The Department of rare and valuable documents of G. I. Denysenko Scientific and Technical Library of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute stores not only books on natural and technical sciences. There are also philosophical, socio-economic publications and fiction. Among the latter are the lifetime editions of the classics of Ukrainian literature Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky (1838-1918), Panas Myrny (1849-1920), Ivan Franko (1856-1916), and Vasyl Stefanyk (1871-1936).
The Ukrainian-Russian Publishing Union (Lviv) published lifetime collections of short stories by Vasyl Stefanyk Doroha (The Road, 1901), and Moie slovo (My Word, 1905). The books' title page shows the emblem of the publishing house. These are two intertwined letters C and B. The publishing house was established by Mykhailo Hrushevsky in 1899. It had worked until 1932. The Union published works of Ukrainian writers, translations of world literature, and popular science books. In 1907-1908, books of Ukrainian authors were even published in Kyiv. By 1917, the Ukrainian-Russian Publishing Union had published more than 300 books on various topics: works by Ivan Franko, Vasyl Stefanyk, Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky, Olha Kobylyanska, and Bohdan Lepky. The Union translated and published William Shakespeare, George Gordon Byron, Emile Zola, and others. By the way, the fund of Stefanyk National Science Library has stored the “Catalog of Publications of the Ukrainian-Russian Publishing Union in Lviv for 1899-1912”.
Our Department of rare and valuable documents preserves two editions of Ivan Franko brought out during his lifetime. The collection of poems Z vershyn i nyzyn (From the Heights and the Depths, 1887, expanded 1893) was published at the expense of Franko's wife, Olha Franko. It included poetry published under the pseudonym Myron in the magazines Druh (Friend), Svit (the World), Zoria (Dawn), as well as works written after the first edition. The second book is Perekhresni stezhky, the story (Fateful Crossroads) published in 1899 by Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk.
The books were published in the printing house of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv. In 1873 it was founded as the Shevchenko Literary Society. Soon, in 1892, it became the Shevchenko Scientific Society. In 1939, the Soviet authorities banned group activities. Therefore, society had worked outside our country for a long time. The Shevchenko Scientific Society continued in Ukraine only in 1989.
The title pages of both books have seals of the Student Library-Reading Room of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. The student library opened after the revolution of 1905. Our Department has a very entertaining book catalogue dating to 1906. The book catalog gives some idea of what, in addition to mastering the profession, students were interested in the early twentieth century.
The story Tovaryshi (Comrades) by Panas Myrny is also included in the collection of lifetime publications of Ukrainian writers of our Department. The book was first published in Geneva in 1877 and titled Lyhi Liudy (Evil People). By the way, the book doesn't give the name of the author. The edition stored at G. I. Denysenko Scientific and Technical Library of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute dates back to 1918. It was published in the Printing House of the Union of Consumer Societies of Poltava and had the foreword of Volodymyr Shchepotiev.
No less famous are Novi Povisti i Opovidannia. Na hastroliah v Mykytianah (New stories and Short Stories. On tour in Mykytyany) by Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky. This book was released in 1911, during the author's life. The title page has the address of the publishing house - Chokolov Printing House, 22, Funduklievska Street, Kyiv.
Ivan Ivanovych Chokolov was a well-known book publisher in the former Russian Empire. He was printing books, geographical atlases, and music collections. His printing house was one of the eight best printing houses in Kyiv in terms of equipment quality. Chokolov was also an advocate of the Ukrainian language. When Minister of Public Education Sergei Uvarov was responsible for censorship and banned many journals, Chokolov still published books in the Ukrainian language. Besides, he was a compiler of poetry collections by Ukrainian authors.
Our copies of lifetime editions of Ukrainian writers are in the electronic database “The Book Monuments of Ukraine” of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Library of Ukraine (https://kp.nlu.org.ua/). The database provides information on rare and valuable publications given by expert groups created for the selection of book monuments, under Article III of the Procedure for manuscripts selection, rare and invaluable publications in the National Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ukraine, approved on the order of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine № 437,14.06.2016.
You are welcome to read and take a look at these publications in our Department.