Thursday, April 13, 2017

Czas Digitization Project

   Example of one of digitized pages of Czas 
 (the main page of the July 21, 1920 issue)

  The online format of the Czas searchable database.

 An example showing the complete digitized pages of a single issue 
of Czas (the July 21, 1920 issue ).

Czas is the oldest Polish language newspaper weekly in Canada. It was established in Winnipeg in the fall of 1914, and first published by a local Canadian firm owned and operated by the well—known Czech immigrant, Franciszek Dojacek. From its beginnings, Czas ensured that its Polish roots and content remained intact, as it was closely connected with members of the Polish Gymnastic Association, Sokol. It was through Sokol’s perseverance and guidance that facilitated the creation of the newspaper. Following the post war years, the Polish Combatants' Association (SPB) provided steadfast support of the paper.  In 2004 the publication relocated to Toronto, and merged with another Polish newspaper, Związkowiec (The Alliance), to form Czas-Związkowiec.  For nearly a century it has remained an invaluable resource of information to the Polish community in Canada -- informing new immigrants of local and international events, and assisting them with the new challenges and adjustments they faced in their new country.

In the Fall of 2003 the executive board of Czas – Polish Press Ltd., agreed to find a permanent home for their collection of bound newspapers. The Board approached the U of M Archives & Special Collections to house this unique and historical collection of Polish-Canadiana. In January 2004 the executive board of Czas officially transferred the Czas newspaper collection from Czas – Polish Press Ltd., to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

With the support of the members of the Friends of Czas, the U of M Archives has embarked on digitizing the complete run of Czas from 1915 to 2004,  which corresponds to the period when the newspaper was headquartered in Winnipeg. Thanks to a University of Manitoba Outreach Award, and a  Heritage Grant  from the Province of Manitoba, the years 1920-1951 have so far been digitized. Additional years will be digitized over the next several months, -- with the eventual digitization of the entire run up to, and including the year 2004. In addition, thanks to the support and expertise of the U of M Libraries' Discovery & Delivery Services, the Czas online searchable database has been created and uploaded to the University of Manitoba Digital Collections' website. The search engine is able to conduct keyword searches with or without inputting diacritics or ligature signs that are found in the Polish alphabet.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The 24th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture with Bohdan Krawchenko

 Poster for the Lecture Event (designed by Solomiya Shavala)
Dr. Krawchenko's talk at the U of M Archives & Special Collections 

The 24th Annual J.B. Rudnyckyj Distinguished Lecture took place on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. The guest lecturer for the event was, Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko.  Dr.  Krawchenko began his talk, titled, Global (Dis) Order and Ukraine with providing an overview of the recent global, economic, political, and social changes. He spoke about the rise of nationalist and populist forces in the United States and in Europe, and how these forces challenge the established liberal and democratic values. In addition, the rise of an aggressive Russia,with a nationalist agenda, also poses a challenge and threat to the western democracies. Krawchenko successfully tied this in to the current situation in Ukraine, and how Ukrainian society has adapted and emerged with a vision on how to overcome many of the challenges currently facing it. After years of having Russia as its largest trading partner, the war, has forced Ukraine to become more competative in the global market, and seek new trade partners and opportunities . In the end this will be beneficial to Ukraine, and recent statistics have shown this to be true.

Bohdan Krawchenko is the director of the University of Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)  a bold educational initiative focused on the mountain communities of Central Asia and Afghanistan. While working in Ukraine, he directed the first institution to train civil servants and headed the Soros Foundation’s regional program on local governance. Dr. Krawchenko is also the former director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.
The well-received lecture had around 100 members of the university and external communities in attendance. The talk was sponsored by the U of M Archives & Special Collections, the Slavic Collection (Elizabeth Dafoe Library), and the Department of German and Slavic Studies. Following the lecture, Bohdan Krawchenko continued to answer questions at the reception that followed his talk.