Mykola Hnatiw:

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

Inventory prepared by James Kominowski
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by Vladimira Zvonik (2008)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Mykola Hnatiw

Mykola Hnatiw fonds


7 cm of textual records

MSS 271, A.08-11

English, Ukrainian

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Biography of Mykola Hnatiw

Mykola Hnatiw was born in Ukraine in the village of Vykoty, Sambir Region on September 6,1912 into a poor peasant family. The family consisted of his father Mykola, mother Kateryna {Onyshkevych}, a brother Ivan and 2 sisters Hanna and Marynia. He completed his schooling in Sambir and later worked in the cooperative movement in the village of Komarno and the town of Syanik. In 1942 he married Iryna {Ilnycka}, daughter of Evhenia Ilnycka and father Mychailo Ilnyckyj. World War II pushed Mykola Hnatiw to a decision of leaving his homeland. Along with his pregnant wife he headed towards the Slovak border. His first daughter Chrystya was born in Slovakia. The family that was left behind was arrested and exiled to Siberia from 1944 until an amnesty was granted in the sixties. From Slovakia Mykola headed for the Camps for Displaced Persons in the US Army barracks of Mittenwald, Germany. In Germany he became involved in the community's political and athletic activities

. In 1949 the family immigrated to Canada settling in Winnipeg where both he and his wife as other immigrants did - took menial and physically difficult jobs. Their second daughter, Marta was born in Canada. Mykola Hnatiw became involved in several political and Ukrainian organizations. Eventually, his passion for literature and journalism led him to work at the Ukrainian Voice newspaper, first as a proof- reader and later as an Assistant Editor. He corresponded with many notable emigre community leaders and cultural activists in Ukraine. His dream of visiting his village was realized in 1991 - shortly before Ukraine's Independence. Mykola Hnatiw passed away on March 22, 1997. He willed his extensive library to his children with a request that a large portion of his books be sent to Sambir- this was carried out in 2000 by his family and currently is in the Boykivs'kyj Museum in Sambir. Mykola Hnatiw lives in the memories of his children and his extensive family in Canada and Ukraine. In addition to a love of Ukrainian literature art and music passed on to his children - Mykola Hnatiw's commitment to the community lives on in his daughters, Chrystia and Marta, and grandchildren Andriy and Ihor, sons of daughter Marta and husband Ivan Michalchyshyn

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of numerous correspondence between Mykola Hnatiw and various colleagues, associates and acquaintances, including: renowned sculptor Leo Mol; former Ukrainian dissident Danylo Shumuk; Ukrainian Canadian author and activist John Kolasky (Ivan Koliaska); Anna Kliuchko, the daughter of the revered Ukrainian poet and writer Ivan Franko; Hryhorii Kostiuk, Ukrainian American writer and publicist with the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences in the U.S.A.; and author and historian Jurij Lawrynenko (New York). Also contained within the collection is some biographical information on Mr. Hnatiw, including certificates and newspaper clippings.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged into two series:

  • Biographical info
  • Correspondence

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Restrictions on Access

Open to all researchers.

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Restrictions on Use

Open to all researchers.

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Index Terms



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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the Archives & Special Collections by the daughters of Mykola Hnatiw, Chrystia Hnatiw, and Marta Michalychyshyn in 2008.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Biographical []
11 Certificate from the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church of Canada to Mykola Hnatiw for his donation to the Vasyl Sarchuk Ukrainian School Fund, 1972
2 Certificate from Ukraine’s volley ball team visiting Winnipeg, thanking Mykola Hnatiw for his financial assistance, 1994
3 Newspaper clippings from and about Sambir, Ukraine

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14 Correspondence and material related to the establishment of the Volodymyr Vynnychenko fund (the Ukrainian Free Academy of Science in the U.S.A. = Ukrains’ka Vil’na Akademiia Nauk u SShA.), 1972-1981
5 Correspondence from Sambir, Ukraine, 1977-1979
6 Kliuchko, Anna, 1967-1972
7 Kolasky, John (Ivan Koliaska), 1963-1966
8 Kolasky, John (Ivan Koliaska), 1967-1980
9 Kostiuk, Hryhorii, 1961-1974
10 Kostiuk, Hryhorii, 1975-1990
11 Lawrynenko, Jurij, 1953-1977
12 Mol, Leo, - includes postcards sent from L. Mol to M. Hnatiw, 1961-1991
13 Shumuk, Danylo, 1974-1988
14 Siwicki, Mikolaj (Mykola Sivits’kyi), 1967-1991

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