Like most modern encyclopaedias, this one is the result of a co-operative effort. Not only are the many contributors and the editors and their associates represented here, but also translators, reviewers, and consultants. Their task has been to translate, supplement, expand, edit, and bring up to date the material contained in the Entsyklopediia ukraïnoznavstva, published in Ukrainian in 1949-52. Their aim was to tell the story of Ukraine as a related, intelligible whole rather than to demonstrate its place within the framework of the Slavic world. This emphasis, which may appear to some narrow or even isolationist, is consistently maintained and springs from the conviction that only a detailed and concise presentation of the whole range of knowledge on Ukraine can lead to a better understanding of that country's place in the world today. If, therefore, the reader finds new and unfamiliar arguments he must remember that he is faced with what has frequently been neglected and ignored--a Ukrainian view of Ukraine. The volume offers a considerable amplification of the information on Ukraine contained in present works of reference in English, while at the same time it continues the efforts of earlier Ukrainian encyclopaedias to be a comprehensive source of the latest information.
Volume one embraces the following fields: general information, physical geography and natural history, population, ethnography, language, history, culture, and literature. Editorial work on most chapters was concluded in 1961, although sometimes it extended into 1962. Volume two will include articles on the church, law and government, art, theater, music, dance, the cinema, the sciences, education, the press, libraries, the national economy, social history, public health, the armed forces, and Ukrainians abroad. Throughout, the humanities, inadequately represented in Soviet reference works, receive more extensive treatment than the sciences. Also, relatively more space has been devoted to the modern period in Ukrainian history.
Each section offers a general survey of its respective area, with most attention being devoted to major developments and essential facts rather than to details. The analysis of factual information often leads to a critical interpretation by the individual contributor. Numerous illustrations, maps, diagrams, and statistical tables are used to supplement the text. A selected bibliography is appended to each chapter and a detailed index at the end of the volume will assist the reader in finding his way. It is hoped that in addition to its function as a reference work the book will offer some synthesis of all available information on Ukraine.
The editors encountered great difficulty in systematizing both the terminology and transliteration. The choices made are not entirely satisfactory but are consistent within their own frame of reference and represent a consensus of many different views. The editors are aware of other shortcomings which in a work of such scope are unavoidable, especially as the . . .