In January 2004, Mykola Lebed's personal papers donated by his estate to the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute in 2002 were made available for researchers by the HURI Reference Library. It is anticipated that this collection will be a significant and valuable primary resource for scholars interested in twentieth-century Ukrainian history given its origins, size, scope, and content.
Mykola Lebed is an important figure for Ukrainian history, particularly for the period from the 1930s to the 1970s when he was closely involved in the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR), and the Prolog Research Corporation. These organizations were engaged at various times in struggles against occupying forces in Western Ukraine, including the Polish inter-war regime, the German and Soviet Armies during the Second World War, and, subsequently, the Soviet post-war regime. Upon immigrating to the United States, Mr. Lebed's active involvement in the Ukrainian movement continued. He was instrumental in establishing the Prolog Research Corporation that was responsible for monitoring and reporting on political, economic, and cultural developments in Soviet Ukraine, including studies of the important dissident movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Lebed collection is comprised of seven boxes of material-correspondence, documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, publications-dating roughly from the 1930's to 1990's that pertain to his involvement in various Ukrainian political and civic organizations. The material falls into several broad categories: personal files; correspondence (chronological and with individuals); publications; and subject files related to the Ukrainian revolutionary and nationalist movement.
The personal files include family correspondence and documents, some photographs, and biographical notes about Mykola Lebed. The correspondence is organized into two sub-series. The first comprises letters arranged chronologically from 1948 to 1990. The second consists of letters arranged alphabetically by correspondent and includes letters from a number of well-known Ukrainian writers and literary scholars-for example, Vasyl Barka, Ihor Kostetskyi, Vira Vovk, Stepan Oliinyk, Iurii Klen, George S.N. Luckyj-and civic, community, religious, and political leaders-for example, Iaroslav Haivas, Iurii Stefanyk, Bohdan Tsymbalistyi, Rev. Ivan Hrynokh, Mykola Duzhyi, Vasyl Kuk, Volodymyr Stakhiv, Iaroslav Stetsko. Publications are made up of two scrapbooks that contain clippings about Mykola Lebed, as well as files that include drafts and off-prints of his own numerous contributions to the Ukrainian press. The material related to the Ukrainian revolutionary and nationalist movement is composed of various documents that Mr. Lebed obtained under the United States Freedom of Information Act, as well as from foreign governments. These include U.S. State Department reports about Ukrainian nationalist organizations, as well as U.S. Embassy and British Embassy reports from Warsaw regarding Ukrainians in Poland during the period 1930 to 1944, including material about the assassination of a top-ranking Polish government official. Other material in this series pertains directly to the OUN, UPA, and UHVR, as well as individuals with close ties to these organizations, and also a great number of documents on Ukrainian political prisoners.
The Mykola Lebed Papers complement existing holdings of private papers and organizational archives that are housed in the Institute. These include several collections that pertain to the immediate post-World War I period in Ukraine, such as the Yaroslav Chyz collection which includes material relating to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in early 1917 and the ensuing hostilities that enveloped Eastern Europe; Victor Peters' research notes in which he traces the history of Makhno's anarchist movement during the Ukrainian revolutionary ferment; or the Jan Tokarzewski-Karaszewicz collection which contains documents regarding the Ukrainian National Republic under the command of Symon Petliura and, subsequently, the government-in-exile. The Institute also has a number of collections from the post-Second World War period, among the most significant are its archives of the Central Union of Ukrainian Students, the Union of Ukrainian Student Associations of Germany, and the Federation of Ukrainian Student Organizations of America.
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