NASU Institute of Encyclopedic Research is a research institution engaging in encyclopedistics, settled as a non-profit public organization belonging to the National Academy of Science of Ukraine (NASU).
The Institute’s key project is the national multi-volumed Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine (EMU). The priming, compiling and publishing of the EMU’s next volumes as well as providing of encyclopedia’s online version are the main focuses of the Institute. In this sense, the role of the Institute is to generalize knowledge in disciplines of all sciences and humanities using the encyclopedia format by which Ukraine’s natural and historic heritage, today’s achievements in various fields are describing. Another role is to rise awareness and understanding of the national and socio-cultural self-identity / self-positioning of Ukrainians who had long been under the influence of Soviet ideology.
In a broad sense, the Institute’s mission is to develop and coordinate the field of encyclopedistics for academic and national benefit.
The Institute was founded on April 14, 2004 (Resolution of the Presidium of the NASU No. 121 of April 14, 2004) due to the preparation of The Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine. From 1996 to 2004 the preparation of the Encyclopedia was carried out on the basis of the EMU Coordination Bureau of the Ukrainian International Committee for Science and Culture at the NASU. The purpose of the Coordination Bureau was to do a methodology for creation the Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine.
The Institute’s prehistory dates back to the early 1990s, when Ukraine gained independence, and the NASU began to collaborate closely with the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Europe (Ukrainian diaspora). The fundamental work of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Europe is the Encyclopedia of Ukraine started in 1949 in Germany and completed in 1995 in Ukraine.
The Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine was appeared by cooperation of both scientific organizations. The decision to create and publish a new encyclopedia on Ukraine was made by the NASU. This Encyclopedia was designed by methodological experience of colleagues from diaspora (it comes on encyclopedistics school of Volodymyr Kubijovyč – Editor in Chief of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine). It was announced the purpose of new encyclopedia: to promote the formation and development of an independent Ukrainian nation, liberation from Soviet ideology and consolidation of the state sovereignty.
Since 1995 the NASU and the Shevchenko Scientific Society have been co-founders and co-publishers of the Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine. The Encyclopedia’s Advisory Board was also formed (co-chairs: A.I. Zhukovskyi, I.M. Dziuba and O.M. Romaniv). The first volume appeared in 2001 and the online version of the Encyclopedia launched in 2014.
From 2004 to 2008, the Institute was headed by Y. Yatskiv (2004-2008), M. Zhelezniak (since 2008).
The Institute’s staff performs scholarly research projects analyzing the experience of encyclopedic field in Ukraine and worldwide, studying theoretical and methodological issues of compiling the encyclopedias, encyclopedic dictionaries, reference books, etc., as well as creating, compiling and producing encyclopedias on this scientific basis.
The main current encyclopedic project of the Institute is the Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine. Today, this multi-volume work is available in a print edition and online. 22 volumes (out of 30) have now been published (Encyclopedia’s online version contains the same articles). The project continues to be in progress (the next volumes are being written).
In addition, the concept and structure of a universal encyclopedia about the world through Ukrainian vision has been developed by the Institute (working title: The Ukrainian Universal Encyclopedia). However, alike project is now being implemented by the Ukrainian Encyclopedia Publishing House (titled: The Great Ukrainian Encyclopedia).
The Encyclopedia of the Shevchenko Scientific Society is another current multi-volumed encyclopedic project. It is a collaborative work resulting from cooperation between the Institute and the Shevchenko Scientific Society. 4 volumes of this reference work are currently published.
Since 2008, the Institute is the organizer of the International Conference on Encyclopedia Studies (it takes place every two years). 5 conferences have now been completed; proceedings of each conference have been published.
Since 2009, the Institute publishes the Encyclopedia Herald of Ukraine (periodical).
The Institute’s research divisions:
- Department of research, information and technical support for the Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine
- Department of theory and methodology of encyclopedic work production
At present, the Institute employs few staff (24 people).