Robert Klymasz:

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Vladimira Zvonik
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by Vladimira Zvonik (2007)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Robert Klymasz

Robert Klymansz fonds


12 cm of textual records, 2 photographs

Mss 176 (A.07-29)


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Biography of Robert Klymasz

Dr. Klymasz was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1936. In 1957 he obtained his BA from the University of Toronto, and later studied at Charles University, Prague (1952), University of Manitoba (M.A. 1960), Harvard University (1960-1962), and Indiana University (Ph.D., 1971). He married Shirley Zaporozan in 1962, and they have two daughters Andrea and Lara. In 1967 he joined the Canadian Museum of Civilization and served as its first programme director for Slavic and East European Studies. Throughout his career he has held several prestigious positions, including: the executive director of the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok ) in Winnipeg; visiting associate professor in Folklore, Department of Folklore, Memorial University (Newfoundland); visiting professor in Folklore and Slavic Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles; and visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School.

Upon his retirement in 2000, he was named Curator Emeritus with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and is currently an adjunct professor with the Department of German & Slavic Studies (University of Manitoba). Dr. Klymasz is a renowned expert on Ukrainian Canadian folklore, having extensively written, published, and lectured on this subject. His publications include: An Introduction to the Ukrainian-Canadian Folksong Cycle (1970); Ukrainian Folklore in Canada (1980); "‘Svieto': Celebrating Ukrainian-Canadian Ritual in East Central Alberta Through the Generations" (1992); and The Icon in Canada (1996). Dr. Klymasz also published many reviews of books and exhibitions in Canada's ethnic press (Ukrainian and Icelandic ). He continues to pursue his recent interest with the grants from the University of Alberta (CIUS) and the University of Manitoba (CUCS).

In 1993, as a curator with the Museum of Civilization, Dr. Klymasz began a comprehensive study on community life in Gimli Manitoba. Fieldwork on this project began in 1993, and continued on an annual basis every summer until the summer of 2001. The project which became known as the Gimli Community Research Project (G.C.R.P.), was meant to offer insight on what makes the Town of Gimli a safe and prosperous town to live in. The early work was low-key in nature, focusing on the town's life and culture, attending for example, meetings of the town's council, various public forums, proceedings of the local public law court, and meetings of the Board for the New Iceland Heritage Museum. Gradually the fieldwork shifted to monitoring phenomena that gave Gimli its "dreamtown" quality. The final report was completed in 2002, and was entitled "Dream Town": Art and the Celebration of Place in Gimli, Manitoba.

In 2004 he delivered a paper at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Winnipeg. Dr. Klymasz was awarded the Marius-Barbeau Prize by the Folklore Studies Association of Canada (Laval University) for his studies in Ukrainian Canadian Folklore.

In 2005 he completed the Archival Research Project on Walter Klymkiw, the conductor of Koshetz Choir, titled "Playing around with Choir": the Correspondence and Papers of Walter P. Klymkiw. The manuscript is held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of Robert and Shirley Klymasz correspondence, 1995-2007, various cultural events and research projects; Shirley Klymasz biographical info and her art work.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This accession is arranged into one series and photograph collection :

  • 1. Shirley Klymasz - Biographical info, Art Work
  • 2. PC 170 (A.07-29)

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Restrictions on Access

No restrictions on access.

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Restrictions on Use

No restrictions on use.

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated by Dr. Robert Klymasz in 2007.

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Other Finding Aids

A.02-32, A.03-87; A.05-52

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Shirley Klymasz - Biographical info, Art Work [ 1975-2006 ]
11 Shirley Klymasz - Biographical info
2 Correspondence, 1995-2006
3 Correspondence - Post Card from Natalka Husar, 2001
4 Correspondence - Leonard Krawchuk, 2005-2006

(includes "Field Notes from Ukrainian Canada" - Internet newsletter, and 8 photographs of Krawchuk's art collection)

5 Dubas, Mykola (cousin of Robert Klymasz), 2003, 2006

(one book; one CD)

"Na chuzhykh shyrotakh" by M. Dubas; "Spivana poeziia" (C.D.)

6 Research - Chornobyl Song Project, 2007
7 Research - Chornobyl Song Project - discussion, analysis, notes, 2007
8 76th Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences - Registration Guide, 2007
9 Ukrainian Cultural Events, 1991-2007
10 Gimli 2007 March

(includes: "The History of the Community Ledwyn" - memorial dedicated to the early settlers of the Ledwyn Community who settled the area beginning in 1907; "I Talked to the Captain Today" stories written by Captan J.D. Clifford Stevens, Jr.)

11 Music material collected by Shirley Klymasz
12-14 Ukrainian Post Cards

(art, pysanky, churches, old Ukrainian post cards (1920's), icony - religion, and

various Ukrainian post cards)

15 St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine Parish List, Ottawa, ca 2000
2 (Oversize) Shirley's Art Work

(7 separate items by Shirley Klymasz: 2 mounted b/w foto-prints showing Prof. Barbaruk's house, Dauphin, Manitoba, ca.1970; cymbaly-player: John Semeniuk, July 10, 1965; singer: Mr. Sokolski, 1965; pioneer trunk: chest from old country, Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, 1964; old dwelling/house/shack; musical instrument - cymbaly/dulcimers)

Shirley Klymasz accompanied her husband Robert Klymasz during his field research.

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PC 170 (A.07-29)
1 (Oversize)1 Annie Homeniuk (nee Lewiski) - maternal grandmother of Shirley Klymasz

(24" x 19.5", framed)

12 Mykola Protsyk - maternal grandfather of Robert Klymasz and Dora Chwartacky and Jul'ka sisters of Robert's mother Domka Klymasz (nee Protsyk)

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