Which libraries do the pieces of furniture come from?

Desk from Chernihiv Oblast Library for Youth

On the night of 11 March 2022, the historic building of the Youth Library in Chernihiv was destroyed by a missile attack. The Neo-Gothic style building first gained significance in 1902 with the opening of a museum on Ukrainian history. Vasyl Tarnovsky, a patron of the arts, collector and descendant of a noble family, donated a unique collection of Ukrainian historical and cultural objects from the 17th to the 19th centuries to the city of Chernihiv. In addition, the collection contained Cossack antiquities as well as manuscripts, works of art and personal items of the Ukrainian artist and writer Taras Shevchenko. In 1978, the building was rededicated as the Chernihiv Regional Youth Library and the collection was relocated to various museums.

The desk shown here was the librarian’s workplace. Newly acquired books were prepared for use here.

Information provided by Library Director Maryna Knyr and the Ukrainian Institute.

Two File Cabinets from Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky Chernihiv City Community Library

The library building and its facilities were substantially destroyed by a missile attack on 27 February 2022. The roof was partially torn away and collapsed. Windows, exterior and interior doors were completely destroyed, stairs, walls and floors show cracks. The building’s lighting and heating systems were severely damaged. Around 40 per cent of the library’s stock was destroyed or is no longer suitable for use. Nevertheless, the librarians continue to work in the badly damaged building, maintain the remaining holdings and enable library operations as good as possible.

Information provided by Hanna Pushkar, Library Director.

Two chairs from Korolenko Chernihiv Regional Universal Scientific Library

On 30 March 2022, the building of the Chernihiv Region Scientific Library, named after Vladimir Korolenko, was heavily damaged by missile attack. It is the most important and largest library in the region with a stock of around 868,000 volumes at last count. The building, which was built in the early 20th century and originally served as the headquarters of a bank, was a popular photo spot not only for library users. The bombing caused the roof of the building to collapse. A substantial part of the holdings and the historic conference room were destroyed.

The two chairs belonged to desks where the digital catalogue of the department for technical, scientific and agricultural holdings was maintained.

Information provided by Inna Mykhailivna Aliferenko, Library Director.

Wooden Chair from the municipal library in the town of Shybene

The town of Shybene in Kyiv oblast was occupied by Russian troops on 25 February 2022. The library rooms were used to accommodate Russian soldiers. In the course of the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Shybene, many pieces of furniture of the library as well as wooden decorations of the outer facade were burnt. The librarians also discovered that books by Russian authors such as Sholokhov and Tolstoy were missing. Only after a demining operation could the library staff return to the building to begin reconstruction.

The chair shown here is one of the best-preserved pieces of the largely burnt inventory.

Information provided by Kateryna Vaniuk, Library Manager.

Small Storage Locker from the municipal library in the town of Rozvazhiv

The town of Rozvazhiv in Kyiv oblast was occupied by Russian troops on 16 March 2022. The library served as a base for them. During the retreat, many books and furnishings were burnt. „When I first saw the library after the occupation, I was horrified by the extent of the destruction,“ recalls librarian Valentyna Ivanivna. „I was afraid to enter the library or open my locker. It could easily have been rigged with explosives, as Russian troops often did when they withdrew.“ No explosives were found in the library during the demining process, but the premises, furniture and books were badly damaged.

The storage locker shown here was used by a librarian to store some notebooks, selected books and personal items.

Information provided by librarian Valentyna Ivanivna.