National Museum of Literature of Ukraine

The National Museum of Literature of Ukraine is one of the most popular museum establishments of the country, and is leading among museums of literature and literary-memorial museums.It was founded by the decision of the Council of Ministers of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on August 5 1981, as the State Literature Museum of Ukraine. Thanks to its unique exposition, steady and meaningful scientific work, many-sided cultural and educational activity for twenty years of existence it became one of the most famous museums in Ukraine and  abroad. Taking into account a large contribution of the museum into preservation of national literary inheritance and its important role in spiritual life of society, the museum was granted the national status on 29th of May 1999 year by Edict of the President of Ukraine. The museum is located in the very centre of Kyiv at the corner of Bogdan Khmelnytskyi and Tereschenkivska streets in the house, which is a monument of history and architecture of late XIX century, in former main building of Pavlo Galagan Collegium, which was built in 1871 by a well known architect A. Schiele in the late classicism style. The Pavlo Galagan Collegium was one of the best private educational institutions of that time for boys from 16 years old.  It was founded by the initiative and at the cost of a known public figure and patron Grygoriy Galagan in commemoration of his one and only son Pavlo, who deceased at an early age. The Collegium was working under scientific patronage of the Kyiv University of St. Volodymyr. The program of education was mainly historic-philological in its content and has patriotic and highly humanistic orientation. There were such famous figures of science and culture among lecturers of the Collegium as a philologist P. Zhytetskyi, a historian V. Sipovskyi, a teacher V. Naumenko, artists V. Murashko, M. Pymonenko, and among directors were a poet I. Annenskyi and a scholar in Slavonic languages and literature A. Stepovych. The pride and adornment of the Collegium was a big fundamental library, near 25 thousand volumes, the stock of which was formed by manuscripts and rare early printed books, first editions of native and foreign authors’ works. It had also a numismatic collection. A prominent Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko was working in this library when visiting Kyiv in 1885 and 1886. Its refined bi-level interior of red tree Italian foremen’s work was almost completely preserved. There was a church of St. Pavlo in Collegium premises where Ivan Franko married Olga Horuzhynska in May of 1886. Today we have an open exposition, and its materials tell us about history of this educational institution. The Pavlo Galagan Collegium came into our history of culture and education as a “school of academicians”. Among its graduating students one can see such famous figures of science, education and literature as academicians V. Lypskyi and A. Krymskyi, V. Grabar, N. Kotliarevskyi, G. Kostiuk, D. Petrushevskyi, such poets as M. Drai-Khmara, P. Filipovych and others. The museum became a worthy follower of high spiritual traditions of the Collegium. Its exposition was opened for visitors on July 2 1986. It is unique among museums of such profile. Built on a thematic-chronological basis, this exposition reproduces the history of literature in Ukraine from XI-th century till modern times on a high scientific level. The history of literature from the ancient times till early XX century is represented on the second floor of the museum, and the materials for the literary process of XX century are presented on the first floor. Visitors can see more than five thousand interesting and valuable exhibits from the museum’s stock. Today the museum collection comprises more than 86 thousand exhibits, the priceless masterpieces of spiritual culture of the Ukrainian nation. They include unique early printed and manuscript books, lifetime editions of famous Ukrainian writers, their manuscripts and memorial things, documents, musical instruments, works of figurative and decorative art. Visitors can see such relics as the well known manuscript book “Listvytsia” by Ioann Listvychnyk, a copy of “Book of the Epistles” by Ivan Fedorov, books printed in XVII-XVIII centuries, lifetime publications and books with autographs of Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Kotliarevskyi, Panteleimon Kulish, Ivan Franko, the manuscripts of Lesia Ukrainka, Mykhailo Starytskyi, the memorial things of Panas Myrnyi, Ivan Nechui-Levytskyi, Olga Kobylianska, Maksym Rylskyi, Ostap Vyshnia, Ulas Samchuk, the rare photos of Marko Vovchok, Maria Zankovetska, paintings of Vasyl Barka and others. A reconstruction of a printing press of XVII century, a cell of Old Rus annalist, a diorama of Ukrainian village and an interior of literature and theatre sitting rooms will provoke interest of visitors. Memorial complexes of famous writers are newly reproduced. The exposition of museum is constantly filled up and rebuilt. The section dedicated to history of literature of XX century was completely renewed and enlarged with new materials about life and creative work of writers of the past age, whose names had been removed from literature process and only recently were returned back to readers. For the first time it tells about achievements of Ukrainian writers who lived and wrote abroad. Visitors have an opportunity to learn more about creative work of Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Mykola Hvyliovyi, Todos Osmachka, Bogdan Lepkyi, Bogdan-Igor Antonych, Sviatoslav Gordynskyi, Yevgen Malaniuk, Olena Teliga, Oleg Olzhych, Vasyl Stus, Ivan Svitlychnyi, Vasyl Barka and many other writers who are still little-known for contemporary reader. The unique publications of the beginning of XX century, newspapers of the twenties-thirties of the last century, rare photos and archive documents, materials, that came to the museum from Ukrainian diaspora, writings forbidden in the times of the totalitarian rule will help visitors to feel the atmosphere in which artists had to live and create in the first half of XX century. The museum offers different interesting actions to visitors, such as social events and literary gatherings, book premieres and presentations of new publications, literature prizes awards. The museum is ready to invite visitors to sittings of “The club of admirers of modern literature”, or “The club of day-off”, or “The school of ethnology”. Visitors are welcome to the music saloon, to literary and art exhibitions, which present not only native culture, but also better world achievements. These actions are mainly realized with the help of teamwork with leading scientific institutions, societies, cultural centers and educational establishments, creative unions, publishing houses, embassies, public organizations. The museum supports a program “For spiritual revival of Ukraine” which was developed for educators by scientists. The museum has a branch which is called the Kyiv literary-memorial M. Bazhan museum-apartment.

Hours: Monday – Friday – 9.00 – 17.00
Saturday – 10.00 – 17.00
Closed – Sunday
Every last Wednesday of the month – free entry
Every last Friday of the month – sanitary day
Tours – 235-12-96