The Museum Cooperation of the T. Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv (1921-1939): Directions and Peculiarities

Keywords: museum, Shevchenko Scientific Society, Galicia, Yaroslav Pasternak, mutual assistance, international cooperation


The paper shows the peculiarities of the museum cooperation of one of the largest museum institutions of the interwar Galicia (Halychyna) – the Museum of Shevchenko Scientific Society (Naukove Tovarystvo im. Shevchenka – NTSH) in Lviv with Galicia museums of local lore. Attention is paid to the attempts of the Ukrainian museum institutions to create a unifying body that would coordinate various issues of life and activity of museums.

One of the leading academic institutions of Ukraine «on both banks of the Zbruch» – the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv (NTSH) and its branches, in particular the Museum of NTSH, was in a rather difficult economic and political situation as part of the restored Poland, which, despite the general promises of wide autonomy of the region, consistently embodied the educational and cultural polonization of Galicia. During the «pacification» many Ukrainian public figures suffered, the sale of books published in the publishing house of the Society seriously reduced, and a number of buildings belonging to the NTSH were damaged.

In order to prolong its functioning and work properly, the NTSH in Lviv in general and the Museum of NTSH in particular, turned their efforts to consolidation and assistance to the Ukrainian Galicia museums of local lore and intensified museum relations with the leading cultural and museum institutions of Western Europe and the USA.

The Museum of NTSH in Lviv and its director Yaroslav Pasternak organized scientific and economic-financial assistance to the Museum of the «Boykivshchyna» Society in Sambir, the Museum «Hutsulshchyna» in Kolomyia, the Museum «Verkhovyna» in Stryi. Such close cooperation allowed to compete more confidently with the corresponding Polish museum institutions in cherishing and promoting of the Ukrainian historical and cultural heritage against the background of official Warsaw colonial policy in the region.

The corresponding Ukrainian museum institutions abroad, especially in Vienna and Prague, became a separate direction of the museum's collaboration of the NTSH in Lviv. In particular, the NTSH in Lviv joined the fund-raising for the construction of the Ukrainian House in Prague, part of which also should have been the Museum of the Liberation Struggle in Prague.

Taking into account the state border separating Western Ukrainian lands from the rest of the national Ukrainian territory, the contacts of the NTSH in Lviv with the museum institutions of Soviet Ukraine were very important. However, after the collapse of «Ukrainization» and Stalin’s repressions of the 1930s, the museum's cooperation with the Soviet Union and Soviet Ukraine was ceased.

Significant was the international museum collaboration of the NTSH in Lviv with leading museum institutions in Western Europe and the USA, which testified to the high scientific level of the Society in the certain fields of research. The National Museum of American History in Washington, the Britain’s National Museum of Science and Industry in London, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, and others wanted to see the ethnographic researches of Lviv NTSH museum scholars in their libraries.

How to Cite
Banakh, V., & Nagirniak, A. (2018). The Museum Cooperation of the T. Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv (1921-1939): Directions and Peculiarities. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, 2(3 (23), 124-130. Retrieved from
Museology and Monument studies