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Mss 270, PC 229, A.08-78

Title: Irene Knysh fonds

Dates: 1920-1990's (predominant 1950-1980)

Extent: 2.22 m of textual records and 83 photographs

Biographical Sketch: Irene Knysh was a feminist, journalist, and author of many books on the Ukrainian women’s movement. She is well known not only among the Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada and America, but also in Ukraine. Irene Knysh was born on April 20, 1909 in Lviv, Ukraine to Dmytr and Anastazia Shkvarkiv. In 1933 she graduated from the Lviv University with the Master’s degree in Philosophy. She was fluent in many languages (Ukrainian, Polish, French, German, and English). After her graduation, she became a professor of linguistics and taught at the various secondary schools in Lviv and Premysl. During the 1930’s, she
collaborated with the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) and Ukrainian
Patriotic Organization (OUN). In 1939 she married Zinovii Knysh, a political
and community activist. Her son George Knysh was born in 1940. During the WWII, a family lived in Cracow, Lviv, and Austria. After the war they moved to
France, where Irene Knysh became the Head of the Ukrainian Women’s Alliance in France.

In 1950 she immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada and worked as a journalist for various Ukrainian newspapers: Kanadiis’kyi Farmer, Novyi shliakh, Zhinoche Svitlo, Promin, Ukrains’kyi Holos (Canada); Svoboda, Samostiina Ukraina, Nashe Zhyttia (US); Ukrains’ke Slovo (France). She wrote extensively on the Ukrainian women’s movement. She is considered the archivist of the Ukrainian Diaspora on American continent. Her books are well known also in Ukraine. Her major works include: Na sluzhbi ridnoho narodu: iuvileinyi zbirnyk Orhanizatsii Ukrainok Kanady im. Ol’hy Basarab; Ivan Franko ta rivnopravnist’ zhinky, 1956 (Ivan Franko and Equal Rights for Women.); Smoloskyp u temriavi, 1957 (Torch in the Darkness); Patriotyzm Anny Ionker; Zhinka vchora i s’ohodni,1964 (Collection of articles published in various Ukrainian newspapers); Nezabutnia Ol’ha Basarab, 1976 (Unforgettable Olha Basarab); Try rovesnytsi, 1860-1960, 1966 (Three Ukrainian Contemporaries).

Irene Knysh was the first Ukrainian woman to be included in the Ukrainian Literary Encyclopaedia (Kyiv, 1990). She visited Ukraine in 1970, her book Vich-na-vich iz Ukrainoiu, 1970, was a reflection of her journey. After Ukraine Independence (1991), she was elected a member of the Ukrainian Women’s Alliance in Lviv, Ukraine (2005) and in her honour a scientific conference took place in June 4, 2005. Irene Knysh passed away on May 11, 2006.

Custodial History: The fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by George Knysh of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba (I. Knysh's son) in 2008.

Scope and Content: The fonds consists of Irene Knysh's biographical information, her articles and research material pertaining to her writings (Ukrainian women's movement in Canada and America); correspondence including correspondence with Vasyl Avramenko, Ukrainian dance teacher; and photograph collection.

Restrictions on Access: No restrictions on access.

Finding aid available