The ongoing crisis with Russian separatists and Russia has put Ukraine very much in the news recently. The crisis may be easier to understand when viewed in context.
This small exhibit, now open in the Green Library East lobby, seeks to illustrate some of that context. In the center are two maps: (1) the shifting borders during approximately the first half of the 20th century, and (2) the mosaic of languages currently spoken in the country.
To the left, in the two glass cases, is a small selection of material from SUL’s collection, with commentary. The left-hand case contains items related to the country’s history, regions and ethnic makeup. In the right-hand case the material concerns the Ukrainian language, and literature written by Ukrainian authors in Ukrainian and Russian.
To the right of the maps and the glass wall is a display of Ukraine-related books for patrons to check out, including material in Ukrainian, Russian, English and other Western languages.
The exhibit gives particular emphasis to Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) for the 200th anniversary of his birth. Poet, artist and political activist, he was one of the foundational figures of Ukrainian literature, Ukrainian language and Ukrainian identity. (On October 16, Prof. Taras Koznarsky from the University of Toronto will speak about Shevchenko in Pigott Hall.)
The exhibit was created by Karen Rondestvedt and Elga Zalite. Special thanks to Karim Arsalane and Elizabeth (Becky) Fischbach for artistic, digital and production assistance. Thanks also to Natasha Porfirenko for consultation and advice.