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This webpage reproduces a section of

Survey of Ukrainian Historiography
By Dmytro Doroshenko

published by
The Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences
in the U. S., Inc.,

The text is in the public domain.

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 p13  Introduction

The purpose of this survey of Ukrainian historiography is to outline the development of scholarly research and study in Ukrainian history. That work, unfolding like a chronicle, begins with the eleventh century, that is, from the time of the first literary monuments in the Ukraine‑Rus′.1 Even the old chronicles show a highly developed sense of national solidarity and loyalty to the state. They are deeply interested in their country's past and show a desire to investigate and to elucidate it and thus relate it to contemporary events. This is characteristic also of all other researchers into the past, from earliest times to the birth of the modern era, when old chronicle writing was replaced by new scientific methods of historical research. The development and popular of historical studies of one's own ancient history also characterized the Ukrainian national revival which began at the turn of the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Therefore the present outline of Ukrainian historiography will also deal with the development of Ukrainian national and historical thought.

Before 1917 Ukrainian historiography was not treated fully in a university course. The reason for this was general lack of recognition accorded Ukrainian historical scholar­ship, which for a long time was given no place in institutions of learning, possessed no scholarly journals of its own, and was for a long time dependent upon Russian or Polish historical sciences. Only during recent decades has Ukrainian historical science begun to assume a separate and independent position among the sciences. For that matter Ukrainian history was afforded scant attention by the universities. Thus Kiev University offered in 1880‑90 sporadic lectures on Ukrainian history by Professor Volodymyr Antonovych. [. . .] For some time in the late 90's of the nineteenth century Professor D. Yavornytsky offered a course on the  p14 history of the Cossacks at Moscow University. Not until 1906 did Professor Oleksander Hrushevsky begin to lecture on Ukrainian history at Odessa University, and Professor Oleksandra Yefymenko at the Women's College in St. Petersburg. Professor O. Hrushevsky, who lectured in Ukrainian, left soon after this for St. Petersburg University.

In 1894 a chair of East European history was founded at the University of Lviv. Special attention was devoted to Ukrainian history (lectures were in Ukrainian) and the young professor from Kiev, Mykhaylo Hrushevsky2 was appointed to this chair. At that time an intense growth of Ukrainian historical science began in Lviv, where many Ukrainian scholars from all parts of the Ukraine gathered around the Shevchenko Scientific Society.

Individual periods of Ukrainian history had received thorough treatment in the works of Russian historians (Karamzin, Solovyov, Sergeevich, Lyubavsky and others) who regarded the history of the Ukraine as an integral part of Russian history. Similarly, many Polish historians dealt in their works with Ukrainian history as far as it had a bearing on the history of Poland (Sjaznocha, Jablonowski, Kubala and others). In both cases Ukrainian history was interpreted in the spirit of either Russian or Polish national ideas, notwithstanding attempts on the part of those historians to be objective and truthful.

Both Russian and Polish historical sciences received power­ful support from the state and public institutions and organizations, or even from private individuals who supplied them with funds to aid publications, donated libraries, archives, and collections. Numerous archives, large libraries, collections, scholarly publications of historical material can be found in Russia and Poland as early as the eighteenth century (e.g., the library of Zaluski in Warsaw, the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg). On the other hand, Ukrainian state archives had either almost completely vanished, [. . .] or had been incorporated into the Russian or Polish archives. Many private collections were also lost [. . .] — or became part of Russian or Polish museums. Only  p15 recently, during the period of the Ukrainian State,3 were efforts made to organize National Archives.4 [. . .]

In spite of all this, a considerable part of the research into sources of Ukrainian history was completed before 1917. Although carried on in non‑Ukrainian institutions and publications, it was to a large extent done by Ukrainian scholars, as for instance in the publications of the Kiev Archeographic Commission. The earliest periods of Ukrainian history received the most intensive treatment and were also studied by many Russian scholars (Karamzin, Solovyov, Sergeevich, Shakhmatov, Prisyolkov, Rozhkov, and others) who usually regard the Kievan Rus′ period as common to both Russians and Ukrainians.

Ukrainian historiography, in the strict sense of this word, was weakest in the study of the development of Ukrainian history-writing and the development of the Ukrainian national idea against the background of history. Few attempts have been made to survey Ukrainian historiography scientifically in connection with the development of national self-awareness, which appears to us to be an uninterrupted and unceasing process, although at times held in abeyance under the pressure of unfavorable circumstances. Having been brought up in non‑Ukrainian schools and having accepted a distorted view of our own past, even today we are not fully aware of the continuity of the national and historical tradition which bound together Nestor, Velychko and Poletyka, a continuity which was so obvious to the participants of the famed Protestation in 1620 (or 1621). They regarded the campaign of the Princes Oleh and Sviatoslav as being in the same tradition as the campaigns of Sahaydachnyi. They vividly felt their ties with the ancient Kievan Rus′-Ukraine. The poverty of our tradition and the weakness of our feeling of attachment to the spiritual and political life of former generations is one of the results of our long existence within the framework of an alien state, oppressed  p16 by other nationalities. From this point of view, a study of Ukrainian historiography, reflecting the development of researches into Ukrainian history, is most instructive.

From the scanty literature on the subject, first of all must be mentioned the general and very concise survey of Ukrainian historiography by M. Hrushevsky in his introduction to the history of the Ukrainians, in the first volume of the encyclopedia Ukrainskii narod v ego proshlom i nastoyashchem (The Ukrainian People, their Past and Present), St. Petersburg, 1914, entitled "Razvitie ukrainskikh izuchenii" (The Development of Ukrainian Studies). Equally general is the survey of Ukrainian historiography of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by M. Vasylenko, "K istorii malorusskoi istoriografii i malorusskago obshchestvennago stroya" (On the History of Little Russian Historiography and Little Russian Social System), Kievskaya Starina, XI, Kiev, 1894. The short and now obsolete survey of Ukrainian historiography by the same author is in the Russian Encyclopaedic Dictionary (Brockhaus and Efron). The booklet by V. Bidnov, Shcho chytaty po istoriyi Ukrayiny (What to Read on the History of the Ukraine), Kamyanets-Podilsk, 1919, is incomplete and popular in character.

V. Ikonnikov in his work Opyt russkoi istoriografii (Survey of Russian Historiography), Kiev, 1908, vol. II, Part 2, pp1560‑1900 gives a systematic and detailed account of Ukrainian historiography, of Lithuanian, and part of the Polish and Muscovite periods (especially on the so‑called Lithuanian and Cossack chronicles).

V. Antonovych, in his lectures on the sources for the historiography of the Ukraine, delivered in the early 1880's and published by his students as Istochniki dlya istorii yuzhnoi i zapadnoi Rossii (Sources for the History of South and West Russia), Kiev, 1881, gives a short outline of Cossack chronicles and foreign sources.

The Russian historian, G. Karpov, deals (very tendentiously) with Istoriya Rusov and D. Bantysh-Kamensky, and engages in polemics with M. Kostomarov in his book Kriticheskii obzor razrabotki  p17 glavnykh russkikh istochnikov do istorii Malorossii otnosyashchikhsya (A Critical Survey of the Treatment of Chief Russian Sources Relating to the History of Little Russia), Moscow, 1870.

M. Hrushevsky's Istoriya Ukrayiny-Rusy (The History of Ukraine‑Rus′) contains a wealth of material on sources and literature and offers very valuable excursions into the field of historiography. [. . .]

The articles by O. Lazarevsky "Prezhnie izyskateli malorusskoi stariny" (Previous Discoverers of Little Russian Antiquity), printed in Kievskaya Starina (1895‑1897) and published separately in Ocherki, zametki i dokumenty po istorii Malorossii (Sketches, Notes, and Documents in the History of Little Russia), are most important. Special mention is made in them of the old Ukrainian historians Ya. Markovych, O. Martos, O. Markovych.

For general reference, the following books are useful: A. Lazarevsky, Ukazatel' istochnikov dlya izucheniya malorossiiskago kraya (Guide to Sources for Study of the Little Russian Land), Vypusk I, St. Petersburg, 1858 (121 pp.), and what may be regarded as a supplement to it: Ukazatel' inostrannykh istochnikov dlya istorii Malorossii (A Guide to Foreign Sources of the History of Little Russia), Chernihiv, 1859, by H. Myloradovych. Dmytro Doroshenko's Ukazatel' istochnikov dlya oznakomleniya s yuzhnoi Rus'yu (A Guide to Knowledge of Sources of South Russia), St. Petersburg, 1904,5 possesses a certain practical value when read together with a review of it by V. Domyanytsky in Kievskaya Starina, 1904, IX.6

The Author's or the Editor's Notes:

1 The term "Rus′-Ukraine" (Rus′-Ukrayina) is used here according to M. Hrushevsky, who called his monumental history of the Ukraine Istoriya Ukrayiny-Rusy (History of Ukraine‑Rus′).

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2 A pupil of V. Antonovych.

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3 The author refers to the years 1917‑1920 when the independent Ukrainian National Republic was created.

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4 Many Ukrainian archives and manuscripts collections vanished during the years of Soviet rule over the Ukraine, especially during World War II.

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5 Also D. Doroshenko: "Pokazhchyk literatury ukrayins'koyu movoyu v Rosiyi za 1798‑1897 roky" (Index of Ukrainian Books Published in Russia in 1798‑1897) in Naukovyi Yuvileynyi Zbirnyk Ukrayins'koho Universitetu v Prazi, prysvyachenyi T. H. Masarykovi, part 1, Prague, 1925, pp142‑238.

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6 During the last three decades many publications appeared in the field of Ukrainian historiography dealing mostly with certain problems or treating certain source material (see additional bibliography listed after each chapter). There were also a few general surveys published of Ukrainian historiography treating it as a whole, or touching some periods only, mostly modern times.

First of all the works by D. Doroshenko should be mentioned: "Entwicklung  (p18) und Errungenschaften der ukrainischen wissenschaftlichen Forschungsstätigkeit in der letzten fünfzig Jahren," in Mitteilungen des Ukrainischen Wissenschaftlichen Instituts in Berlin, number 1, pp1‑10, 1927: "Die Ukraine und ihre Geschichte im Lichte der westeuropäischen Literatur des XVIII und der ersten Hälfte des XIX Jhs.," in Abhandlungen des Ukrain. Wiss. Instituts in Berlin, Vol. I, pp1‑70, 1927, and a reprint: "Die Entwicklung der Geschichtsforschung in der Sowjetukraine in den letzten Jahren, Mitteilungen des Ukr. Wiss. Instituts in Berlin, number 2, pp35‑56, 1928; "Die Entwicklung der ukrainischen Geschichtsidee vom Ende des 18 Jhs. bis zur Gegenwart," Jahrbücher für Kultur und Geschichte der Slaven, Vol. IV, No. 3, pp363‑379, 1928; "Die ukrainischen historischen Forschungen in den Jahren 1914‑1930," Zeitschrift für osteuropäische Geschichte, Vol. V, No. 3, pp453‑462, 1931; "Neues zur ukrainischen Historiographie," Slavische Rundschau, No. 5, pp414‑419, 1932; "Die osteuropäische Geschichte auf dem VII Internationalen Historikerkongress in Warschau," Zeitschrift für osteuropäische Geschichte, Vol. 8, no. 1, pp77‑88, 1933; "Rozvytok nauky ukrayinoznavstva v XIX st. i na pochatku XX st. ta yiyi dosyahnennya," Ukrayins'ka Kul'tura, Zbirnyk lektsiy za redaktsiyeyu D. Antonovycha. Course 84, pp7‑16, Podebrady, 1934. The second edition, Regensburg-Berchtesgaden, 1947. The last published work by D. I. Doroshenko (together with O. Ohloblyn): "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya," Entsyklopediya Ukrayinoznavstva, published by the Shevchenko Scientific Society, pp399‑406, Munich‑New York, 1949.

In the twenties, D. I. Bahaliy published a few works in the field of Ukrainian historiography, as for instance: Narys ukrayins'koyi istoriohrafiyi, part 1. Dzhereloznavstvo (An Outline of Ukrainian Historiography, part 1. A Study of Sources); published by the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kiev, 1923. Part II. Kozats'ki litopysy (Cossack Chronicles), Kiev, 1925; Narys istoriyi Ukrayiny na sotsiyal'no‑ekonomichnomu grunti (An Outline of History of the Ukraine on a Social-Economic Basis), Kharkiv, 1928. The first chapter of the book gives a detailed survey of Ukrainian historiography, mainly XIX‑XX centuries.

In 1932 D. Bahaliy prepared for publication the first volume of "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya," dwelling on the historiography of the XIX century. However, this volume has never been published.

M. Hrushevsky in his numerous works, published in the twenties and the early thirties, considered general and special problems of Ukrainian historiography. As an example, we shall name here "Ob ukrainskoi istoriografii XVIII veka. Neskol'ko soobrazhenii," (On Ukrainian Historiography of the XVIII Century. A Few Considerations), Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1934, VII series, no. 3, pp215‑223. (Other Hrushevsky works pertaining to historiography are listed in the references to corresponding chapters).

The following surveys of Ukrainian historiography are worth mentioning: O. Klepatsky, Ohlyad dzherel do istoriyi Ukrayiny, issue 1, Kamyanets-Podilsk, 1920; I. Krypyakevych, Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya, Lviv, 1923; I. Krevetsky, "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya na perelomi," Zapysky Naukovoho Tovarystva im. Shevchenka,  (p19) vol. 134‑135, pp161‑184, Lviv, 1924; I. Krypjakevyč, "L'état actuel de l'historiographie ukrainienne (1921‑1926)," Conférence des Historiens des États de l'Europe Orientale et du Monde Slave, Vol. II, Compte-rendu et communications, Warsaw, 1928, pp109‑114; and Nouvelle, Paris, 1928, Nos. 1‑2; O. Hermayze "Ukrayins'ka istorychna nauka za ostannye desyatylittya," Studii z istoriyi Ukrayiny, vol. II, Kiev, 1929; M. Korduba, "La littérature historique ukrainienne en Pologne et dans l'émigration ukrainienne (1927‑28)," Bulletin d'information des sciences historiques en Europe orientale, Warsaw, 1929, Nos. 1‑2, pp73‑119, and reprint, Warsaw, 1929; O. Hermajze, "Die ukrainische Geschichtswissenschaft in der U. S. S. R.," Slavische Rundschau, Prague, 1929, n. 5, pp363‑366; G. Gautier, "Histoire ukrainienne. Publications en langue ukrainienne parues dans l'U. R. S. S. de 1917 à 1928," Revue Historique, vol. 154, pp133‑146, Paris, 1929, and reprint, Paris, 1930; N. Tschubatyj, "Literatur der ukrainischen Rechtsgeschichte in den Jahren 1919‑1929," Przewodnik Historyczno-Prawny, Lviv, 1930, and reprint, Lviv, 1931; M. Andrusiak, "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya 1921‑1930 r.r.," Litopys Chervonoyi Kalyny, IX‑X, Lviv, 1932; Kwartalnik Historyczny, vol. XLVIII, no. 1‑2, Lviv, 1934; M. Korduba (ed.) Contributions à l'histoire de l'Ukraine au VII Congrès International des sciences historiques, Warsaw, August 1933, The Shevchenko Scientific Society, Lviv, 1933, 123 pp.; N. Tschubatyj, "Gegenstand der Geschichte des ukrainischen Rechtes," Contributions à l'histoire de l'Ukraine au VII Congrès International des sciences historiques, Warsaw, August 1933. Lviv, 1933, pp69‑95; É. Borschak, L'Ukraine dans la littérature de l'Europe occidentale. Paris, 1935; (Reprint from Monde Slave, 1933‑1935); S. Narizhnyi, "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya," Ukrayins'ka zahal'na entsyklopediya, vol. III, Lviv-Stanislaviv-Kolomiya, 1935; M. Korduba, "La littérature historique soviétique ukrainienne. Compte-rendu 1917‑31," Bulletin d'information des sciences historiques en Europe Orientale, v. 7‑8, Warsaw, 1938, and reprint, 1938; M. Andrusiak, "Ukrayins'ka istoriohrafiya," Pratsi Ukrayins'koho Naukovoho Instytutu v AmerytsiI. Zbirnyk Ukrayins'koho Naukovoho Instytutu v Amerytsi, St. Paul (Minn.)–Prague, 1939, pp5‑24; É. Borschak, "Histoire de l'Ukraine. Publications en langue ukrainienne parues en dehors de l'U. R. S. S.," Revue Historique, vol. 187, pp1‑30, Paris, 1939, and reprint; B. Krupnyckyj, "Die historische Wissenschaft der Sowjet-Ukraine 1921‑41," Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, II‑IV, Breslau-Berlin, 1941, pp125‑151; B. Krupnytsky, "Trends in Modern Ukrainian Historiography." The Ukrainian Quarterly, vol. VI, No. 4, 1950, pp337‑345; B. Krupnytsky, Ukrayins'ka istorychna nauka pid Sovyetamy (1920‑1950), Munich, 1957.

There were some works published treating the historiography of certain Ukrainian regions. We name here a few publications pertaining to the Carpathian Ukraine: E. Perfetsky, "Obzor ugrorusskoi istoriografii," Izvestiya Otdeleniya russkago yazyka i slovesnosti Imp. Akademii Nauk, vol. XIX, issue I, Petrograd, 1914; E. Perfetsky, "Nejduležitější studie o dějinách Podkarpatské Rusi," Sbornik Filosofickej fakulty univ. Komenského v Bratislavé, no. 1‑8, 1922.

 (p20)  We will mention a few works on Russian historiography in which some attention was paid to the problems of Ukrainian historiography: V. Picheta, Vvedenie v russkuyu istoriyu, Moscow, 1922; Die Geschichtswissenschaft in Sowjet-Russland 1917‑1928, 1928, (Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Studium Osteuropas); N. Rubinshtein, Russkaya istoriografiya, Moscow, 1941; Dvadtsat' pyat' let istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, Institut Istorii AN SSSR, Moscow-Leningrad, 1942; B. Grekov, "Osnovnye itogi izucheniya istorii SSSR za 30 let," Trudy yubileinoi sessii Akademii Nauk, Moscow, 1948.

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