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Archival Resources for Ukraine

Each of Ukraine’s central and regional archives has its own webpage. The central archives have English-language webpages that contain useful information about collections, usage policies, hours of operation, etc. In addition, these webpages contain bibliographic information, such as lists of books and articles in special collections, published archival documents, and the latest archival research.

State Archival Service of Ukraine


This portal serves as a gateway to a wide variety of information about Ukrainian archives: their organization, structure, services, publications, news, etc. The portal provides a bibliography of Ukrainian archival publications beginning in the year 2001, with some materials available full-text in PDF format: http://www.archives.gov.ua/Publicat/Documents/

Another valuable research tool available via the portal is its guide to declassified documents (Reestr rozsekrechenkykh fondiv): http://www.archives.gov.ua/Rozsekr_mat/Reestr_a_f.php

Ukrainian central archives

Tsentral’nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv hromads’kykh orhanizatsii Ukraïny [Central State Archive of Public Organizations of Ukraine (TsDAHO of Ukraine)]

More information available via the State Archival Service portal at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ca02.php.

Documents of the Communist Party of Ukraine represent the main body of this archive. It has 24 record groups, one of which contains the records of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Among them are the documents of the General Department (Zahal’nyi Viddil) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, including minutes of meetings and correspondence of the Political Bureau, the Organizational Bureau, and the Secretariat of the Central Committee. Documents from the early 20th century provide detailed information about the activities of many Ukrainian political parties: the Socialist-Revolutionaries (borot’bysty); the Ukrainian Party of Socialist-Independists (Ukraїns’ka partiia sotsialistiv-samostiinykiv) (the so-called Independents — nezalezhnyky); the Ukrainian Party of Socialists-Federalists (Ukraїns’ka partiia sotsialistiv); the Ukrainian Communist Party (Ukraїn’ska komunistychna partiia); and the Communist Party of East Galicia (Komunistychna partiia Skhidnoї Halychyny). The archive holds the comprehensive records of Jewish political parties and organizations in Ukraine, such as Bund, Komfarband, and Poalei Zion, including local committees of these parties and their youth organizations. The documents of the Ukrainian anarchists’ movement under the leadership of Nestor Makhno are part of the collection. It also contains records related to the development of national culture in Soviet Ukraine in the 1920s, including numerous documents about the activities of Ukrainian national communists, such as O. Shyumskyi, M. Skrypnyk, M. Khvylovyi, and G. Lapchynskyi, and prominent Ukrainian scholars like M. Hrushevskyi, S. Efremov, and A. Kryms’kyi. The archive contains a large collection of recently declassified documents pertaining to the tragic events of the 1930s: the collectivization and mass deportation of peasantry; the genocidal famine of 1932-33; and the political purges and mass terror of the 1930s. The archive’s holdings include the records of the Museum of Ukraine’s Struggle for Independence (Muzei yzvol’noi borot’by Ukrainy) in Prague, which contain documents about the activities of Ukrainian émigrés in the 1920s-1940s. Files related to World War II include a wide range of declassified documents detailing the activities of the Communist Party leaders of Ukraine, the Nazi occupation regime, the communist underground and partisan movement, and the Ukrainian nationalist movement. Records of the post-war period contain recently declassified files pertaining to the mass starvation in the republic in 1946-1947, the underground activities and armed resistance of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Orhanizatsїa Ukrayins’kykh NatsionalistivOUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukraїns’ka Povstans’ka Armiia UPA) in western Ukraine, the changes in ideological policies of the Communist Party, the dissident movement, and the relations between Ukraine’s Communist Party apparatus and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo Soiuza) authorities in Moscow, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the policies of perestroika.

The records of contemporary Ukrainian political parties and public associations are held in the archive, among them those of the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Narodnyi Rukh Ukraїny), the Ukrainian Republican Party (Ukraїns’ka respublikans’ka partiiaURP), the Democratic Party of Ukraine (Demokratichna partiia Ukraїny -– DemPU), the Socialist Party of Ukraine (Sotsialistychna partiia Ukraїny), and the Ukrainian Peoples’ Party (Ukraїns’ka narodna partiia).

A Ukrainian-language archival guide is available online.

Tsental’nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv vyshchykh orhaniv vlady ta upravlinnia [Central State Archive of the Highest Organs of Government and Administration of Ukraine (TsDAVO of Ukraine)]

More information available via the State Archival Service portal at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ca01.php.

The archive holds records of Ukraine’s governmental institutions in the twentieth century. Its documents pertain to the revolution of 1917-1920, the Soviet period, and World War II. It includes the collection preserved in the so-called “Prague archives” that was later transferred to Ukraine. The collection includes numerous documents relating to the scholarly and cultural work of Ukrainian emigrants in the inter-war era.

Among the governmental institutions represented in the archive are the Central Council of Ukraine (Tsentral’na rada) (March 1917-April 1918), as well as the Ukrainian State led by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi (Ukraїnska derzhava) (April-November 1918), the Directorate of the People’s Republic of Ukraine (Dyrektoriia Ukraїn’skoї Narodnoї Respubliki) (November 1918-February 1919), and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or Ukrainian SSR (Ukraїns’ka Radians’ka Sotsialistychna Respublika) (1917-1991).

Some of the archive’s unique documents dating from the period of the Ukrainian revolution of 1917-1920 include the Universal Decrees of the Central Council of Ukraine (Tsentral’na rada), drafts of the constitution of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (Ukraїns’ka Narodnia Respublika) (1917), the Constitution of the Ukrainian State (Ukraїns’ka derzhava) (1918), the Act of Union West Ukrainian People’s Republic (Zakhidnoukraїns’ka Narodna RespublikaZUNR), and the Ukrainian People’s Republic, dated January 22, 1919, along with documents of the ZUNR (1918-1920) and of the Zakarpattia Oblast (Zakarpats’ka oblast’).

The Soviet period of modern Ukrainian history is represented in the archive by a wide variety of documents of the government of the Ukrainian SSR, as well as archival materials pertaining to manufacturing enterprises, trade unions, public associations, and religious organizations.

The special collection of the “Prague archive” is a unique set of documents relating to the scholarly and cultural work of Ukrainian emigrants during the period between the two world wars. Its files are sourced from the Ukrainian People’s Republic’s governmental institutions, military, organizations assisting emigrants, student and community organizations, publishers, émigré educational institutions and research institutes, as well as archives, museums, and libraries. In 1996, the archive acquired the collection of the Government-in-exile of the Ukrainian National Republic (Uriad Ukraїns’koї Narodnoї Respubliki v ekzyli) (1946-1992) and in 1999, the documents of the Mission of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in Switzerland (1919-1924).

Documents of the World War II period constitute a significant part of the archive, and include records of the occupation regime and authorities, including the headquarters of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete) Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich Commissariat (Reichskommissariat), the General Commissariat (Generalkommissariat) of Ukraine, and others.

The archive contains extensive documentation of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), and of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), as well as the testimonies of members of Soviet partisan and underground movements. Personal records include those of M. Hrushevsky, V. Vynnychenko, P. Skoropadsky, S. Petliura, H. Petrovsky, M. Khrushchov, V. Shcherbytsky, D. Antonovych, D. Doroshenko, S. Rusova, O. Teliga, M. Butovych, I. Ohienko, Iu. Kosach, M. Sadovsky, P. Tychyna, O. Dovzhenko, O. Korniychuk, O. Bohomolets, M. Strezesko, and many other prominent figures of modern Ukrainian history.

This archive is updated annually with documents of the post-1991 activities of the presidents of Ukraine (L. Kravchuk and L. Kuchma), the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada), the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (Kabinet ministriv Ukraїny), and the various governmental ministries and the departments.

Number of record groups: 3,330; number of files: 2,074,943

Tsentral’nyi dershavnyi istorychnyi arkhiv Ukrainy, m. Kyїv [Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine in Kyїv (TsDIAK of Ukraine)]

More information available via the State Archival Service portal at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ca03.php.

TsDIAK is the one of the oldest archival depositories in Ukraine, dating back to 1852, and contains documents from various periods of Ukrainian history. One very significant part of the archival collection dates from the Hetmanate (Hetmanshchyna) period, when Ukraine enjoyed a political, economic, and cultural autonomy under Russian rule (1654-1764). Among the oldest documents in the archive are the manuscript of a 13th century Gospel in Greek and a parchment charter dated back to 1369, written by Polish nobleman and statesman Otton z Pilczy (Ukr.: Otto s Pil’che).

The collection of the Kyїv Archeographic Commission (Kyïvsʹka arkheohrafichna komisiia) holds some other early documents, including various charters from the 14th and 15th centuries. Among them are the privileges (special rights) granted by Lithuanian princes and Polish kings to Ukrainian nobility and cities, as well as universal decrees of Ukrainian hetmans and Russian tsars’ rulings. The collection also holds 765 original seals and more than 30 coats of arms.

Also included in the collection are manuscripts and imprints of Ukrainian and European origin. Among them are an incunabulum from Lyon (1454); paleotypes from Basel, Leipzig, and Stuttgart (early 1300s); the Ostrih Bible (Ostroz’ka bibliia) – the first complete Bible in Church Slavonic from Ivan Fedorov’s first printing shop (1581); the first edition of the Lithuanian Statutes (1588) (Polish: Statuty Litewskie); Grammar (Hramatyka) by Meletii Smotrytskyi (1648); a hagiography Pateryk (16th century); Pamva Berynda’s dictionary (Leksykon) (early 1600s); Hryhorii Grabianka’s Chronicle (Litopys) (1773); and Hryhorii Skovoroda’s The Snake of Israel (Izraїl’skyi zmii) (18th century).

One of the most noteworthy parts of the archive is its collection of documents from the cities of Central Ukraine, including court, magistrate, and governments records. These diverse files dating from the beginning of the 16th century to the second half of the 18th century contain about one million documents in old-Ukrainian, Polish, and Latin. The collection of the headquarters (Kosh) of the New Zaporozhian Sich (Nova Zaporoz’ka Sich), includes documents pertaining to the history of Ukrainian Cossacks in the late 17th and 18th centuries.

Information about the administrative-territorial system and the economic development of Central Ukraine and Sloboda Ukraine (Slobids’ka Ukraїna) from the 17th century onward can be found in the records of the General-Military Office (Heneral’na viis’kova kantseliarїia), the Malorosiyskyi First and Second Boards (Persha i druha moloroiis’ka kolegii), the General Description of Central Ukraine, the Military Treasurer’s Office (Kantslearїia viis’koho skarbu), the General Military Court (Heneral’nyi viis’kovyi sud), and the regiment courts and offices.

Ukraine’s military history is represented by documents of the General Military Artillery’s Chancellery (Kantseliarїia heneral’noї viiskovo ї artylerїї) and the Regimental and Governorship Chancelleries. Records of the Regent’s offices (Namisnyctvo) of the Bratslav, Voznesensk, Kyїv, Katerynoslav, Novgorod-Sivers’kyi, Podillia, Kharkiv, and Chernigiv regions highlight the history of Ukraine in the second half of the 18th century.

Records of the Kyїv and Pereiaslav-Boryspil’ consistories, the Kyїv-Pecherska Lavra, the Kyїv St. Sophia Cathedral, and other churches and monasteries provide information about church and monastery land ownership, property descriptions, religious education, land disputes, and construction. Metrical books of various confessions and churches registers for towns and villages of the Kyїv guberniya may be of interest to genealogical researchers. Personal records of prominent members of the Ukrainian and Polish nobility and magnates from Central Ukraine contain valuable information about all aspects of social, economic, political, cultural, and religious life in the 14th-early 20th centuries. Documents of the World War II period are a significant offering of the archive, and include records of the occupation regime and authorities.

Documents of Russian imperial administrative institutions of the 19th–early 20th centuries comprise the main part of the archive. They include records of the Kyїv, Podil, and Volyn governor-general offices, state ownership chambers, lustration commissions, and other institutions. They also contain documents pertaining to trade and industry development, socio-economic trends, preparation and adoption of the Peasant Reform of 1861 (the emancipation of serfs) in Ukraine, suppression of Polish uprisings against the Russian occupation in 1830-1831 and 1863-1863, and imperial reforms and policies in Ukraine in the late 19th century. Records of police and gendarmerie institutions, as well as the judiciary system highlight the history of political parties and organizations, revolutionary movements, and Ukrainian cultural movements in the second half of the 19th century.

The records of the Kyїv Censorship Committee (Kyїvs’kyi tsenzurnyi komitet), the Kyїv Censorship Office (Kantselariia kyїvs’koho okremnoho tsenzora), and the Kyїv Provisional Committee on Print Affairs (Kyїvs’kyi tymchasovyi komitet u spravakh druku) contain numerous documents pertaining to the government’s restrictive measures with regard to the usage and dissemination of Ukrainian language in the published works of Taras Schevchenko, Lesia Ukrainka, Ivan Franko, Mykola Gogol and other Ukrainian authors. The records of the Kyїv and Kharkiv educational regional administrations, the Kyїv Theological Seminary, the Kyїv Lyceum, and the Kremenets Lyceum are some of the archival records that relate to the educational and cultural developments in the region. Other records contain valuable information for researching the history of science and culture of Ukraine.

Number of record groups: 1,428; number of files: 12,644,596

Tsentral’nyi derzhavnyi istorycnyi arkhiv, m. L’viv [Central State Historical Archive in L’viv (TsDIAL)]

More information available via the State Archival Service portal at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ca04.php.

The Central State Historical Archive in L’viv holds a wide range of documents pertaining to the history of western Ukraine. Recently declassified documents about the period of struggle for liberation in Ukraine constitute an important part of the collection. These documents include files concerning the activities of the governments and armies of the Ukrainian National Republic (Ukraїns’ka Narodnia Respublika — UNR) and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic Zakhidnoukraїns’ka Narodna Respublika – ZUNR) (f. 581); the record group of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen (Ukraїns’ki sichovi stril’tsi — USS) (f. 353); the units of interned armies of the UNR in Łańcut (f. 753) and Kalisz (f. 673); and personal records of state, political, and military figures.

The archive holds numerous records of Ukrainian cultural-educational institutions and organizations, including the Shevchenko Scientific Society (Naukove Tovarystvo im. Shevchenka) (f. 309), and other societies such as “Prosvita” (f. 348), the “Ridna Shkola” (f. 206), the “Halytsko-Rus’ka matytsia” (f. 148), and “Ukrainska Besida” (f. 514).

There archive contains dozens of records of Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, Armenian, and German associations and organizations—women’s, students’, and cultural-recreational—that attest to the long and rich history of coexistence and cooperation among various national cultures in Galicia. The archive also holds declassified records of Ukrainian, Polish, and Jewish political parties, paramilitary organizations, clubs, and professional associations, which shed light on the complexity of social and political life in the region before World War II.

Personal records of Andrei Sheptyts’kyi, Stepan Tomashivs’kyi, Osyp Nazaruk, Kyrylo Studyns’kyi, Yulian Romanchuk, and others are a valuable part of the archive.

Tsentral’nyi derzhavnyi kinofotofonoarkhiv Ukraїny im. H.S. Pshenychnoho (TsDKFFA) [Central State Archive of Film, Photo, and Phonographic Documents of Ukraine named after H. Pshenychnyi (TsDKFFA)]

More information available via the State Archival Service portal at http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ca05.php.

The archive holds more than 12,000 film documents dating from 1896-1999, including silent and sound documentaries, newsreels, feature films, and TV episodes. The earliest film documents are fragmentary episodes of Nicolas II’s coronation in 1896, “The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava” (1900), “Flights of Aviator Utochkin in Kishinev” (1911), and “Funeral of A. Tereshchenko” (1912). VUFKU (Vseukrainskoe fotokinopuravlenie) and Ukrakinokhronika newsreels and documentaries of the Kyїv Feature Film Studio (Natsional’na kinostudiia khudozhnikh filmiv) are invaluable documents of Ukrainian life in the 1920s and 1930s. The period of WWII is represented by various Soviet propaganda, including Soviet Ukraine (Radians’ka Ukraina) and Nazi propaganda newsreels.

Numerous film documents highlight all periods of Soviet society, including the destalinization period, the so-called thaw, and the mid-1980s glasnost and perestroika period. A number of Ukrainian documentaries from the 1990s explore mass deaths under Stalin, the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster, and other important topics of Ukrainian political and cultural life. Ukrainian society’s recent history is represented by film documents created in independent Ukraine.

The TsDKFFA also contains over 390,000 visual documents, dating from 1853-2004. Among the earliest are copies of T. Shevchenko’s photographic portraits, photos of the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War of 1853-1856, and a photo album of pictures of Kyїv taken in the second half of the 19th century. Numerous photo documents represent the 1917-1921 liberation movement in Ukraine, the establishment of Soviet power, creation of the USSR, activities of state authorities, and the development of science and culture in Soviet Ukraine. More than 6,000 photo documents highlight the events of WWII.

The archive has a sizable collection of sound recordings, totaling more than 45,000 items. A group of recordings produced in 1900-1914 by the companies Zonophone Records, Stella Records, Beka Records, and Favourite Records are of great historical and cultural value. During the 1970s-1980s, the TsDKFFA audio collection was updated on a regular basis, mostly with recordings of the Soviet state company Melodiia Records. Recordings of prominent Ukrainian opera singers like I. Patorzhynskyi, V. Lytvynenko-Volgemut, I. Kozlovskyi, Z. Haidai, M. Hryshko, and A. Solovianenko are another significant part of the archive. The majority of the archive’s phonographic documents are magnetic recordings.

Since 1998, TsDKFFA of Ukraine has been acquiring video documents. The first items were the following TV programs: Visti Tyzhnia (News Weekly), Vikna (Windows), Pisliamova (Afterword). These video documents reflect the social, economic, and cultural life of post-Soviet Ukraine.

Total number of collection items: 440,000; number of film documents: 62,986; number of photo documents: 392,486; number of sound recordings: 23,072; number of video documents: 247

Regional archives


Many (though not all) of Ukraine’s regional state archives have their own websites that, like the central archives, are accessible through the web-portal of the State Archival Service of Ukraine. The directory of regional archives is also available in English, here: http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/regional.php

Archival Guides

Tsentral’nyi derzhavnyi istorychnyi arkhiv Ukraïny, m. L’viv: putivnyk / [avtory-uporiadnyky Ol’ha Hnievysheva … et al.]. L’viv, 2001. 410 p.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 016.02704779 T787t


Derzhavnyi arkhiv Chernivets’koï oblasti: putivnyk / [avtory-uporiadnyky Liudmyla Anokhina, … et al.]. Kyïv-Chernivtsi. 2006, Vol.1. Fondy doradiansʹkoho period.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 016.4779 D449


Derzhavnyi arkhiv Sums’koï oblasti: putivnyk / [avtory-uporiadnyky, Liudmyla Pokydchenko … et al.]. Sumy-Kyïv: 2002.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 027.04776 D449

Tsentral’nyi derzhavnyi arkhiv-muzei literatury i mystetstva Ukraïny: putivnyk / [avtory-uporiadnyky Mykola Kriachok, Svitlana Kushch, Zakharii Sendyk]. Kyïv, 2003.Vol. 1.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 016.89179 T7878t

Putivnyk po osobovykh fondakh Arkhivnykh naukovykh fondiv rukopysiv ta fonozapysiv Instytutu mystet︠s︡tvoznavstva, folʹklorystyky ta etnolohiï im. M. Rylʹsʹkoho / [vidp. red. H. A. Skrypnyk, zah. red. H. V. Dovzhenok]. Kyïv: 2005.

U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.30609477 In794p

Putivnyk po fondakh viddilu rukopysiv Instytutu literatury /  [V.A. Burbela … et al]. Kyïv: 1999.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 091.094777In


Osobovi arkhivni fondy Instytutu rukopysu: putivnyk / [O.S. Boliak … et al.]. Kyïv: Natsional’na biblioteka Ukraïny im. V.I. Vernads’koho, In-t rukopysu, 2002. 765 p.

U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Ukrainian Ref [non-circulating] 026.94777 Os28