Fonds Mss 270, Pc 229 (A.08-70, A.09-52) - Irene Knysh fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Irene Knysh fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA UMASC Mss 270, Pc 229 (A.08-70, A.09-52)

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1920-1995, predominant 1950-1980 (Creation)
    Knysh, Irena

Physical description area

Physical description

2.47 m of textual records.
159 photographs.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Irene Knysh was a feminist, journalist, and author of many books on the Ukrainian women’s movement. She is well known not only among the Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada and America, but also in Ukraine. Irene Knysh was born on April 20, 1909 in Lviv, Ukraine to Dmytr and Anastazia Shkvarkiv. In 1933, she graduated from the Lviv University with a Master’s degree in Philosophy. She was fluent in many languages including Ukrainian, Polish, French, German, and English. After her graduation, she became a professor of linguistics and taught at various secondary schools in Lviv and Premysl. During the 1930s, she collaborated with the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) and Ukrainian Patriotic Organization (OUN). In 1939, she married Zinovii Knysh, a political and community activist. Her son, George Knysh, was born in 1940. During the Second World War, the family lived in Cracow, Lviv, and Austria. After the war they moved to France, where Irene Knysh became the Head of the Ukrainian Women’s Alliance in France.

In 1950, she immigrated to Winnipeg and worked as a journalist for various Ukrainian newspapers including Kanadiis’kyi Farmer, Novyi shliakh, Zhinoche Svitlo, Promin, and Ukrains’kyi Holos in Canada; Svoboda, Samostiina Ukraina, and Nashe Zhyttia in the United States; and Ukrains’ke Slovo in France. She wrote extensively on the Ukrainian women’s movement. She was considered the archivist of the Ukrainian Diaspora on the American continent. Her books are also well known in Ukraine. Her major works include Na sluzhbi ridnoho narodu: iuvileinyi zbirnyk Orhanizatsii Ukrainok Kanady im. Ol’hy Basarab, Ivan Franko ta rivnopravnist’ zhinky (Ivan Franko and Equal Rights for Women) (1956), Smoloskyp u temriavi (Torch in the Darkness) (1957), Patriotyzm Anny Ionker, Zhinka vchora i s’ohodni (Collection of articles published in various Ukrainian newspapers) (1964), Nezabutnia Ol’ha Basarab (Unforgettable Olha Basarab) (1976), and Try rovesnytsi, 1860-1960 (Three Ukrainian Contemporaries) (1966).

Irene Knysh was one of the first Ukrainian-Canadian women to be included in the Ukrainian Literary Encyclopaedia (Kyiv, 1990). She visited Ukraine in 1970 and her book, Vich-na-vich iz Ukrainoiu (1970), was a reflection of her journey. After Ukraine Independence in 1991, she was elected a member of the Ukrainian Women’s Alliance in Lviv, Ukraine (2005) and in her honour a scientific conference took place on June 4, 2005. Irene Knysh passed away on May 11, 2006.

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by George Knysh of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in 2008 and 2009.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Irene Knysh's biographical information, her articles and research material pertaining to her writings (Ukrainian women's movement in Canada and America), correspondence including correspondence with Vasyl Avramenko, Ukrainian dance teacher, and a photograph collection.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on this material.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

On-line finding aids are available at the links below: MSS 270, PC 229 (A.08-70) MSS 270, PC 229 (A.09-52).

Associated materials

Digitized Material: Irene Knysh Digital Collection.

Related materials


Further accruals are expected. A substantial collection of letters between Dr. George Knysh and Irene Knysh (1955-1995) regarding her publications is still in Dr. George Knysh’s possession.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres