Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Volodymyr Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ papers, 1880s-1980

Summary Information


The papers comprise correspondence, personal documents, organizational records and documents, financial statements and receipts, manuscripts, research notes, photographs, sheet music, Ukrainian song lyrics, printed materials, periodicals relating to the life and professional activities of Volodymyr Levyts'kyi, an editor, prominent political and social activist, and leader of the Ukrainian émigré community.

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0526
Bib ID 7220449 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Levyt͡sʹkyĭ, Volodymyr
Title Volodymyr Levyt︠s︡ʹkyĭ papers, 1880s-1980
Physical Description 14 linear feet (22 document boxes; 2 flat boxes; 1 oversize folder)
Language(s) Ukrainian , Polish , English , Russian , German .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in eight series.



The Levyts'kyi Collection is a rich source for historical information about Ukrainian cultural, political, and social organizations such as the Oborona Ukrainy (Defense of Ukraine), Ukrains'kyi Robitnychyi soiuz (Ukrainian Workingmen's Association), and the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party. At various times, Volodymyr Levyts'kyi was chief editor of "Hromads'kyi holos" and "Narodna volia" and the collection comprises files of these publications as well. The material in the collection is arranged in eight series.

The collection primarily contains correspondence and files related to Levyts'kyi's professional, political, and public activities. Levyts'kyi corresponded with leading activists of "Oborona Ukrainy", URS, and Hromads'kyi holos, including Myroslav Sichyns'kyi, Mykola Tsehlyns'kyi, Panas Fedenko, and others.

The collection reflects the variety of Levyts'kyi's activity as an editor, community leader, and leading member of various political and public organizations. Besides those already mentioned above, there are interesting documents related to his work in the press office of the UNR (Ukrains'ka Narodna Respublica) mission in Berlin, including a typescript of the report on the financial secret service in Berlin.

Photographs in the collection include some photos of prominent figures, such as Mykola Bazhan, Andrii Holovko, Rockwell Kent, Nikita Khrushchev, Andrii Malyshko, Nikolai Tikhonov, Vitalii Korotych, and delegates ro the United Nations. There is also a collection of photographs of Ukrainian folk costumes, and of Ukrainian internees in German camps with inscriptions. Among the highlights of the collection are the files relating to the 1948 "Wallace for President" campaign, which reflect deep involvement of the Ukrainian community, and a small collection of sheet music and lyrics of the Ukrainian songs.

Levyts'kyi actively participated in both American and Ukrainian political and social life. His papers contain some documents of the American Labor Party and the Progressive Party and his reports for the Field Study Division of the Foreign Nationalities Branch.

The Levyts'kyi papers also contain his personal documents, biographical materials, and printed materials. Oversize items were removed from the files where they logically belong, organized in a separate series, and stored in two flat boxes and one oversized folder kept in the map case. Reference are provided.

The collection serves as a source of information on the various national communities and ethnic groups in the United States, such as Polish-Americans, Russian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans and their relations with each other. It also contains some materials on Ukrainian-Jewish relations.

There are cross-references provided throughout the finding aid. When the cross-reference refers to another item within the same series, the reference includes the specific name or title and box and folder number (this also applies to the references within same subseries and sub-subseries). If the cross-reference is to an item in another series, the reference includes the series number, series name, folder title, and box and folder numbers (this also applies to the references to items in another subseries and sub-subseries).

  • Series I: Correspondence, 1918-1979

    The series consists of Levyts'kyi's professional correspondence with various people and organizations, and family correspondence. Correspondence may include various related materials, such as manuscripts, clippings, and photographs. Organized into five subseries. Correspondence on various subjects forms part of other series and subseries of the collection and remains in the files where it logically belongs.

  • Series II: Professional and Public Activities

    Correspondence, documents, manuscripts, notes, financial records, research and printed materials related to Levyts'kyi's professional work as a journalist, editor of various publications, researcher, and interpreter as well as to his public activities as a leading member of various political organizations and parties. Series arranged in seven subseries.

  • Series III: Personal Documents and Biographical Materials, 1906-1971

    Contains Levyts'kyi's passports, educational and professional documents, certificates and diplomas, legal documents, letters of recommendation, accreditations, genealogical notes, materials related to his trips to Ukraine and Ukrainian Community Chorus of Scranton.

  • Series IV: Personal Files of Other People, 1907-1926

    Comprises the passport of Teofil Ol'szansky and files with papers of Petro Pan'chyshyn including correspondence, personal documents, sheet music, and a notebook with song lyrics.

  • Series V: Sheet Music, 1880, undated, 1880, undated

    Contains originals and photocopies of sheet music by Vasyl' Barvins'kyi, Nikolai Liubenetskii, and unidentified composer.

  • Series VI: Drawings, undated

    Drawings by unidentified, including Levyts'kyi's portrait with inscription.

  • Series VII: Photographs, 1880s-1980

    This series contains prints and negatives of group photographs with Levyts'kyi and portraits of him, as well as other people, including prominent figures, such as Mykola Bazhan, Andrii Holovko, Rockwell Kent, Nikita Khrushchev, Andrii Malyshko, Nikolai Tikhonov, Vitalii Korotych, delegates to the United Nations, and others; photographs from various events and numerous trips to Ukraine. There are also family photographs, a collection of photographs of Ukrainian folk costumes, including Ruthenian ones, photographs of Ukrainian internees in German camps with inscriptions, and five glass plate negatives of anti-Denikin cartoons. Many photographs are unidentified. Organized in six subseries.

  • Series VIII: Oversized materials

    Includes oversize Ukrainian newspapers, clippings and tear sheets from Ukrainian, Polish, and American periodicals, and lists of names and mail addresses. Materials stored in two flat boxes #755 and #756. One poster placed in oversize folder and stored in map case 14-K-3.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive. The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Volodymyr Levyts'kyi Papers; Box and Folder; Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additions are expected

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Assession No: 305: Source of acquisition--Anne Batiuk. Method of acquisition--Gift of; Date of acquisition--August 1998.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Katia Shraga with assistance of Alix Kotar, student of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, class of 2010 2008.

Finding Aid written by Katia Shraga December 2008.

Revision Description

2010-04-25 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sheet music Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Baz͡han, Mykola Platonovych, 1904-1983 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Defense of Ukraine (Organization) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Émigré -- Ukrainian Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fedenko, Panas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hryhoriïv, N. I͡A (Nykyfor I͡A.), 1883-1953 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Journalism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Klynovyĭ, I͡Uriĭ, 1909-1985 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Korotych, Vitaliĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kosach, I︠U︡riĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Levyt͡sʹkyĭ, Volodymyr Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Malyshko, Andriĭ, 1912-1970 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.) -- Newspapers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Polish Americans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ruthenians Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sichynsʹkyĭ, Myroslav, 1887- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Songs, Ukrainian Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stakhiv, Matviĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tikhonov, Nikolaĭ, 1896-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
T͡Sehlynsʹkyĭ, M Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ukrainian Americans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ukrainian Americans -- Newspapers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ukrainian Workingmen's Association (U.S.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ukrainian periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ukrainians -- United States -- Newspapers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States -- Ethnic relations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Virsʹkyĭ, Pavlo Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Vynnychenko, Volodymyr Kyrylovych, 1880-1951 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1914-1918 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Yarmolinsky, Avrahm, 1890-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Volodymyr Levyts'kyi, prominent Ukrainian émigré political and social activist, community leader, journalist, and editor, was born 16 August 1888 in the village of Krychka, Stanislav district, Ivano- Frankivs'k region. He studied law in the universities in L'viv, Krakow, and Vienna in 1912-1914. After the beginning of World War I, Levyts'kyi became a member of the Soiuz Vyzvolennia Ukrainy (Union for the Liberation of Ukraine) and worked for the organization in German internment camps in 1915- 1918. He organized cultural and educational work for Ukrainian internees. In 1919-1920, Levyts'kyi headed the press office of the mission of the Ukrains'ka Narodna Respublika in Berlin.

After emigrating to the United States in 1924, he became a leading member of Oborona Ukrainy (Defense of Ukraine) and later its secretary (1933-1941), and editor of its Orhanizatsiini visti (1936-1941). Oborona Ukrainy was a Ukrainian political organization of a radical socialist profile, established in 1920 in the United States to assist the political and military struggles for independence in Western Ukraine. Until 1923, it was a small, clandestine organization, then it became a wider, public one with individual branches and an official newspaper, Ukrains'ka hromada (1923-1932). Its members dominated the leadership of the Ukrainian Workingmen's Association and worked closely with the Ukrainian Socialist Radical party in Western Ukraine. Its leading activists included M. Sichyns'kyi, M. Tsehlyns'kyi, and Ia. Chyzh. During the 1940s, some of its leaders, most notably Sichysn'kyi and Levyts'kyi, gradually adopted a Sovietophile outlook that helped cause a split in Oborona Ukrainy at its 1947 convention. The faction led by Sichyns'khyi and Levyts'kyi soon dissipated. During World War II, Levyts'kyi held a strongly anti-Nazi position and after the war came out against granting entry visas to the USA to those who had collaborated with the Nazis.

In 1930, Levyts'kyi organized a choir in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1933 he was the director of the Ukrainian pavilion at the World's Fair in Chicago.

He served as vice-president of the Ukrains'kyi robitnychyi soiuz (Ukrainian Workingmen's Association) in 1933-1941 (The organization changed its name to the Ukrainian Fraternal Association in 1978). Its leaders organized the first all-Ukrainian congress in America, supported the Federation of Ukrainians in the U.S., provided the core of support for Oborona Ukrainy, and helped found the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the United Ukrainian Americans Relief Committee, and the World Congress of Free Ukrainians. Besides its basic duty of paying out insurance to families of deceased members and assisting disabled or unemployed members, Soiuz organized Ukrainian schools, orchestras, and drama groups at its branches and financed publications, bookstores, and libraries. It published the newspaper Narodna volia starting in 1911 and other periodicals, annual calendars, and popular books in Ukrainian and English. The head office and editor's office are housed in the association's own building in Scranton. In 1955, it purchased the Verkhovyna resort in Glen Spey, New York, where it conducted summer camps, cultural workshops, annual art festivals, and sports competitions. In the interwar period, it offered financial aid to various institutions in Ukraine, including the Prosvita reading halls. The presidents of the organization at different periods of time were Iu. Kraikivs'kyi (1919-1922 and 1925-1927), Myroslav Sichyns'kyi (1933-1941), and A. Batiuk (1946-1973). In 1941, Levyts'kyi became chief editor of "Hromads'kyi holos" in New York. In 1945, he participated in the Nationalities Division Conference for Russian War Relief and was appointed to a special committee.

During 1930s-1970s, Volodymyr Levyts'kyi visited Ukraine numerous times. He died 14 February 1980 in New York.