British Library Partners with the Adventist Church in Ukraine on Historical Project

Photo: Ukrainian Union Conference

British Library Partners with the Adventist Church in Ukraine on Historical Project

Project leaders recognize the value of the Adventist Church's spiritual and historical heritage in Ukraine and the rest of Europe.

News | Ukraine | Valentyn Zahreba, with ANN Staff

In recent efforts, the British Library, with the assistance of the State Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine and the participation of the University of Cork in Ireland (University College), is implementing the project "Archives of Religious Communities in the Context of the War in Ukraine" in 2024. Its goal is the digitization and preservation of Ukraine's spiritual and historical heritage under challenging conditions.

The leaders of the project recognize the unique value of the spiritual and historical heritage of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine, not only for the country's religious history but also for the religious history of Europe. For this reason, the British Library has included the collection of archival and museum materials of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine (the Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education in Bucha, Kyiv) in the list of particularly important historical heritage, and considers it necessary to make efforts to preserve them.

Digitized materials will become available to a wide range of researchers and believers from other countries that will reveal the spiritual and historical role of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine in difficult conditions, first in the Russian Empire (1886-1917), and then in the USSR (1918-1991).

Photo: Ukrainian Union Conference
Photo: Ukrainian Union Conference

Oleh Arutiunov, the assistant coordinator of the Spiritual and Historical Heritage Department, who is responsible for the archive and museum of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine, said that the representatives of the British Library were surprised to learn about the volumes and exhibits of the archive-museum because the materials date from the 17th century and are presented in ten languages, and contain almost 70,000 units, each of which a historical and inventory certificate must be prepared.

"We are the only archive that has received a grant in Ukraine, and this is the first collaboration between the British Library and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, so it is important for the church that this is not happening in other European countries, or even in Great Britain, but in Ukraine," says Arutiunov.

The British Library recognizes the significant contribution of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine in the field of humanitarian education and hopes for further cooperation in the field of education and preservation of historical heritage. Project leaders are confident that strengthening the image and authority of religious communities in Ukraine will contribute to expansion of their influence and mission, both in the country and beyond.

According to Arutiunov, the Library is interested not only in exhibits related to religion, but any exhibits from Ukraine.

This is not only an international project, it is God's plan because it is the representatives of the British Library who speak about the importance of the mission. This is a truly unique moment in the history of the Seventh-Day Adventist movement, not only in Ukraine but also in the whole world, – says Arutiunov.

The implementation of the project is planned until September 2024, with the possibility of continuing cooperation in 2025-2026.

More about archive-museum of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ukraine 

The original article was published on the Ukrainian Union Conference Ukrainian-language website.