f. 581), in the fund of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (USS) Legion (f. 353), in the stanitsas of interned armies of the UNR in Lancut (f. 753) and Kalish (f. 673), as well as in the personal funds of state, political and army workers of Ukraine.

A large amount of information is documented in numerous funds of cultural-educational institutions, organizations, and associations of various historical periods: the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society (f. 309), the "Prosvita" society (f. 348), the "Ridna Shkola" (f. 206), the "Galician-Ruthenian Matytsia" (f. 148), and the "Ukrainska Besida" (f. 514).

There are many funds in the archives about Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Armenian and German associations and organizations including women's, student and cultural-recreational associations which attest to the long history of coexistence among various national cultures in Galicia.

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