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Mykhajlo Hrushevsky

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Biljashivsky Nicholas

Nicholas F. Biljashivsky (12 (24) October 1867 – April 21, 1926) – Ukrainian archaeologist and museum worker.

Portrait N. F. Biljashivsky

Born in Uman (today Cherkasy region) in the family priest. He studied at Kiev 2nd school, then at Kiev University (1887 – 1891), the main specialty – lawyer. A short time (1892 – 1893) worked at the Moscow main archive of the Ministry of Justice, in 1894 – 1898 years – in the archives of Warsaw.

In 1898 he moved to Kyiv and became a librarian in the newly established Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. In parallel, he led the preparatory work for the establishment of the Kiev Art, Industry and Science Museum, and in 1902 – 1923 he was its first director.

Biljashivsky died in Kyiv; according to his will was buried in Kaniv, near the grave of Taras Shevchenko.

Interest in science Biljashivsky displayed in the University, and from 1887 was a member of the Kiev Historical Society of Nestor the Chronicler. The first focus of his work was numismatics. During the service in Warsaw, he worked out a description of the archive, and discovered statistical data of Ukrainian lands 16 century. (Planned publication of these sources was not carried out).

Simultaneously (from 1888), he was engaged in archaeological excavations. His biggest success – the discovery in 1891 – 1893 years remnants of ancient cities Rodnja at the confluence Ros of the Dnieper. In 1899 – 1901 and 1903 – 1905 respectively, he published the first in Ukraine special archaeological magazine – "Archeological chronicle of the South Russia."

Biljashivsky started museum work in 1895 to help (up to 1914) in the establishment and operation of private museum F. R. Steingel in the village Gorodok (now Rivne district and region). From 1902 Biljashivsky was applied main efforts to the Kyiv Museum, which, inter alia, gave his own archaeological collection. This museum after a series of reorganizations gave life to two major museums of modern Ukraine – National Art Museum of Ukraine and the National Museum of History of Ukraine.

From 1909 Biljashivsky was a member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society (Lviv), from 1910 – one of the founders of Kyiv Society for the Protection of ancient monuments and art, from 1919 – a member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. His scientific legacy is considerable, has published about 300 papers. There is no its modern reprint yet. Missing also deeper studies of the life and work of the scientist.

In 1906 Biljashivsky was elected 1st Russian State Duma, and in 1917 – deputy of the Ukrainian central council of Kiev province. In 1917 – 1919 years was involved in the organization of protection of monuments of history and culture.

Portrait of N. F. Biljashivsky that we present, taken from the book "Letters of Mykhailo Hrushevsky" (K.: 2001, vol. 2, p. 15).

Biljashivsky and Hrushevsky

1. Novice researchers met no later than 1891 in Kiev University. Even then Hrushevsky showed interest in the findings Biljashivsky in Rodnja.

2. Their systematic collaboration began in 1894. Hrushevsky, planning the publication of 16-century descriptions of the royal estates in the Ukrainian lands, constantly appealed for help to Biljashivsky, in charge of whom in Warsaw archive was part of the required materials. Hrushevsky in turn help advice in archaeological work Biljashivsky.

3. From 1899 to the beginning of the 1st World War, according to the correspondence, the cooperation went mainly in review archaeological literature by Biljashivsky for Ukrainian scientific publications, mutual assistance in replenishing the collections of museums in Lviv and Kyiv, arranging Ukrainian exhibitions of folk art.

4. Biljashivsky was a personal friend of Hrushevsky and his family.

5. In 1926 Hrushevsky responded to the death of his old friend obituary in the journal "Ukraine".

6. In Kiev, found a small N. Biljashivsky in front of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. It is significant that it is situated on the Hrushevsky street (№ 6).

M. Zh., 21 February 2017

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