Stories from Storage

Not even the biggest museums can put all of their collections on display at once. The UHEC's currently very limited gallery space makes this challenge even more extreme. The situation is even worse for archives, which can easily have millions of individual documents in their repository.

In "Stories from Storage", we show how individual museum items or archival documents held by the UHEC can illuminate the history, culture, art, and religious beliefs of Ukrainians in Ukraine and the diaspora. We will continue to add blog post content, as well as video podcasts and other media, in the coming months.


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UHEC archivist Micheal Andrec points towards a reproduction of Cymbal's "The Year 1933"

It may be a bit odd to do a "Stories from Storage" on an item that's actually on display in our current exhibition "Depicting Genocide: 20th Century Responses to the Holodomor". It actually makes sense, though, as the image on display in the exhibition is actually not the original item, for reasons that will be pretty obvious when you view the video.


Posted: November 25, 2023

The story of the Ukrainian National Chorus and its role in introducing the work that eventually became the "Carol of the Bells" is gradually becoming more widely known, especially with the recent concert commemorating their US premiere in Carnegie Hall. But other parts of their repertoire remain obscure, even to Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans. This Stories from Storage tells of their Latin American tours through their only Spanish-language recording.


Posted: December 5, 2022
Harry Chernucha

In one of our past exhibitions, we displayed two clippings from the Newsday newspaper on Long Island, New York published February 22, 1942. They show photographs of the empty casket funeral for Harry Chernuha, who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In this Stories from Storage, we explore how much more we can potentially learn about this young man. The answers were more interesting than we expected.

Posted: May 30, 2022

We have seen amazing stories from Ukraine about people creating art and putting on theater productions in the midst of war, suffering, and displacement. Three quarters of a century ago, Ukrainians were doing exactly the same thing.

Posted: May 19, 2022

We have witnessed tremendous destruction as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is nothing new, of course. And we don’t need war to have architectural destruction. This photograph shows the demolition of the bell tower of Kyiv's St. Nicholas Cathedral in 1934, a site that has surprising connections to Ukrainian history in the early 20th century.

Posted: May 17, 2022
Early 20th century Ukraine in postage stamps

The postage stamps of the 1917-1921 period in Ukraine reflect the nation's revolutionary origin and struggle for survival.

Posted: April 3, 2022
Tina Peresunko with UHEC archivist Michael Andrec

This "Stories from Storage", while it does feature items from the UHEC archives and museum collections, is a bit unusual. It is a slightly shortened presentation of a talk by Tina Peresunko that she gave in our online programming series in 2021 while she was still in the United States as a Fulbright scholar. She returned to Kyiv in January 2022, and as of March 1 is hunkered down in her hometown of Kyiv as the Russian Army continues its assault.

Posted: March 1, 2022

As we write this post, the Ukrainian army is battling against seemingly overwhelming odds to defend several key cities from the invading Russian Army. One of these is the strategically critical city of Kherson at the mouth of the Dnipro River. This city and the surrounding area is closely connected to two significant collections in our archives and museum holdings.

Posted: February 26, 2022

This fascinating photograph captures a significant part of what the UHEC is about: it tells the stories of Ukrainian immigration to the United States, the lives of those immigrants here, the Ukrainian American communities and organizations (both religious and secular) that they formed, and their interactions with the wider American society.

Posted: January 31, 2022

After living in Prague as a refugee, Oleksii Balabas and his family endured a second war and were displaced yet again. Oleksii finally resettled in the United States, where life was not easy, as can be seen in this heartbreaking letter.

Posted: January 24, 2022