07 June 2013

Lviv Archival Records: Ett in Uzciezcko

This morning I met again with Natalie Dunai at our hotel, the Nobilis, and walked to the archives. The Central State Historical Archives in Lviv is located in the former monastery attached to St. Andrews Church, built in the early 1600s and now operated as a Greek Catholic Church.

One enters stepping over about a 12 inch tall threshold and passing through the substantial metal doorway. One then heads up well-worn wooden stairs to the archives.

The check-in clerk sits at a small, poorly lit desk. One must fill out paperwork and then leave one's passport or driver's license in exchange for an electronic key used to enter the archives area. Large bags must be placed in lockers. 

There are no lights on in the naturally-lit hallway. Nor are there lights in the reading room which is filled with about ten small desks all occupied by researchers and archive workers. Natalie tells me that the archives, like everyone else, is charged a premium if they go over their allotment of electricity use. They are extremely diligent about keeping the lights off. Yesterday we turned them on while taking photos of records. While we were in the midst of that, someone turned them off. In addition, should a bathroom break be necessary, better have a personal supply of tissues/toilet paper. The archives cannot afford that, either.

Today, we arrived about 10 o'clock and snared the last desk in the reading room. Fortunately, it was by a window, affording adequate natural light. Natalie had selected books from Uzciezcko and Torskie, two small towns north of Zaleszczyki. I was looking for more evidence of the Liebross and Wenkert families. These towns were (and are) much smaller than Zaleszczyki and the records are less robust. We searched records similar to those we'd searched yesterday for Zaleszczyki. 

No Liebrosses or Wenkerts. I did, however, find Abraham Eth and his widow Feiga in Uzciezcko in about 1850. The earliest Ett family member I previously knew about was Hersch Lieb Ett who had married my great grandmother's sister Perl Wenkert Ett (the same person whose grave I sought in Skole a few days ago). Abraham Eth is likely a relation of Hersch Lieb.

I took the opportunity to photograph pages that included lists of all Jewish homeowners. I will probably put these names on a spreadsheet that may be shared with other researchers.

This is our last day in Lviv. Tomorrow morning and for the next few days we head to the southeast with Svetlana, an associate of Alex, for Kolomyya and visits to Zaleszczyki, Uzcieszcko, and Torskie. I am not sure of Internet accessibility. So, my blogging may be intermittent.


  1. Amazing to think of such lack of resources for these archives! It's frightening to think how long they will be able to maintain their doors open at this rate. Is there a way to hire Natalie Dunai to do some research for me? I'd love help on researching my family from the Lviv area.

    1. One does pay for copying or photographing records, but at the Lviv archives it is not much. It is also not completely clear to me where it goes. I may ask Alex about that. Of course, I'm not sure the answer should be published.

      Natalie, of course, is avabilable for hire. She is currently doing work for Gesher Galicia. You may want to contact Pam Weisberger and ask what records Natalie is currently acquiring or indexing for them . Natalie and Alex will also be delivering papers at the Boston IAJGS conference. You may wish to chat with her there. I will send you their email adress privately, if you wish.

    2. That would be great Emily! I am going to the conference so it will be a wonderful opportunity to meet with them! I appreciate their contact info. Will you be going to the conference as well?

    3. Yes. I am giving a presentation first session on Tuesday. Look forward to meeting you there.

    4. Smadar,
      Send me an email to emilyhgarber at gmail dot com
      I will respond with the Dunai email.


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