Practical necessity to organize archival documents, collected at the University during several centuries provoked the creation of the Archives. In the late nineteenth century this issue became particularly relevant in connection with the writing of the University History. However, the idea of the formation of archives appeared back in 1835, when there appeared two free rooms at the ground floor of the University (a librarian used to live there). Then consistory supported and made the proposal in its communiques of 24 June, 1835, submitted by Antoniy Penzl to transfer one of these rooms for the needs of the archives. Such a decision was made due to lack of storage space for documents in the office. Materials were stored in open cases with free access. This led to significant shortage of important documents. However, the affair could not be started right at the time. We know from inventory descriptions of 1843-1844 that two shelves with archival materials were stored in room #17 that was called “Aktem-Archiv”. Besides, documents were kept in the office, which already occupied three premises at that time. The two office premises had specially allocated storage space for documents. Thus, employees allocated two bookcases for materials in one of the rooms, and only six shelves in the second. There were two other shelves with documents stored in the registry office and archive. The next year the total number of shelves for the documents storage was twenty, and before the fire it raised to twenty-six. As you can see, the number of materials to be deposited in the archives was quickly growing. Along with the increasing number of documents, the question of storage conditions that were not properly provided and adversely affected the status of documents was rather acute. At the same time the organization of Documentation was also outdated and could not meet temporal requirements. System of Documentation had not undergone any reforms from the very opening of the University in 1784. Office was supervised by one clerk, who could not cope with all his responsibilities. So, back in 1789 a directive to issue documents only with a written consent of the Consistory was presented in order to regulate work of clerk. But we already see serious breach of the Directive in 1802, when a significant lack of documents was registered. It is worth mentioning that the office kept only documents of the administration and the Senate. Materials of the faculties were kept in their premises or in private places of deans or people responsible for the record keeping. As it was noted, materials that were out of the record keeping, continued to be stored in the office. The storage conditions were not satisfactory, as far as the documents were not in order on open shelves. This “pile” of  documents resembled documents of consistory and materials from faculties. Often the originals were “borrowed” for making copies or writing various documents, as a result, a large percentage of these materials have not been returned.

The university suffered significant losses of documents in the fire on November 2, 1848. According to inventory compiled by Stanislav Kozma, out of 26 shelves of materials only 2 were left and cast as a bunch out. Fortunately, some of the documents were kept in private places and were not affected by the fire. After the fire, three people were hired to collect all the documents and bind them in bundles. However, such challenges were not the last, in January, 1850 the documents were moved to Lviv city hall and placed on the third floor. In the summer of 1851 the documents were taken to the new university building on Sv. Mykolay Str. The documents bound back in 1848 were placed in the corridors and in all possible cases. They were kept in such an improper way virtually until 1893, when they were moved and placed in one room for the purpose of writing a book on the University History. Along with these ones, another set of documents of the University record keeping of the last fifty years after the fire was collected. When the researchers of the University History – L. Finkel and St. Zakshevskyi started writing their book “History of Lviv University,” it was necessary to order archival materials that were used by professors.

This initiative was made by L. Finkel at the meeting of Senate in the spring of 1894. The initiative was immediately supported by the University administration. Great experience of Professor Finkel in archives positively influenced making such a decision. Therefore, the appointment of the director and at the same time responsible for organizing archival material was made simultaneously and the department was formed. Lviv University Archives were founded by Academic Senate decision # 873 on September 4, 1894. All the materials until 1848 were to be transferred to the Archives according to the same decision of the Senate. The new Archives were allocated on the ground floor in the former apartment director of the University Library. One of the first tasks was to provide a detailed description of the documents and to purchase all the necessary equipment. Vicegerency of Halychyna was invited by Ludwik Finkel to equip the newly created department.

As it was already noted, the director of the archives writes two important documents: a letter to the Vicegerency of Halychyna and a memorandum note on the establishment of the archives, which justifies the need for the newly created department. The note gives a short history of the University documents, focusing on significant losses of materials in the fire in 1848. Professor specifically emphasized collecting and preserving materials that reflect the University History. Finkel as one of the “leaders” of the idea of “Polish origin” of the institution, was particularly interested in uncovered the supporting documents. Their absence in the University was associated with the fire in 1848, but fortunately, multiple copies of many important materials had been made. One of these copies was sent to the Vicegerancy or Vienna, for this reason, in the late nineteenth century the university authorities made significant efforts to return and copy such documents.

At the same time much attention was paid to the documents that were in the University. In particular, a clearly defined need for processing and ensuring preservation of materials. It was settled to make an appraisal in order to select documents for the different time storage. Finkel makes general description of the documents that are in various departments of the University and are not used in record keeping. Particular accent is given to the materials to be transferred to the archives and further storage. It is noted that, first of all, they should be arranged in chronological order. Then, archival materials should be divided into three groups: 1) bound books «in folio»; 2) chronologically sorted fascicles; 3) documents on personnel «personalia» arranged in alphabetical order.

Describing documentary materials of the University, Finkel provides a list of necessary equipment and supplies for the organization of storage of archives. According to the division of documents it is a necessary to have special cases for their storage. Cases should be of oak, made of good material and solid construction. There were two shelves for books «in folio» in one of such cases, the remaining shelves have been systematically and alphabetically devided, where «personalia» acts were stored in alphabetical order. There were fascicles sections in chronological order in another part of the case. Fascicles are arranged so that materials for one year are sawn in one file. If there were not so many of them in course of one year, then several years could be combined into one file. According to the producers estimation, one case of this design with lots of shelves could cost 100 PLN. If the case was not devided alphabetically, its value amounted to 75 PLN. As it was noted, the case for storing documents at the philosophical faculty was taken as a sample. Total expenditure on these two cases had to be 150 or 200 PLN., depending on their selves division. The University administration and Vicegerency made  final decision on the allocation and use of money.

Finkel described direct requirements for documents organization. Particular attention in the memorandum note was driven to the acts compiling in cases, certain rules must be abode. The most important rules: 1) inventory of the stored acts should be composed; 2) There should be a list of individuals who used and use documents. To ensure safety of the documents it was decided to conclude an immediate inventory forms in accordance with the existing standards. According to contemporary archival requirements, such an inventory shall include the following information: year, new number of the act, old number of the act, the date of the act, part and signature. Along with this, the need to keep the card to compile a list of people who work with documents was mentioned. Another necessary expenses mentioned by Finkel was binding books in hard cover and buying equipment for the internal operation of the archives. The annual charge of these needs was 50 PLN. All the above mentioned activities had to secure proper work of the archives and create the right conditions for documents storage.

In general, Finkel drafted a reasonable estimation for the establishment of the archives. So, summing up, he said that the total cost for the purchase of necessary equipment will amount to PLN 250. This will include the purchase of two cases of 100 PLN each, inventory forms, index cards, materials for the archives. Finkel affirmed that university administration should ask for the money in the Vicegerency of Halychyna. The note was signed on November 6, 1894, a letter to the Vicegerency of Halychyna was written on its basis, which provides the same information. The necessity of creating an archive of the University is briefly explained, the status of documents, the storage conditions and prospects for preservation are described. The need for the exact amount of 250 PLN for the equipment of the archives is explained in detail.

It should be noted that Vicegerency responded positively to the request of Finkel and University administration, but asked to submit a detailed list and explanation of how the funds will be spent. Submission of the data was supported by the Senate. Soon the University allocated funds for the purchase of two oak cases for the documents storage. In response to the appeal of L. Finkel, vicegerency supported the creation of archives and allocated the amount of 250 PLN for the purchase of all the necessary equipment. In particular, the University had to spend these funds to buy paper boxes printed forms for the inventory.

Having premises and all the necessary equipment, professor started to fill the archives with the documentary materials. The office and the faculties provided the archives with different materials to execute the order of the Senate to transfer to the archives all the materials that were in the office until 1848. University books and acts untill 1848/1849 academic years were received in an incomplete and damaged way. The documents were not in thematical and chronological order, without any sign of systematization. Some materials were stored in fascicles and layed in piles. Organizing archival materials that were transferred to the archives for storage, Finkel tried to replenish funds with other valuable documents for the University History. Thus, in 1899  personal documents of two professors – Joseph Mouse, a prominent historian of the early nineteenth century, professor of Philosophical faculty, dean, rector in 1824/25 and 1851/52 academic years; and Edward Arbtera, professor and dean of the Law Faculty in 1830-40 years were transferred to the archives. These materials were stored in the place of Elizabeth Akvykovska who addressed Finkel with a proposal to transfer these materials. Despite difficult state of archival materials, Finkel immediately tried to establish all the activities that are conducted in archival institutions. Thus, during 1894-1898 years separate acts were sorted by years and the process of their description was started by inventory composing. In course of 1898-1910 years there were certain changes, archivists composed the inventory of books and fascicles for 1784-1805 years. In spite of organizing archival materials, the department was not closed and the documents were given out for the research work. During the first four years eight people, usually scientists used the materials of the University Archives. In 1898-1910 years the number of scholars who used the documents increased to eleven people. In addition, as it is stated in the Chronicle for 1898 – 1910 years, archival materials were used not only for scientific, but also for social purpose. Most likely the search for the material to conduct informational requests. Another duty of the department was to provide different copies of documents and responses to letters. In particular, during 1894 – 1898 years the staff prepared only two responses that were provided for the needs of the office. During the next  ten years the number of requests was not significantly increased and only four certification notes were issued. In 1908 L. Finkel hired one of his students Teophil Modelskyi as an assistant of archives. For this reason, professor could pay more attention to his research activities including visiting European archives. The same year, Finkel visited Vienna and later Innsbruck, Italy, Paris. In addition to scientific work, professor also studied experience of working in archival institutions that could subsequently be reflected in the application of new methods.

In general, the first two decades of the archives were of quite slow development. Gathering materials from other departments of the University was honoured, the process of describing and processing materials was regulated. Along with this,materials were available for scientific research. With the start of World War I the common activities of the University were somehow changed, as well as functioning of the archives. Thus, while Russian troops were in Lviv and during the “immigration” of rector Adam Beck, Finkel actually started to perform the duties of the head of the University. Particular attention was paid to the preservation of archival materials. A lot of efforts were made to evacuate a large number of documents to other institutions. Part of the material was sent for temporary storage to the library foundation of Victor Bavorovskyi that was in Lviv on Ueyskyi Str., 2. As confirmed by the letter from the director of the library Rudolph Kotuli on January 4, 1915. Unfortunately, the list of documents that were sent to the library foundation is not known for certain, as the bound and described fascicle with materials was mentioned in the letter. It was noted that acts and papers of foundation of previous years were among these documents. Director of the library guaranteed to provide proper conditions of these materials storage until the time of their return to the University. With a sign of a threat a special commission was created to decide the fate of all archival materials. The decision of June 23, 1916 defined the following activities: all the rector and professor’s acts were sent to Vienna and the materials from the library were transferred to the Didushytski museum. Along with this, Finkel made great efforts to ensure proper storage conditions of documents that were left in the archives. Thus, the most important materials and inventory books should be taken to the basement in case of bombing. A number of serious measures were envisaged in the event of big threats to the University. In particular, the scepter and the chains of rector and deans were given to be deposited in the treasury of a church. All the necessary measures ought to be informed in writing and agreed with archbishop. The use of the scepter and chains in military invading in the city was prohibited by the commission’s decision. Rector had to store golden medal made in 1912, as well as cash. Financial books and acts should be put on deposit in regional bank. Valuable old cashbooks were planned to be distributed among professors. Cashbooks up to two years were planned to be transferred to a safe place for the future storage. The place for their safety was not determined. In case of bombing of the city it was planned to save rector’s portraits, which had to be moved from the aul to the basement. First of all, it was necessary to take portraits of Joseph II, Francis I, Jahhimovitš, Rittner, Bilinskyi, Zhmurko, Prentok, Piniriskyi, Tsviklinskyi. Also the University Archives were envisaged to be moved to the basement. In particular, the first items to be kept were framed books placed on top shelves in the cases and framed books from the B case, especially from the fifth and sixth shelves. The books from the rector’s office, protocols of the senate and faculties for 1906 – 1916 years, the current acts for 1914 – 1916 years had to be also taken to the basement. Packed and sealed personal documents of professors were supposed to be transferred to the deposit to the Didushytski museum. In case of invasion of the city, all the archives and collections inventory were supposed to be removed and stored in private places. The Treteriv family’s archive, historical seminar library were supposed to remain on their places, museum collections had to be taken care of by deans of the certain faculties. After the liberation of the city from Russian occupation and after the hostilities of the war,  normal life of the university began. Teaching activities at faculties and other departments was renewed. All the transferred documents in course of the war were taken back to the archives. Exceptions were only the materials transferred to Vienna. As to the documents, the university and archives administrations repeatedly addressed the ministry of Vienna and Warsaw with requests of their return. Along with this, the funds were replenished with the transferred archival materials from faculties and departments. This led to the need of space for storing the documents. Therefore, Finkel appealed to the Senate with a request of allocating additional building, and in 1917, the archives had new storage premises. The new storage contained the materials after 1848. With the ability to split the documents on different subgroups on chronological principle, Finkel began to study archival material. The same year the “Inventory” of the studied documents up to that time was published. Along with Finkel, assistant T. Modelskyi was working on the publication. Issued materials made a positive impression on the scientific community departmenty and a new series “Materials for the history of Lviv University” was to be started. The aim of this publication was to promote archival materials of the University and the level of Archives. The published inventory had to become the basis for a new “detailed” inventory that describes archival materials. Thus, it was planned that a further “materials” were supposed to present archival documents on the University History, but this edition was suspended in connection with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the restoration of the Polish state.

In 1918 the university was renamed after Jan Kazimierz. However, in general, the high school activities were not changed. Archives continued ongoing work of organizing and filling the funds. Thus, in 1920 it was decided at a meeting of the Senate that the acts that were in the office until 1900 and later kept in the office of administration and dean’s offices should be transferred to the archives. The office of administration was responsible for the organization. Furthermore, the need to expand the archives premises, namely the provision of space in the new building of the University was discussed. By the Senate’s decision, Finkel was provided with accommodation located next to the archives. Members of the Senate voted unanimously for the implementation of both decisions by defining the term – the spring of 1921. It is worth noting that Finkel did not receive any payment for his work in the University Archives  up to 1920. However, an outstanding historian faced serious financial problems after his retirement. This issue was repeatedly discussed at meetings of the administration and the Ministry was addressed with the request of an immediate appointment of payment. Thus, at the meeting of administration on December 20, 1920, one of the questions was dedicated to the archives. Professor St. Zakshevskyi raised the issue of paying pensions and salaries to Mr. Finkel. It was decided to apply to the Ministry as soon as possible with a request to provide the fastest payments to the professor.

Some archival work was quickened in the 1920s, when Finkel was able to devote more time to the work of the department. Along with this, the approaches to archival work and working with documents were changed. The archives managed to establish systematic work of filling the documents out of the office needs. Thus, in the 1924/25 academic years, the dean of Humanities Department transferred the stamp of the former Department of Philosophy to the archives. Furthermore, the study of faculty documents previously kept in the offices of the faculties was started. Acts (Training records for various seminars) were divided into groups by authors and subjects, including the work of the University students. The process of streamlining of university acts was being continued. In particular, in the 1924/25 academic years archivists worked on the documents saved from the fire in 1848. The catalogue of the acts was compiled where the content of every document was presented. The staff worked up acts of the period from August, 1807 to February, 1811 (numbers in a description 487 – 1100). As for other types of work, during the 1924/25 academic years six reference requests and three responses certified by the office of the University were published. Five people used archival materials with the scientific purposes. For researchers it was open from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. every day except Sunday and holidays and sometimes in the evenings. This became possible with the introduction of archival assistant, agreed by the Ministry, rescripts # 4434 of May 8, 1925.

In course of the next academic year Finkel still took measures to replenish the funds of the archives. During the year, inventory increased by nine positions, most of these were acts of the former Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities. Doctoral theses defended in 1885 – 1917 were transferred to the archives in September, 1925.  There were handwritten and printed materials of 151 and 183 inventory numbers respectively. The transferred doctoral works were organized in alphabetical order of the names of doctors. In addition to systematization in alphabetical order, they were also divided into two groups: materials of German period covering documents till 1871 and the Polish period. The first group consisted of 179 items, the second – 858 items. Mostly these were doctoral works of Classical and German philology, history, mathematics seminar and some of the Law. There were also records of the supervisors of every doctoral candidate. Assistant Tadeusz Kuchkevich was responsible for the systematization. Other acts could not have been taken to the archive due to the lack of space. The room of the archives has been completely lined with cases and different shelves, and they were completely filled with documents. Completion of archival funds remained unfinished, because the archives had not received all the books and acts of the Austrian epoch. Among these acts were records, catalogues of students, personal dossiers of the dead student from the Law department and other documents up till 1900. This incompletion could not fully reflect the development of the University on the basis of archival documents. Apart from replenishment of new documents, there still was work with the documents saved from fire in 1848. By the end of the 1926/27 academic year, the number of the processed acts was 2110, but that year only 360 cases were processed, because workers were busy organizing doctoral papers. Four reference requests were done the same year, including one that contained detailed information about the Ipolit Vavelber foundation. Seven people used the archival materials, among them historian Ferdinand Bostel. Moreover, the collection of stamps was replenished, including one obtained from the theological faculty, and two medals were also received. One of them derived from Catholic University in Paris, the second one from Comenius University in Bratislava. In the late 1920s Finkel spent the whole campaign on the return of originals and copies of archival materials that were deposited in the Ministry of Education of Austria-Hungary, and then of Poland. So, in 1929 on behalf of the University administration there was sent a letter requesting to send copies of all the documents concerned the University. The documents had direct or mediated connection with the University History, but Finkel as a genuine historian and archivist was interested in all the materials that were out of the University.

In the 1928/29 academic years the main inventory of archival collections increased by two positions, #530 and #531. Position #530 is an index of Lviv Lyceum acts formed in 1805. T. Modelskyi as an assistant started compiling an index of Lyceum documents but the work was continued and finished by assistant T. Kuchkevich. Index consisted of 2435 acts saved after the fire in 1848. Documents were scientifically described and nominal and thematic indices were composed. The new index was done according to the sample of acts index for 1784 – 1805 years, # 522 in the main inventory. Civic Committee acts concerning granting a medal to honour the achievements of prof. A. Baltser were set in a separate position # 531. On July 4, 1929 Committee handed the medal to the University Archives. In addition, Valeriy  Lozynskyi transferred collections of documents about the couple Liske to the archives. The documents were previously kept among the papers of Vladyslav Lozynskyi. Nine people used the materials of that year collections, including members of the seminar in history and other famous scholars. Archival collections had been continuously filled, a collection of medals increased by two: a bronze medal with the inscription “To return of the ashes of Juliusz Slovak” and a silver medal to commemorate the first rector of Poznan University –  Heliodor Święcicki.

In 1929/30 academic years the acts of 1818 – 1821 were included in the inventory, from #186 to #1036. The acts were divided in accordance with the subject and nature of the documents. Apart from this work, a special inventory of University publications was compiled. Also, various documents were streamlined in a separate group: clepsydras, doctors’ documents and other materials. The same year previously folded documents were described. Thus, the Senate acts were described (inventory numbers #257 – #315), the acts of Law department (numbers #316 – #375) philosophical department (#376 – #405), minutes of philosophical department (numbers #406 – #414), indices to protocols of the same department (numbers #415 -#423). The acts of theological department were described in 1928/29 academic year. The same year, the group Miscellanea was created (#532 in the main description). This group included various documents provided by Ihnatiy Zakshevskyi, as well as records of meetings that he conducted in 1919. It was indicated that provision of such documents and records by other employees of the University would be very useful and necessary. As for the use of archival materials, the funds, namely the documents of Emperor Joseph University (1784 – 1805), were used by the student Mariya Horodyska. Moreover, several reference requests were issued to citizens this academic year. The archivists discovered the information about burial of a rector Onuphriy Krynitskyi. L. Finkel worked personally over all these tasks as far as only one assistant was working with him. During the 1920s, there were two assistants –  T. Modelskyi and T. Kuchkevich. On March 27, 1930 there was a meeting of the convention of former members of the circle headed by Finkel in the University Archives, where a number of issues relevant to the history of science at that time was discussed. Thus, the outstanding archivist was trying to create all the possible conditions for the involvement of the University Archives in academic life of the period.

Activities of University Archives in the 1920s were of proper legal regulation. It should be noted that the higher education institution in Polish state was of clearly defined structure and system of cooperation. Operating of departments was regulated by the Statute of the University. A separate paragraph of the Statute was dedicated to the archives activities regulations. These were general ideas about the work and functions of the archives that separate archives as a separate department. It is not known whether there were other documents that determined activities of the archives apart from the Statute. Articles of the Statute set the range of functions and responsibilities of workers of the archives. In particular, the archives employee was assigned the duty to keep statistical records of archives functioning. Thus, the archivist had to indicate information about the number and nature of documents received in the archives. The staff also had to record data on the delivery of documents (letters, responses, copies) and those who used archival materials. The University administration has allocated a separate position to the duties of employees such as books and acts inventory, delivering of extracts from documents for rector’s and dean’s offices, giving out responses to individuals and writing research on the University History. Two last positions were financed by academic senate. According to the Statute, the archivists were in authority of giving out permissions for using archival materials for scientific purposes, but in some cases of doubt such permission was provided by the rector of the University. University administration was responsible for the storage and usage of the transferred documents. The Statute posed a ban on unauthorized issuance of documents and books from the archives. A special permit approved by the academic senate was needed in order to get archival materials. Without such a permission workers could give materials from government reserves for the usage of the rector’s or dean’s offices. Significant changes were introduced to the Statute in the mid-1930s. They were generally associated with changes in system of education. Following the adoption of new laws on higher education in 1932, the Ministry of religion and education had stronger control of higher education. The Ministry required a clear regulation of the University by introducing a system of annual plans and reports. To optimize work of departments of the university, administration expanded the range of issues regulated by the Statute. The changes affected the activities of the University Archives. Unlike previous statute the new one had a separate chapter that defined the existence of “Archive of the Jan Kazimierz University”. Moreover, it was regulated that the director of the archives is elected by the senate among university professors, and is given a range of authorities. One of the articles of the Statute concerned the salary of the director of the archives. Adding this paragraph was not accidental, as far as previously payment for archives administration was not provided. L. Finkel managed the archives without any payment, only in the early 1920’s teachers of Humanities Department appealed to the University administration, and that in its turn to the Ministry with the request to provide payments. This appeal was done due to serious health problems and great financial difficulties of L. Finkel. The amount of payment was determined by the Academic Senate, it is worth noting that it was relatively small. So, the director of the archives received 3 000 PLN, the salary of the student-assistant was 400 PLN. For comparison, an engineer-architect received payment in the amount of 7000 PLN. An important addition to the Statute was the definition of documents that were to be kept in the archives. The University administration stressed that various documents of different nature that are out of daily office needs should be kept in the archives. Another new article in the Statute was a requirement for the director of the archives of an annual report to the Academic Senate. As it was above mentioned, this decision was connected with the change of approaches to controlling the activities of higher education institutions in Poland. Three reports of the archives of the 1930s years are currently found. The first one was composed in autumn 1936, covering the reporting period of 1935/36 academic year. The reports describe the functioning of the University Archives in 1935 – 1938 and allow structurally reconstruct the activities of the department. Including a lot of statistical information, the reports are an important source not only of the archives, but also of the relationships between departments, between the University and other institutions. The main activities of the Archives of Lviv University in 1930s, as well as during previous years, were organizing and collating, accounting, preparation of inventories and creation of a reference system, provision of safety and usage of archival information.

In 1930s the workers received every year many documents from other structural divisions of the University. Thus, in 1936/37 academic year Archives received acts concerned occupational health for 1925/26, 1928/29, 1929/30, 1930/31 and 1931/32 academic years from the Commission on Youth at Academic Senate of Jan Kazimierz University. All the transmitted documents were examined and devided in nine folders. During the next 1937/38 academic year a lot of documents were transferred by the Snate, including, normalia (rules, regulations) of the Senate for 1920/21 academic year, various Senate acts for 1900-1908’s, University Hospital acts, examples of the old indices and student cards, forms, etc. Apart from current documentation that was out of use, the archives were also replenished by much older documents. The same academic year, the Senate passed normalia for 1881-1913 years and acts of police headquarters for 1879-1921 years. Particularly the archives received lists of expenditures for the needs of professors and seminars. This refers to the cost of handouts, that were bought by the University for practical classes.

Not only the administration and departments were sources for archival funds formation, but also organizations that were acting at the University. In 1937/38 academic the foundation “Grunwald” and the foundation of Roman Pilat transferred their documents to the archives. The latter was established in memory of one of the professors of the history of Polish literature – Roman Pilat (1846 – 1906), who had been continuously working at the University. He was the head of Department of History of Polish Literature and Philological seminar, dean of the Faculty of Philology (three times), rector in 1890/91 – and vice rector in 1891/92 academic years respectively. L. Finkel was among the participants of R. Pilat’s seminar in 1878 – 1879, and of Filaret Kolessa’s seminar in 1893 respectively. Fraternal Student Assistance of the University was among other organizations operating at the University that donated its papers to the archives in 1937/38 academic year. The acts, counting books, books of visits, concerning Academic House in Vienna were of particular value. The house acted during World War I for academicians originated from Halychyna.

Apart from the documents there were collections of photographs, portraits and other things in the archives. These items accounted the whole archival collections, is not known were they are preserved, but now the collections are not found. It is difficult to provide quantitative and qualitative assassment of the content, because the documents that would establish such information are now found.  However, there are evidence that the Archives collections were replenished with small portraits of professors – Jan Antonyevych-Boloz and August Bilovskyi in 1937/38 academic year.  Moreover, the dean’s regalia of medical faculty were given to the collection of the archives. The transferred portraits and things were counted and prepared for storage. The same year, Rector of Lviv University presented photos with a diploma from Hungarian Academic Choir in Shehedyni. Another great complement to the collection were  of seventy-four professors photos and pictures of students who entered the university in 1934-1937 / ’38 transferred by rector of Lviv University. Photos were put in alphabetical order and placed in special boxes, where previously submitted photographs were stored. As well as documents, various holdings were granted to the archives by other institutions that operated at the University. In 1936/37 academic year the establishment of Polish history of the University transferred two its seals to the archives, which are out of use. In addition, the Facsimile signature of professor St. Zakshevskyi was also transferred. The transferred items were immediately counted and assigned archival numbers. There was common practice to share printed editions between universities and research institutions in Polish state. Since Jan Kazimierz University held a prominent place among universities in Poland, it has well-established cooperation with other universities, academic and other institutions. So, every year the archives and libraries of the University were given many scientific papers, statistics and other publications of various institutions. In 1936/37 academic year editorship of the magazine “Ostdeutsches Volksblatt” presented one issue, where the obituary of Dr. Arthur Wagner, former assistant of the university was published. The following year, Lviv University Library presented university certificate from May 16, 1848, issued to the student of philosophical department –  Frederick Haassi. The document was added to the other acts of the year by the employees of the archives.

It should be noted that the archive was not a passive department, only taking documents from other departments of the university. Its employees performed active work towards the development and collating of archival funds. In particular, many documents were specifically searched and purchased for the archives with the university funds. Complementing the collection of Prof. Kazimierz Twardowski documents, the archives purchased the 18th issue of  “Literary News” in 1938, where was a  significant obituary of K. Twardowski, written by Prof. Władysław Vitvitskyi.  University Administration was very respectful to the deceased colleagues and their families. This was manifested not only in commemoration of the dead, but also in help to their families. A lot of personal materials of the deceased were attached to the personal files of prominent university professors. In addition, there was a separate folder with clepsydras of the dead professors that were carefully complemented by the archivists.

As a part of replenishment, the University Archives were primarily at the collecting original documents out of record keeping. However, many materials, especially concerning the commencement of the University activities were kept in other institutions. Therefore, archivists conducted considerable work by copying old documents that were important for the University history. In 1930s the manuscripts related to the Jesuit Academy were ordered to be copied. The interest in this period of history of the University and the collection of documents was not accidental, since the early twentieth century started with a “war” on the right of establishment of traditions of Lviv University with its following identification. The discussion was started in the work of L. Finkel and K. Stazhynskym “The History of Lviv University”. L. Finkel provided a new conception of Lviv University background, focusing on its Polishness and refuting pan-Germanic claims.

People’s establishment named after Ossolinski with the help of a special device for photographing manuscript was copying all the materials. It is unknown how long the copying process was carried out, but based on the archival reports, one may  conclude that this process had begun long before the 1935/36 academic year. It is not in the report of this year that the process of copying documents is being continued in Ossolinski Library. The following year, the copies of the funds of Ossolinskis Library and Archives of Malopolska Province of the Society of Jesus in Krakow were made. Five hundred copies were made from the archival funds in Krakow. In order to get these valuable documents the archive administration send an employee of Carol Levytskyi Archive to Krakow. He was authorized to resolve the question of temporary loaned documents in Lviv University Archives for copying. The documents were sent for copying to the Ossolinski institution. Copies were of size 24cm * 18 cm, it is not known whether they are preserved. The copies were placed in five specially made boxes. Thus, the archives of the University completed work on collecting individual photo collection of Jesuit Academy acts on the territory of Poland. It was panned to continue the process of finding and copying of documents abroad. It is not known whether in 1938/39 academic year Archives staff began to implement the plans of Jesuit Academy new acts collating.

One of the biggest challenges for the archives was describing and accounting the received materials. The process of inventory composing was started from the very beginning of archives and lasted until 1939. As of 1939, it was not completed because the other departments of the university still possessed a lot of old documents. Acts of the archives were organized in thematic and chronological order. The ready documents were the subject of description and submission of inventory. In 1917 L. Finkel published “Inventory” for public to get knowledge of archival funds. At that time, there were only 189 items, but in the nearest future – in 1930s the number increased rapidly to 532. Apart from the own documents description, the archivists paid a lot of time organizing the collection of Treteriv Archives, as well as providing description. In 1936/37 academic year the index University Acts for 1817-1823 years was ready, which consisted of thirty-three pages of typewritten text. Next year, the workers were streamlining the archive acts of L. Finkel that occupied two cases. The documents were reviewed, described, sorted and stacked for storage. Dozens of brochures and books were among the documents of L. Finkel, but were related to the history of the University, were brought for description of the archival library. In the 1937/38 academic year the process of Jesuit Academy acts photocopies organization was finished. The total number of copies was 600. They were sorted chronologically, assigned archival numbers and dates of acts. In addition, other necessary for accounting and usage information was indicated on the copies. University Archives possessed many ancient documents often suffered from disasters and human impact. The acts required special measures to ensure their preservation. Due to the limited funding, only archive workers could replace the old covers with the new ones. Furthermore, such measures were taken only to materials belonging to the archival library. The report for 1935/36 academic year indicates that because of poor financing only fifty-three cases from the library archives were framed. The same year the long planned gilding of title pages of sixty volumes of Constant Vurtsbah Tannenberh’s work – “Biographisches Lexicon” was realized. The next academic year seventy cases were framed and seven boxes for brochures were made. Card catalogue for archival library was arranged in alphabetical order, and was supplemented with new cards with the appearance of new books .  In 1937/38 academic year the number of the restored and framed cases increased to eighty. Moreover, portraits of three former professors: Xavier Liske, J. Antonyevych-Boloz and A. Bilyovskyi were set in glass frames.

Generally describing the measures taken to ensure the safety of documents in the archives of Lviv University, we can say that storage conditions met all the requirements. There was a separate room for storing documents on the ground floor of the main building of the University. In the mid-1930s it was reported that this storage was not enough for new documents. According to contemporary requirements, documents were to be stored in boxes in cases. These measures had to protect documents from dust, light and air. The usage of paper or metal boxes was envisaged. The dossiers of Lviv University Archives were kept in specially made cases. It is unknown whether all of them were placed in the boxes. There were paper boxes. All photocopies were kept in special boxes. The portraits, medals and other valuables transferred to the archive were stored separately.

The usage of archival information can be divided into: providing information (reference requests), use of archives by researchers, original documents exchange with other archives and libraries.

Providing information was a constant daily work of the archives. At the time when there was no particular Archives Department, the office of the University performed this function. Each year, employees provided reports about the number of the requests made. Some specific findings were notified in reports. Individual (private) and governmental requests were distinguished. The governmental requests usually included requests of administration, departments, faculties and other organizations. Requests were of different character: making copies, providing information, various information search. Based on archival documents, biographical data and information about the periods of studied and listened were ascertained. Such information was repeatedly necessary for a variety of scientific research.

The detailed information on how much, to whom and for what purpose the reference requests were fulfilled can be traced in the reports. As a rule, the university staff addressed with private requests. Reference requests from the outsiders were recorded.

For the three academic years Lviv University Archives provided one refusal. It was a request of Lutsk city administration in 1937/38 academic year on the city coat of arms and providing other information about the city. Lutsk Administration appealed to the dean of Humanities Faculty, who, in his turn, sent a request to the archives. Having considered the request, Archives handed it to be performed to the establishment of subsidiary historical sciences of Lviv University, as far as there were no corresponding information, as announced by the dean Humanities Faculty. This priority on sending the appeal was not an accident, as there was close relationship between humanitarian (philosophical) faculty and Archives. All the employees and managers of the archives were students and professors of Humanities Faculty, explaining not regulated, close cooperation and mutual assistance. Dean of Humanities Faculty represented the interests of the archives at the meetings of administration. Instead, the archives staff contributed to students and teachers in working with archival documents.

If necessary, archives also provided copies of documents. In 1936/37 academic year two copies were delivered to Prof. Birkenmayer from Warsaw at the request of administration . These were copies of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s letters, written in 1912 when two hundred and fifty years anniversary of Lviv University was celebrated. Using archival information by researchers is one of the important directions in the archives activities, which had been always paid a lot of attention to. Actually, the creation of the archives was caused by the need of acts usage for the work by L. Finkel and K. Stazhynskyi “The History of Lviv University”. It can be assumed that the archives had a separate reading room for researchers, as the concept of “pracownia naukowa” is repeatedly used in reports. It was opened for researchers daily, except weekends, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m. From 1936/37 academic year the reading room worked only in the afternoon. Basically, archival funds were used by university students to write master’s works. In addition to students, archival materials were also used by other employees of the university. There were only few researchers from other cities and high educational institutions. Archivists were very scrupulous about the use of archival information. There was a list of visitors, indicating the data on researchers and research topic. Reports contained the lists of researchers, the topics of researches and their scientific interests. They usually concerned activities of Lviv University or educational history in Halychyna. It is unknown whether there was any required additional permit from senior management for the use of archival documents.

Archives of Lviv University were not only the department that provided storage and use of documents, but also a scientific institution. Historians estimated it as a considerable scientific and source base. So, Karol Jozef Badetskyi, the author of “Lviv collections”, analyzing the source collections of Lviv, divided them into several groups, emphasizing the documentary archival collections of Lviv, Provincial and State archives. Karl Badetskyi equates Lviv University Archives by the content and number of pages to archdiocese and capital archives. The Research work of the Archives was confirmed by the requirements for archivists who provided annual reports about every article or work. As a kind of a research institution, the University Archives established and maintained continuous cooperation with other archives, libraries and universities. It was the original exchange of documents between institutions for scientific research. Thus, in 1935/36 academic year archives provided Lviv University acts for 1792-1805 for the use of archive of Academic Senate of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. The acts were ordered for research of the student Pavlo Slana. Each year, there was a considerable number of such orders. University Archives reports indicate the number of loans, place and person who took documents. Further information about the borrowed materials and their quantity are not specified.

Lviv University Archives borrowed many documents for scientific needs in many libraries. They were mostly libraries of Lviv and Warsaw, as well as there was tight connection with the library in Paris. In 1936/37 and 1937/38 academic years Archives borrowed documents for the needs of the assistant Dr. Anthony Knota in Polish Library in Paris. Among the archives, which often lent documents were State Archives and Archives of Ancient Documents in Lviv, Jagiellonian University Archives, State Archives in Lublin. In 1936/37 academic year Lviv University Archives staff borrowed documents from the administration of Lviv school district and Shevchenko Scientific Society for the needs of Prof. Stanisław Łempicki. The next academic year the documents were borrowed from the administration of Lviv school district and Directorate of State High School for the needs of professors W. Zwick and St. Łempicki. Teachers and students-participants of the seminar of medieval history, students of the Humanities Faculty of Lviv National University, archives workers were often the “borrowers” of the documents. Documents were borrowed for writing scientific papers, probably for a short period.  The workers also reported about return of the documents, but this information is not detailed. Summing up the activities of Lviv University Archives in 1930 it is worth emphasizing the success of the archives in different areas of work. Employees of the archives made great efforts for further development and collating of archive collections. Already existing acts were registered and kept in accordance with the contemporary requirements. Of particular note is the activity of the archives in the direction of archival information usage and scientific cooperation with other archives and libraries. However, the archives were primarily a department of the University, which was regulated and supervised by the University. It is important to follow a system of cooperation between archives and other departments, the University Administration. This problem may be the object of further research of the topic.

In general, the following stages of activities of the University Archives for 1894 – 1939 can be distinguished: I. The beginning of the department and establishment of archival work (1894 – 1915 years.); II. Transition to the systematic materials gathering and processing (1916 – 1930 years.); III. Archival Research of the department (1931 – 1939 years). The first two stages were led by the first director L. Finkel, who was the mastermind and founder of the department. It was through his work that scattered and unorganized archival materials were collected not only in one room, but were processed and ensured proper storage. The beginning of scientific work at the department was due to significant efforts of the student and the second director T. Modelskyi. Since the beginning of his work the long process of finding and copying over archival materials concerning the history of the University began at the department. A similar idea was put forward by L. Finkel, but he did not managed to implement it. Along with these approaches to the selection of staff were being changed, they were supposed annually publish articles or studies of the similar work and submit reports. As of 1939 year, Lviv University Archives were among top archives of the city, as far as they contained materials not only from the history of higher education, but also from the general history of the region.

The turning point for the history of Lviv University Archives was the subordination of the University to the Soviets, which dramatically affected the system of record keeping and archival work. In 1939-40 the changes were not that noticeable, and according to the Statute of Lviv University, a separate archival department was provided. However, in 1941 the archives were transferred to the subordination of general office. Under the new regulations, only one archivist from the general office took care of the archives.

It is impossible to provide proper estimation of the archival losses during World War II, because the Soviet authorities did not conduct a detailed account of the received documents. There was a hired archivist in the office, whose primary task was providing necessary materials for the departments. In 1949 the archives were again identified as a separate department, the director of which was an archivist Varfalomiy Bosoi. Back in 1947 all the archival materials created before 1939 were transferred to the State Regional Archive. University Archives were no longer a cultural and scientific center, and most importantly a considerable source complex. The main task of the department was temporary storage of documents and provision of information. After the return of Soviet authorities to the University the structure of university was changed: new departments and faculties appered. All this influenced the structure of documents received in the archives. Soviet archival principles did not provide opportunities for archival departments to participate in researches or establish cooperation with academic institutions in the country, let alone abroad. Thus, archivists work was directed to perform record keeping functions. Valuable documents were transferred to the state regional archive, thus dividing the storage of one fund between the two institutions. The State Archive, primarily received documents of permanent storage: materials of local committee, trade union, academic council, scientific department and some from faculties. Transferred materials were shared between departments. Personal documents of temporary storage and separate materials of permanent storage remained at the University Archives. However, the value of documents kept by Ivan Franko National University in Lviv is not to be underestimated. They are an important set of sources for the history of the Soviet period of the activities of the University. After WW II the directors of the archives were: Barfolomiy Bosoi (1947-1957), Lydia Vitsinska (1957-1964), Nadiya Oliynyk (1964-1975), Valentyna Skok (1975-1986), Nataliya Rybakova (1986-1995), Volodymyr Pelts (1999-2008 ), Olha Oseredchuk (since 2008).


Prepared by

Olha Oseredchuk