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"Lviv Polytechnic in photos ": album published is coincided with the 170th University’s anniversary

The album with such a name was printed by Lviv Polytechnic Publishing House at the end of the last year by the 170th anniversary of University. That is the topic of our talk with album authors — Oleksandr Shyshka, Scientific Library head, and Liliia Zhuk, Research Department deputy director.

— How was the idea of such a splendid album born?

O.S.: One of the initiators is Liliia Zhuk. Properly speaking, it is unknown, whether the world would see this book without her. Her publication was just in time and so we decided to leave something good for future alumni.

L.Z.: It started, when Petro Berezin, the former Research Department photographer, had created a large, partly digitalized archive of slides and photos. When I saw such a wealth it occurred to me: 'Why shouldn't we make use of it?' I shared my idea with Mr. Shyshka and showed him an archive. That is how the idea was born.

O.S.: There has already been a precedent in Lviv, when the album "Lviv in photos" was published, so we wanted Polytechnic by its 170th anniversary had something similar since we had a lot to show. Apart from Berezin's photos we have used also those from archives of Scientific Library, of 'Audytoria' weekly, of University History Museum, of institutes and departments and also those from private collections and different publications about Lviv Polytechnic. Many photos we received from Polish universities and colleges, which nourished from our University.

— What were the proceedings of the album formation?

L.Z.: Even though there were in Berezin's archive more than a thousand interesting photos from Polytechnic's life, they were not signed. There was also the other problem — a number of eyewitnesses of those event have passed away, many have already retired. We have had a great help from plenty of subdivisions heads, who participated actively in filling the book with new photos and in interpreting the old ones. In general, the appearance of the album is a collective work.

— The edition is nicely pictorial, full of historic and notional material…

O.S.:Yes, on the base of archive photos and documents it really fully explains the central events and stages of Lviv Polytechnic formation, of special divisions, departments and faculties development. While working on the book, we tried to stick precisely to the chronology of the events, hence we divided it into three parts: Polytechnic during Austro-Hungarian Empire (1844-1918), Interbellum Polytechnic (1918-1939) and Polytechnic in 1939-1990 period. And as long as the album consists of two parts, the second one describes as much as possible the life of University in 1990-2014 period. We hope, in fifty years this book will become an information source for researchers to come.

— Which interesting facts have you found in the course of the work on the album?

O.S.: When we started to sort out the old documentation, it appeared, that during the 1940s Polytechnic had in its property not a few buildings throughout the whole city. At the time being they do not exist or were handed over during The Soviet times. As a result, all services, which were working on Stefanyk str., Matiushenko str., Gvardiiska str., №3 Shashkevych sqr. etc. were later on settled in the Polytechnic region. Few people know that the former factory of ‘Lvivprylad’ on Stryiska str. are our premises, built up before the war for mechanical, electrotechnical and aircraft faculties. We were even designing the planes, there is a photo with gliders. From that major we now have only aerodynamic tunnel left. The other interesting fact is that Larysa Razinkova, Art Galery managing director, allowed to take a free photo of Mateiko genuine sketches, allocated in our assembly hall. These preliminary outlines he made in Lviv and they are not published yet.

L.Z.: Our Polytechnic is diverse, rich in different events and prominent people. It was extremely interesting and informative to work on the album. We hope after the publication in "Audytoria" weekly to find those, who have in their private collections interesting photos from a Polytechnic life during different periods. State Archive possesses quite a lot of information about Lviv Polytechnic. I suppose in the future we will definately put it into service. And the assistance will come from the students and postgraduates of History of Ukraine and Ethnocommunications Department and just from interested people. We are in need of pro historians, who would deal with archives. It might be absorbing as well to work with Polish archives, where there should be a great amount of documents about Lviv Polytechnic Polish period.

— How much time did it take you to work on the album?

L.Z.: It lasted approximately three years. The longest it took to identify the photos. And yet our Publishing House absolutely professionally in a brief period - in almost two months - worked out and released the album. The job done is really amazing.