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Call Number: Mss 176, Pc 170 (A.02-32, A.03-87, A.05-52, A.06-61, A.07-29, A.08-36)

Title: Robert Klymasz fonds.

Dates: 1919-2008.

Extent: 3.57 m of textual records. -- 434 photographs, 52 slides, 113 negatives. -- 3 videocassettes. -- 13 audio-cassettes, 7 compact discs.

Biographical sketch: Dr. Robert Bohdan 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.

In 2006-2008 he completed several archival research projects: A priest, a maestro, a community: epistolary insights into the music culture of Winnipeg's Ukrainian community, 1936-1944 (2006-07); Winnipeg Papers on Ukrainian Music (2008); Nuggets from the past: quotations on the Ukrainian experience in Canada (2007). The manuscripts are held at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated by Dr. Robert Klymasz in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

Scope and content: The first accession (A.02-32) consists of research material pertaining to the Gimli Community Research Project, Included are published materials about Gimli and the Interlake (pamphlets, brochures, maps, and clippings); handwritten notes; correspondence; and the draft and final copy of the GCRP report. In addition to the textual material, the collection contains over three hundred photographs which depict life in the Interlake Area.

The second accession (A.03-87) consists of personal correspondence and research material during Robert Klymasz's career as a curator for East European Collections at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec; as an instructor of Ukrainian Folklore at the University of Manitoba; and a as a contributor to the Ukrainian Catholic Newspaper, Postup (Progress). In addition to textual material, the collection contains personal photographs, and audio-recordings (both commercial and non-commercial) pertaining to Ukrainian folklore (primarily Ukrainian-Canadian).

The third accession (A.05-52) consists of documentation and research material pertaining to Archival Research Project on Walter Klymkiw.

The fourth accession (A.06-61) consists of correspondence (2002-2006); research material (Koshetz Project; Ukrainian Music); various announcements of Ukrainian Canadian cultural events; collections of post cards/collection cards; and a photograph collection (PC 170).

The fifth accession (A.07-29) consists of correspondence (1995-2007); various
cultural events and research projects; Shirley Klymasz biographical info and
her art work; 2 family photographs (PC 170).

The six accession (A.8-36) consists of correspondence, various archival research projects: A priest, a maestro, a community: epistolary insights into the music culture of Winnipeg's Ukrainian community, 1936-1944 (2006-07); Winnipeg Papers on Ukrainian Music (2008); Nuggets from the past: quotations on the Ukrainian experience in Canada (2007), and photographs from his family archives (PC 170).

Source of supplied title: Title based upon contents of the fonds.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to this fonds.

Accruals: Further accruals to this fonds are expected.

Finding aid: Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room and electronic finding aids are available at the links below:

MSS 176 (A.02-32, A.03-87)

MSS 176 (A.05-52) - Archival Research Project on W. Klymkiw

MSS 176, PC 170 (A.06-61)

MSS 176, PC 170 (A.07-29)

MSS 176, PC 170 (A.08-36)