Fragments of icons from the museum collection of Holy Spirit Seminary and the Theological Academy in Lviv, 1930s

Left: Pope Paul VI’s presents to the museum of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome
Right: Pope Paul VI looks at the exposition of the museum of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome

Left: The Museum of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj in the Lviv Theological Academy
Right: The exposition of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the underground in the Iryna Shypula seminary room of the Lviv Theological Academy

Administration of the Markian Shashkevytch Athenaeum at the Greek Catholic Theological Academy in Lviv in 1939

In the reading room of the Lviv Theological Academy

The Museum of the Greek Catholic Theological Academy opened in 1932. Supported by the clergy, who understood the necessity of creating a museum in the academy, the rector continued work on its collection with new stamina and vigor. Consequently, the museum began to expand significantly, growing much bigger than planned initially. From 1932 to 1934, the Museum of the Theological Academy was home to 808 exhibits. During the academic year 1934-1935, the museum, headed by Dr. Mykhailo Dradan, enriched its collection tremendously, adding 159 new items. From 1935 to 1936, 145 exhibits were added, and the following year the museum received 262 new items. After the Bolshevik occupation of Halychyna, the museum collection was broken up. Archeological materials were transferred to the Historical Museum and ethnographical materials were given to the museum of the Taras Shevchenko Academic Society.

After the Ukrainian Catholic University was established in Rome in 1963, Prof. Hordynskyi founded the Ukrainian Museum
in 1966. The museum had a collection of more than 2000 exhibits and consisted of two departments: the department of art and the department of archeology and nature. From 1971, The Museum of Art of the Ukrainian Catholic University of Pope St. Clement I occupied 50 rooms of a building attached to the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, the main Ukrainian parish in Rome.

In 2001, a permanent exposition, illustrating the history of the UGCC in the underground from 1946 to 1989, opened in the I. Shypula seminar room at the Institute of Church History. The exposition was assembled on the basis of materials from the institute’s archives and covers a wide range of topics. These include information on various topics: Metropolitans Andrey Sheptytsky and Josyf Slipyj; education at the LTA before 1944; the beginning of repressions against UGCC clergy; UGCC priests and their families in exile; bishop-martyrs; traditions and rites in exile in the 1950s and 1960s; the role of nuns and lay women in the underground; underground seminaries and ordinations; rites and traditions in the underground in the 1970s and 1980s; and, finally, the exodus from the underground.

The Library of the Theological Academy began from the book depository of the seminary and the Theological Academic Society. From 1932 to 1933, the library was headed by Yaroslav Chuma, MA, who organized the work of the library at an academic level, catalogued books according to authors, and established contacts with a number of local and foreign publishing houses. The library occupied two large halls under the tower in the academy premises and consisted of 14 departments. In 1938, the library contained 5,939 volumes. During the German bombardment on 15 September 1939, the Church of the Holy Spirit and the library of the Theological Academy were destroyed.

The current LTA library contains approximately 70,000 items, mostly in the field of the humanities. Today, it is one of the leading centers of theological literature in Ukraine. Among the library’s special holdings, there is a collection on Byzantine history and culture.

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