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History

The Foundation of the Library

The history of the university library begins with the foundation of Ostroh Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, the first Eastern European higher education establishment in the latter half of the sixteenth century. In 1600, Symon Pekalid, the court poet of Vasyl-Kostiantyn Ostrozkyi, said: “there is a glorious library in Ostroh, a worthy fruit of joint effort”.

There is no specific evidence of the contemporaries about the library; its inventory and lists are not preserved, so the judgements about it are based only on the mediocre information.

Prince Vasyl-Kostiantyn Ostrozkyi was the first establisher of the library. The acquisitions of the library were accomplished by the professors of the Academy and typography workers. The library collections comprised more than three thousand books. Among them were the works of ancient, medieval and Renaissance authors; the works on philosophy, theology, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, history, natural science, art, literature, rhetoric, and grammar.

Most of the library collections consisted of manuscripts: lectures, works of the professors and students, materials on the Church history, chronicles, polemical works, books of liturgical content, works of the church fathers.

Thus, according to the first foreword to the Ostroh Bible in 1581, there were searches for biblical texts in the territories of the Roman Empire, Germany, Cyprus, Greece, in Constantinople, Serbian and Bulgarian monasteries. From Tsar Ivan IV, through the mediation of the diplomat Mykhaylo Haraburda, a list of the so-called Hennadiiv Bible (1499) was obtained. Dionisii Ralli Paleoloh brought another one from Pope Gregory XIII. There were Czech and a number of Polish editions of the Bible stored in the library, including the Krakow Catholic (1561), the Breresteysk Calvinist (1563), the Nesvich anti-trinitarian of Symon Budnyi (1572), the Lutheran translations of The Book of Sirach's Teachings (1563), The Solomon's Parables (1535); The New Testament by Martyn Chekhovych, On the True Death, Resurrection and Eternal Life of Pavel Grzegorz.

Among the books published in Ostroh typography and stored in the library are The New Testament, Psalms (1580), The Bible (1581), The Chronology by Andriy Rymsha (1581), The Key of the Kingdom of Heaven by Herasym Smotrytskyi (1587),The Book by Vasily Surazkyi (1588),Margaryt by Ioann Zlatoustyi (1595), The Description of the letter ... of Ipatii, the bishop of Volodymyr and Brest, by Cleric Ostrozkyi (1598), The Apocrisis by Khrystofor Filalet (1599).

The Library of the Academy was closely related with the topographies of Volyn, Kyiv, Lviv, Moscow, Belarus, Lithuania, Venice, Prague, and Poland. The library collections contained books of typographies of Vuykovych (Venice), Mamonych (Vilno), Tymofiy Verbytskyi (Kyiv), Spyrydon Sobol (Kyiv), Ivan Fedorov (Lviv), Francis Skoryna (Prague), Fedir and Gedeon Balabanov (Stryatyn). as well as the Holy Spirit Brotherhood typography (Vilno), the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra typography (Kyiv), The Anonymous typography (Moscow) and the Moscow Print Yard.

According to the researchers’ assumptions, Ostroh obtained the collections of the Mylianovets Literature and Translation Society Library, after the death of its founder Andriy Kurbskyi († 1583). In any event, the Kurbskyi's society composed The Grammar of the Slovenian language, which was obtained from the "treasury of the glorious City of Ostroh", and published in 1586 in the Mamonych typography in Vilnius.

The description of the library collections of Ostroh Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy testifies to the high level of education received by its students. After the death of Prince Vasyl-Kostiantyn Ostrozkyi († 1608), his son Yanush did not pay attention to the academy properly, so that it began to decline. Some books from the Prince's collections were inherited by his heirs; others were obtained by Dubensky and Dermansky monasteries and private libraries of the academy professors, in particular, Meletiy Smotrytskyi. Liturgical books were contributed to the Ostroh churches. As far back as 1616, Yanush Ostrozkyi kept a part of his father's book collection in Dubno Castle, which was a chest of "framed Rusyn books". The hypothesis that the Academy library was inherited by Ostroh Jesuit College, as noted by Ihor Mytsko, is devoid of grounds. Some of the books, including "The Book in Ten Chapters" (1598) and The Apocrisis by Khrystofor Filalet (1597), along with the embossed coat of arms of Prince of Ostroh, is now a separate collection, stored in Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine.

The Ostroh Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy library was of world importance not only for the content and composition of the books, but because it accumulated the experience of human thought for several centuries and was an invaluable treasure of Ukrainian culture, as well as the ground for the development of library, educational, book, archival processes in Ukraine; a source of scientific, cultural and educational heritage.

The Revival of the Library

In 1994 the reconstruction of the library was started, alongside with the revival of the Ostroh Academy, the college back in the days. The collections acquisitions started from scratch. The efforts of professors of the Academy, patrons, and individuals, namely Ihor Pasichnyk, Mykhaylo Potok and Leonid Hoshovskyi were directed to increase the number of monographs, textbooks and manuals in the library collections. The transfer of books from Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, National Academy of Ukraine, Maksymovych Scientific Library, Franko National University Scientific Library in Lviv as well as the collaboration with NASU Institute of History of Ukraine, Prosvita Fellowship, the State Committee for National Television and Radio Broadcasting, exchange reserve funds of leading libraries of higher education institutions, publishing companies, and editors offices of professional periodicals significantly affected quantitative and qualitative parts of the collections. The library's partners are Sabre-Svitlo Foundation (USA), International Renaissance Foundation, the US Embassy in Ukraine, the Russian Federation Embassy in Ukraine, Goethe-Institut (Kyiv), and French Cultural Center (Kyiv). The private book collections gifted by Ihor Pasichnyk, Petro Kralyuk, Mykola Zhulynskyi, Mykola Kovalskyi, Volodymyr Krekotnya, Dmytro Stepovyk, Roman Vasylyshyn, Myrin Kushnir, Mykhaylo Kolos, Yuriy Baulin, Mykola Tomenko, Rafail (Roman) Torkonyak, Petro Skorupskyi (USA), Oleksandr and Irena Mykhaliuk (USA), Oksana and Yaroslav Sokolyk (Canada), Yakiv Hurskyi (USA), Andriy Fedynskyi (USA), John Kark (USA), Ukrainian Historic Society, Oleksandra Tkach (USA), Kostiantyn Bryzhun (Canada), Valeriy Polkovskyi (Canada) and other patrons were a valuable source of expansion of the collections.

Since 2002, computer technology is being implemented in the library. Until now, a complex computerization of all production cycles is ensured on the basis of the UFD Library program, including the creation of the acquisitions, cataloging, publishing of literature; an online catalog of books, full-text databases of electronic textbooks, and periodical publications, as well as the connection between the library's local network, the university one and the World Wide Web through the high-speed access channel.

In 2002, a new circular dome building with the main entrance in the form of a portal with columns was built for the Scientific Library (idea - Ihor Pasichnyk, architect - Myroslav Chabak). In 2006, the project of the library building was awarded the State Prize of Ukraine in the field of architecture. The grand opening of the library took place on June 22, 2007.

Today, the University Scientific Library is a modern, automated library and information centre, that provides access to collections and electronic resources. The book collection contains more than 450,000 volumes and is replenished with 10,000 copies each year. There are two reading rooms, one of which is named after Volodymyr and Roman Vasylyshyn - the patrons of the library, and a subscription hall named after Olena and Volodymyr Haiduk. Professors, postgraduates, students, university staff and readers from other educational institutions have access to the library. There are traditional (central alphabetical and systematic directories of fixed collections, alphabetical and systematic directories of dissertations abstracts, alphabetical catalogue of periodicals, alphabetical and systematic directories of foreign literature department) and electronic directories. Moreover, there is an electronic document delivery and an inter-library loan. Traditionally, the Scientific Library organizes book exhibitions, open literature reviews to commemorative and memorable dates, university events, such as Science Days, conferences, seminars, and presentations. The Digest of New Arrivals is regularly distributed among the academic structural units.

Scientific Library of the University, having its own history and qualified staff, representing the culture of the Ukrainian people, directs its work to preserve and develop the best historical traditions of the National University "Ostroh Academy", and is an integral part of the informational space of scientific, cultural, and spiritual growth of the educational institutions.