Developed in close cooperation with the University of Alberta Libraries and the Arts Resource Centre, the CIUS’s Digital Archives aim to digitize, systematize, and describe the core publications of the institute that have been produced over the last four decades—essentially, since it was established in 1976.
Formally launched in 2016, this project has had a long prior history of philanthropy and collaboration. Thirty-one years previously, in May 1985 Mrs. Stephania Bukachevska-Pastushenko of Toronto donated $100,000 to the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies (Toronto), establishing an endowment fund for archival fellowships to be administered by CIUS. The main purpose of the fellowships was to collect archives and, especially, to assist existing archival institutions in cataloguing their Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian holdings.
Beginning in 1987, at least one Bukachevska-Pastushenko Archival Fellowship was awarded annually to graduate students or researchers working with archival collections. As a result of a two-to-one matching grant from the government of Alberta, the Archival Fund was announced to stand at $300,000, as of winter 1987. Interest income from the fund has been used to sponsor the location of archives, their transfer to appropriate institutions, the cataloguing of existing collections, and the publication of finding aids.
The Bukachevska-Pastushenko Archival Fund endowment is dedicated to the memory of Stephania's mother, who valued learning and promoted knowledge of one’s own heritage. Mrs. Bukachevska-Pastushenko stressed that archives constituted the memory of a people, and that it was her intention to assist scholars to study Ukrainian heritage by encouraging the collection and preservation of archival holdings, on which scholarly work depends. With this intent, the Bukachevska-Pastushenko Fund has grown and produced a substantial archival collection on its own, some of which—in particular, a number of research reports—has now been digitized and made available as part of the CIUS Digital Archives repository.
In the future, the digital collection will be expanded to include the majority of the institute's public documentation of its research activities: historical materials, audio and video recordings of CIUS events such as lectures and conferences/symposia, etc. Plans are also being made to digitize collections of important historical documents that have never been previously available in digital format, including British Foreign Office documents related to Ukraine covering the years 1917–48, and more.