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Wasyl Halich papers

Identifier: IHRC861


Papers (1921-1971) of Wasyl Halich (b. 1896), a Ukrainian American college teacher of Russian and European history, include biographical materials, materials pertaining to Ukrainian Americans, correspondence, newspaper clippings, postcards, and miscellany. Halich's papers contain information regarding, but not limited to, agriculture in North Dakota, the Catholic Church-Oriental rites, the mining industry, Protestant churches and Protestants in Ukraine, the Surma Book and Music Company, Ukrainian history, organizations of Ukrainian Americans (including minutes of the First Congress of Ukrainian Youth in the United States, 1933), and Ukrainian women. Much of the material is related to Halich's book, Ukrainians in the United States.


  • 1921-1971


Language of Materials

Ukrainian and English


The Halich, Wasyl collection is available for public research.


The Halich, Wasyl collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.


Wasyl Halich was born on April 6, 1896, in the village of Strilbychi, near the city of Stary Sambir, on the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains. He was one of nine children, three boys and six girls. Young Halich did well in school and occasionally his parents mentioned their desire to give him a higher education. The matter was dropped, however, for they could not afford such a luxury. In the autumn of 1912, the sixteen year old Halich arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to join his uncle Andriy Movchko, and to continue his education. Within a few days of his arrival, Halich met with Reverend D. Halenda at a Ukrainian Presbyterian Mission, and became interested in the Evangelical movement. It was in 1915 that Halich told Reverend Halenda about his plans to become a minister, and the latter became interested in his project. Halich’s original plan was to go to Dubuque College, Dubuque, Iowa. However, Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey, had a course in Ukrainian language and literature, taught by Reverend Basil Kusiw of Newark, New Jersey, which already had some Ukrainian students. It was there that Halich went in September of 1915, to study for three years. In 1918, he transferred to Dubuque and remained there to finish his high school and college with a B.A. degree, financing his own way through. After his graduation in 1924, Halich secured a teaching position in southern Wisconsin, in the small town of Elkhorn, where he taught high school history and coached football for three years. In 1927, he accepted a position at Central High School in Superior, Wisconsin, where he spent many years. During the summers, Halich attended Iowa University, where he received an M.A. degree in 1929, in history and political science. Continuing his studies at Iowa University, he earned a Ph.D. degree in 1934; his doctoral dissertation was titled “Economic Aspects of Ukrainian Activities in the United States.” In 1935, Wasyl Halich visited his birthplace where his mother and brothers and sisters were still living. He spent nearly a month there, and upon his return to the United States, married Margaret B. Mitchell, a high school English instructor. The last twenty years of his teaching career were spent at Wisconsin State University, Superior, where he attained the rank as professor. His field was Russian and European history. In his spare time, during the years 1930-1966, Halich gave many talks on historical topics in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Minnesota. At the suggestion of John Harrison Thornton, his doctoral advisor, Halich pioneered the study of Ukrainians in American and published a book Ukrainians in the United States in 1937. In addition to his native Ukrainian, Halich has studied many languages, including English, Russian, Polish, German, Greek, Latin and French. His articles have appeared in the Ukrainian Quarterly, Agricultural History, Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, North Dakota History, and in the Almanac and the Jubilee Book of the Ukrainian National Association. Also, his articles on Ukrainian Americans appeared in Svoboda, Ukrainian Weekly and Narodne Slovo. In addition to that, Halich took part in cooperative translation of Michael Hrushevsky’s History of Ukraine. During his academic career, Wasyl Halich earned listings in Who Knows What, Who’s Who in Education and at the time of his retirement, he received the Governor’s Certificate of Meritorious Service and the title Professor Emeritus of History. He still retains membership in the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the American Historical Association, National Geographical Society, the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the United States, and the Ukrainian American University Professors Association.


3 Linear Feet


The collection as acquired was in no particular order: therefore, it was organized into three basic categories: I. Biography (folder 1), II. Ukrainians in the United States: personal notes, papers and correspondence pertaining to the book (folders 2-33), III. General correspondence, newspaper clippings, etc.: materials which do not pertain to Ukrainians in the United States (folders 34-39).

Section I: Biography Biographical material found here was ordered chronologically.

Section II: Ukrainians in the United States

Materials in section II were divided by chapters according to Halich’s book, Ukrainians in the United States. Occasionally, however, it was impossible to do that, for the author used certain materials in many chapters. The materials are arranged chronologically within the folders.

Section III: General correspondence, newspaper clippings, etc.

Materials, arranged chronologically with no subject division, include information on Ukrainian art, politics, religion, etc.

Related Materials

Published version of Wasyl Halich's book "The Americanization of a Ukrainian Boy" is available in IHRCA's book collection (Call Number E169.5 H36x.

Processing Information

Through the efforts of Professor Alexander A. Granovsky, the Halich collection was deposited in the Immigration History Research Center in July, 1968 by Wasyl Halich. The collection consists of 2.0 linear feet of correspondence, newspaper clippings (primarily in Ukrainian) and handwritten notes in English. It was processed during 1974.

Inventory of the Wasyl Halich papers.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area