Library and Archives Committee Chair, Jurij Dobczansky, and Archivist, Ostap Kin, participated in the 5th Conference of the The Ukrainian Heritage Consortium which was held October 27-29, 2017. The conference was co-hosted by The Ukrainian History and Education Center in Somerset, NJ (commonly known as “Bound Brook”) and The Ukrainian Museum in New York (UM). The conference is an opportunity for member organizations to get exposure to professional level museum, library and archive procedures, share successes and challenges, and discuss the preservation of our common Ukrainian Heritage.
Theme of this biennial conference was conservation and preservation of various kinds of collections. The UM coordinated a tour of the Met’s Antonio Ratti Textile Center storage facility and its Textile Conservation Lab at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. The UM also gave the group a tour of its current exhibitions, and invited two conservation specialists to lecture the group about problems and solutions to collection issues: Yuri Yanchyshyn, Principal and Senior Conserator, Period Furniture Conservation, and Erin Toomey, a senior conservator with Art Conservation Group.
The second day of the conference was held at UHEC. Monmouth County, NJ archivist and photographer Gary D. Saretzky offered insights into preserving family photographs drawing upon over 40 years of experience in the field. Tim Corliss, archivist and conservator at the Rutgers University Special Collections and Archives, addressed issues in paper conservation. Michael Andrec, UHEC archivist since 2010, covered the care, maintenance and preservation of analog audio tapes.
The afternoon was spent touring the UHEC toured the Library and the yet unfinished Museum building and viewed the current exhibit. The remainder of Saturday was devoted to a general meeting of Consortium members. Brief activity reports were given by private collectors and representatives of the following: Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute (Cambridge, MA), the Ukrainian National Museum (Chicago, IL), the Ukrainian Museum-Archives (Cleveland, OH), the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Ukrainian Museum (New York City), Mirko Pylyshenko’s community archive (Rochester, NY), the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford (CT), the Library of Congress (Washington (DC) and the Ukrainian History and Cultural Center (Somerset, NJ). Christina and Myron Bytz of the Ukrainian Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in Whippany (NJ), the newest institutional member of the Consortium, gave a lively and compelling presentation. Participants learned of new projects, initiatives, accomplishments and challenges as well as areas of cooperation and outreach opportunities. Commentaries and substantive discussions continued until dinner was served in the atrium of the Library. Continuity of the Consortium’s gatherings was assured when Olha Aleksic of Harvard University offered to host the next conference in the fall of 2019 in Cambridge (MA).