Friday, July 9, 2010

Visit to the U of M Archives by the Czech Ambassador

From left to right: Dr. Karel Zebrakovsky, Ms. Vladimira Zvonik, Mr. Brian Hubner; Mr. James Kominowski, and Dr. Eva Sailerova
On Monday, June 7, 2010, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Canada, His Excellency, Dr. Karel Zebrakovsky, visited the U of M Archives & Special Collections. He was accompanied by Dr. Eva Sailerova (U of M Environmental Health and Safety), President of the Czech and Slovak Association of Canada. To greet the the ambassador, were Mr. Brian Hubner (Aquisition and Access Archivist), Mr. James Kominowski (Slavic Librarian/ Archivist), and Ms. Vladimira Zvonik (Slavic Collection and U of M Archives).

Dr. Zebrakovsky was shown a display (created by Vladimira Zvonik), of publications and other ephemera material devoted to the famous local Czech immigrant, Franciszek Dojacek. Mr. Dojacek was an entrepeneur who owned an ethnic printing and publishing house at the turn of the 20th century, and later a mail order business and a music supply store. His business was geared towards the early Central and East European immigrants: the Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Finns, Croatians, and others. Later he expanded his business from Winnipeg, and opened stores in Edmonton, Regina and Vanouver.

Dr Zebrakovsky also examined Czech language material held in the Archives' Rare Book Room, and the Elizabeth Dafoe Library's Slavic Collection. In addition, he was shown material from the Hallama Family fonds. The Hallama family were Czech immigrants who settled near Grande Point, Manitoba, and were the first family in the area to own a seed drill and a gasoline tractor.