National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Library history (till early 20th century)

Kyiv Mohyla Academy for centuries was the center of education and socio-political thought in Ukraine. It became a home for Ukrainian modern science, poetic school, art and architecture. In history of the Academy, Library played an important role in education and dissemination of knowledge. Due to its extraordinary capacity of funds and their value, the Library became one of the largest in Eastern Europe.

Estimated date of creation of the Kyiv Mohyla book collection is unknown. Approximately, it began to function in times of Kyiv Brotherhood School, since 1615. Significant contribution to the formation of the Library later did Petro Mohyla, who showed special concern in enriching library collections. He bequeathed his own book collection a few days before he died. This collection consisted of 2130 unique issues - domestic and foreign. In this manner a tradition of private donations originated, when books were given by prominent figures of Ukraine. But the terrible fire in 1658, and the destruction of College by Polish invaders in 1665 almost completely destroyed the Library. Some books were burned, part – stolen by invaders and commoners.

By the XVIII century the Library has totaled 3,500 books in different languages, especially in Latin. In addition to printed publications, a large number of manuscripts, chronicles, annals, lectures, students' notes, research papers, and rare editions of XVI-XVII century were kept here. The Foundation also continued enriching with help of patron’s donations. In order to purchase books abroad, Academy maintained regular contacts with individual publishers in Slask (Wroclaw), Warsaw, Bratislava, Breslau and other cities in Western Europe.

In 1768, on the initiative of M. Bantysh-Kamensky, a former student of the Academy, a separate seminarian library was founded for poor students who could not buy books. As a first contribution to the seminarian library, M. Bantysh-Kamensky gifted 145 books, primarily on a few copies of different books that were particularly suited for studying. In this way he made a charitable initiative to other "benefactors" - former students, teachers, bishops, metropolitans, priests, servants, soldiers, merchants, burghers.

At the beginning of XVIII century, the Library was replenished only with donated books, however, in the second half of the century foundation began to grow due to procurement, and quickly grew to nearly 7000 copies.

Kyiv fires in 1775 and 1780 again caused extensive damage to the Library. Specifically, in 1780 about 9,000 books from academic library burned, only 1,670 volumes escaped. After all the tribulations, the seminary library was combined with academic library, containing together about 12 000 books:

dictionaries, native and foreign publications on literature, theology, history, geography, philosophy, grammar, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, journalism, etc.

In the last decade of XVIII century, there was an attempt to make more or less complete catalog of the Academy Library books. Along with theological, Church Slavonic and foreign books there were different lexicons, reference books, chronicles and historical works, not to mention the dozens of copies of educational literature that created the outlook of Kyiv Mohyla students. Catalogue of library books was quite eloquent and occupied 150 printed pages. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Library of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which was transferred to the Theological Academy, consisted of 150,000 different titles - from elementary textbooks to the works of ancient and modern classics of science and culture.

Library of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which had been equipped during two centuries, turned out to be a unique collection of world importance that trained the minds of the Academy students. It played an important role in creating the worldview of many generations of teachers and students of the Kyiv Academy, as well as bringing great influence on the development of Ukrainian culture in general.

Closure of the Theological Academy in the early twentieth century and well-known social and political events that followed the October Revolution, led to almost complete destruction of the Library.

During the years of totalitarian regime, most of the books were either lost or transferred to other institutions. Collection of KMA-KDA, which survived, is now located in the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine. (


Микитась В. Давньо-українські студенти і професори. – К., 1994.

Opens external link in new windowАскоченский В. Киев с древнейшим его училищем Академией. Ч.2. – К., 1856.

Сотниченко П.А. Бібліотека Києво-Могилянської Академії. Філософські джерела // Від Вишенського до Сковороди. – К., 1972. 

Києво-Могилянська академія в іменах XVII-XVIII ст. = Academia Kyjevo-Mohylaeana in nominibus XVII-XVIII aeva / Редкол.: В.С. Брюховецький (гол., відп. ред.) та ін; Упоряд. З. І. Хижняк; Наук. консультант Л.І. Брюховецька та ін. – К.: Видавн. дім “КМ Academia”, 2001.

Opens external link in new windowДениско Л.М. Бібліотека Київської духовної академії та її бібліотекарі : (1819-1919) : автореферат дисертації на здобуття наукового ступеня кандидата історичних наук / Дениско Людмила Михайлівна ; Національна академія наук України, Національна бібліотека України імені В.І. Вернадського. - К. : [б.в.], 1997. - 16, [1] с.

Opens external link in new windowБібліотека - інтелектуальний центр навчального процесу та наукових студій в НаУКМА.

Charipova, Liudmila V. The library of the Kiev Mohyla Academy (1632-1780) in its historical context: Dissertation, 1999 (University of Cambridge, 1999) 

New Library history (1991 - …)

In 1991 when the University was rebuild, the need in Library renewal appeared. The university professors gifted the first items to the library collection in February of 1992. Reading room was in Church of the Annunciation.

1993 – Library received 2 reading rooms and the room for long-term checking out in Building 1 of NaUKMA.

1998 – Victor Kytasty American Library became favorite students’ space right after the opening.

2007 – Tetiana and Omelian Antonovych Library opened and most of the library funds located here.

2017 – Old Academic Building was closed for reconstruction which led to evacuation of Library Researchers reading Room and Periodicals.

By the 1st January 2018 library has 810 335 items, that includes 105 989 titles of electronic resources (32 data bases).


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