University of Minnesota

Granovsky, Alexander A., Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC Archives

Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Granovsky, Alexander A.
Dates: circa 1900-2007 (bulk 1900-1976)

A Ukrainian American entomologist, also an activist and poet, Granovsky was born in Berezhtsi, Ukraine, and came to the United States in 1913. He was educated at Colorado State Agricultural College and the University of Wisconsin, and taught entomology at the universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota. He became a leader in the Ukrainian American community locally and nationally and was president of the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine, Inc. (ODWU). In St. Paul, Minnesota, he was also an active member of St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Following World War II, he was active in resettlement of Ukrainian refugees.

Granovsky's papers include a genealogy, biographical materials, diaries, family correspondence, writings, and poetry. Also included are materials pertaining to Ukrainian American organizations including on Ukrainians in Minnesota, the Ukrainian Congress Committee (Minnesota branch), Ukrainian Folk Ballet and Chorus of the Twin Cities, St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Minneapolis, MN), the Minnesota Commission on Resettlement of Displaced Persons, the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee of America, Inc., and many other Ukrainian American organizations including the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine, Inc. In addition, there are materials pertaining to the Immigration History Research Center’s Ukrainian American Collection.

The majority of the material in these Papers are in the Ukrainian language. English-language material is located primarily in Series 5, 9 and 10.

Quantity: 92 linear ft.
Language: Ukrainian, English, French, German, Czech, Russian
Collection ID: IHRC796


The papers of Alexander A. Granovsky were donated by his wife Irene Granovsky to the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) via Halyna Myroniuk in November 1976. His papers were boxed at his home by Halyna Myroniuk and Maurice Czerwonka and brought to the IHRC; preliminary organization and processing of his collection was done by Halyna Myroniuk. Further processing was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities-Division of Preservation and Access; work was conducted by Astra Apsitis and assisted by students from the Twin Cities Ukrainian American community (John Kramarczuk, Christine Pasichnyk, and IHRC staff member Roman Stepchuk). The NEH grant ended in 1996, and following that, Halyna Myroniuk completed the final processing of the Granovsky Papers, in 2014.


Alexander A. Granovsky (full name: Neprytsky-Hranovsky), a Ukrainian American entomologist, also an activist and poet was born November 4, 1887 in Berezhtsi, Kremianets county, Volhynia gubernia. Granovsky studied at the Kiev Commercial Institute (1909-10) before emigrating to the United States in 1913 at age 26. He served in France during WWI with the United States Army and remained there after the war’s end to study at the Sorbonne. Upon returning to the United States, he continued his studies at Colorado State Agricultural College (B.A., 1918) and the University of Wisconsin earning an M.A. (1929) and Ph.D. (1930). He joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1930 as assistant professor and then as professor (1940) in the Department of Entomology and Economic Zoology, retiring in 1956. Granovsky is best known for his pioneering work in chemical control of insects, and as an early advocate for chemical dusting of forests to contain insect infestations, the use of DDT on potato bugs, and white grub and cutworm controls. He wrote numerous scientific articles and was a worldwide authority on the biology and taxonomy of the Aphididae, two species of which were named after him: Calaphis granovskyi and Drephanaphis granovskyi.

While studying and later teaching (1922-1930) at the University of Wisconsin, Granovsky met and married Irene Violet Thorpe; they were married on August 7, 1928 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Irene Granovsky was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They had five children, Dagmar (Sandra), Philip, Robert, Natalie, and Theodore (Ted). Throughout his life Granovsky was involved in political activities concerning Ukrainian political autonomy. He became a leader in the Ukrainian American community locally and nationally and was president (1935-1963) of the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine. Granovsky was a full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in the USA, and member of the senate of the Organization for Ukrainian Nationalists. He was a founding member of and held various positions (from 1944) in the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Granovsky authored many political essays and books, including Ukraine’s Case for Independence (1940), Vil’na Ukraina neobkhidna dlia postiinoho myru (A Free Ukraine Is Necessary for a Lasting Peace, 1945). He was personally involved with diplomatic efforts to bring 5000 Ukrainians in German and Austrian displaced persons camps to the United States at the end of WWII. Of these, Granovsky helped resettle more than 100 Ukrainian refugees to Minnesota (mainly in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area).

Granovsky was also a poet. His modernist poetry first appeared in the Kyiv (Kiev) journals Ukrains’ka Khata (Ukrainian Home) and Ridnyi krai (Native Country). He wrote seven collections of poetry (1910-14, 1953-64). After Ukraine became independent in 1991, a selection of his unpublished poems were published in Kyiv in 1995 under the title Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gates). Alexander Granovsky died in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 4, 1976.



The collection is organized into 13 series, some of which contain multiple sub-series. For a more detailed description, please see below.


The Granovsky, Alexander A. collection is available for public research.


The Granovsky, Alexander A. collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The Granovsky, Alexander A. Papers, Ukrainian American Collection, IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota


The Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (ODWU), Minnesota Branch Collection, IHRC1719

United Ukrainian American Relief Committee (UUARC) Records, IHRC2757

John Panchuk Papers, IHRC2029

Alexander A. Granovsky Papers, University Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries

Division of Entomology and Economic Zoology Records, University Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries

Index Terms

Community life
Political activity
College teachers

Description of Series

This section briefly describes each series in the collection. A more detailed description of the contents of each series may be found in the following section.

SERIES 1. Biographical and Personal Papers

This series is divided into two sub-series, and consists of biographical material and some of his personal papers. Sub-series 1 consists of albums (diaries, including his poems) and letters. Sub-series 2 consists of correspondence with his relatives and countrymen in Ukraine, and personal papers. The most extensive correspondence is with his brother Serhii Neprytsky (boxes 7-8) which date from shortly after Granovsky arrives in America in 1913, and continues until 1939 at the outbreak of WWII; it later resumes in 1964 and continues until Granovsky’s death in 1976. Selected letters from this sub-series were digitized, transcribed and translated as part of the IHRC/A's project "Digitizing Immigrant Letters" and are available on-line.

SERIES 2. Books, Notes, and Poetry

This series is organized in 5 sub-series. Granovsky’s poetic career began while he was still in Ukraine and continued in America; sub-series 1 includes his poems published in Ukraine and drafts for the five books of his poetry, and selected poems for publications in Ukrainian journals and newspapers published in the United States. The themes of his poetry contained nostalgia for his homeland, his beloved village (Berezhtsi), the river Ikva, freedom for Ukraine, and others. Sub-series 2 consists of his poems as separate works, poems dedicated to him, those set to music, some translated, and those he wrote in English. Granovsky also collected poems composed by Ukrainian and American poets and these are located in boxes 21–24 of this sub-series. Aside from composing poetry, Granovsky’s interest and talent focused on other writing. Sub-series 3 consists of narratives, novels, short stories, etc. These are mainly written on various note paper and not in any particular sequence. He also wrote his thoughts, ideas, and reactions to many events during his lifetime. An important project undertaken by Granovsky was to publish a book on Ukrainian Easter eggs; sub-series 4 contains correspondence with Ukrainian American individuals about a proposed book, and requests that others send him Easter eggs to be photographed for inclusion. Granovsky’s own extensive private Easter egg collection was displayed at the Minnesota Museum of Art in St. Paul, during Minnesota’s Bicentennial. Correspondence and related materials pertaining to this event are found in box 35. The Project Proposal and the fourteen proposed chapters of the book are located in boxes 35–38. Again there are many notes on the Ukrainian Easter eggs and also published source material used in his research for his book. The book, however, was not published. Writings by Granovsky and other authors, on which he often commented, are contained in boxes 39-46 of sub-series 5.

SERIES 3. Subject Files

The Subject Files series contains diverse material on various subjects. Files include many requests from individuals asking Granovsky to assist them in publishing their own works; Ukrainian folk art and customs; the man-made Famine (Holodomor) of 1932-1933 in Ukraine; religion; politics; and others.

SERIES 4. Correspondence

Granovsky’s involvement with the Ukrainian community and its organizations, institutions, and libraries throughout the world is strongly reflected in the correspondence contained in Series 4. The correspondence is arranged by country and then alphabetically by correspondent.

SERIES 5. Minnesota Resettlement of Displaced Persons

World War II dislocated many nationalities that were forced to leave their native land. Many found themselves in Displaced Persons (DP) camps of Germany, Austria, and Italy. Resettlement was possible through sponsors. Granovsky, being a member of the Minnesota Commission on Resettlement of DPs and working through the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, was one such sponsor. He traveled to these camps, interviewed many refugees, and succeeded in sponsoring over 100 families to Minnesota. He then assisted them in finding lodgings and jobs. The correspondence with these refugees is contained in boxes 60-72 of sub-series 1. Correspondence with resettlement and relief organizations in Minnesota is largely in English and is located in boxes 73 of sub-series 2. Sub-series 3 contains correspondence and material of Ukrainian relief organizations in the United States with whom Granovsky worked. Among them are the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee and its field representatives in Europe, and the Minnesota Ukrainian American Relief Committee. These are located in boxes 74-75 of sub-series 3. Efforts by Granovsky in resettling and finding work for the newly arrived DPs are contained in box 76 of sub-series 4. Granovsky maintained contact and correspondence with American and other Ukrainian relief organizations; this correspondence is contained in boxes 76-77. Correspondence and information on Displaced Persons Commissions and Relief Acts are contained in box 78.

SERIES 6. Minnesota Ukrainian American Community

Series 6 contains files documenting the Minnesota Ukrainian American community. Granovsky settled in St. Paul, Minesota after coming to America in 1913. At that time, St. Paul had few Ukrainian immigrants but Northeast Minneapolis had a larger settlement, anchored by St. Constantine’s Ukrainian Catholic Church; and later St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Granovsky was active in the Ukrainian American community until his death in 1976. He was one the founders of the latter church. Sub-series 1, boxes 79-84, contains material pertaining to the history of Ukrainians in Minnesota and Granovsky’s involvement in St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Sub-series 2, boxes 85-94 contains a large segment of correspondence with many Ukrainian and Twin Cities organizations, many of which were branches of the Ukrainian national organizations in America. Most prominent of these is the Minnesota Branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which he founded and of which he was a longtime president. This correspondence is located in boxes 86-91. Granovsky was also the founder of the Ukrainian Students’ Club at the University of Minnesota (box 94). The Ukrainian Folk Ballet and Chorus of the Twin Cities was a very active group and performed at many social events (boxes 92-94). Granovsky also took part in Minnesota’s centennial and bi-centennial celebrations (box 92). His long relationship and involvement with the Minnesota International Institute is documented in boxes 95-97 of sub-series 3.

SERIES 7. Organizations

Series 7 consists of Granovsky’s correspondence with Ukrainian organizations in various countries dealing with various matters pertaining to their activities and concerns about Ukraine, as well as conferences and conventions he attended. This series is divided into sub-series 1-4. Sub-series 1 contains correspondence with organizations in the the following countries: Canadian (boxes 98-99), United States (boxes100-114), Czechoslovakia (box 114), Great Britain (box 114), France (boxes 114-115), and Germany (box 115-116). Granovsky was a full member of both the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences located in the US. This correspondence is located in boxes 103-106. He played an important part in the establishment of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute in America, Inc., in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1938. Correspondence pertaining to this Institute are in box 112. In the 1930s he had some contact with a few organizations in Ukraine (box116). Contained in Sub-series 2 is his correspondence regarding attendance at many conferences (box 116). The most important conference Granovsky attended was the United Nations Conference in San Francisco in 1945. He was selected by the Ukrainian American Congress Committee of America to represent the interests of the Ukrainian American community in the fate of Ukraine (box 116). Granovsky was a staunch Republican and was involved and interested in presidential elections and American politics. Correspondence, flyers, newsletters, etc., of the Republican National Committee and the American-Ukrainian Republican Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota (box 117) and other organizations are contained in sub-series 3. Granovsky maintained substantial correspondence with Ukrainian publishers in many countries. Sub-series 4 (boxes 118-121) consists of this correspondence.

SERIES 8. Organization for the Rebirth of the Ukraine (ODWU)

The Orhanizatsiia Demokratychnoho Vidrodshennia Ukrainy (or ODWU, the English acronym for Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine) was established in the USA in 1931. This organization encompassed a significant part of Granovsky’s life; he was president from 1935 to 1963. This series is divided into thirteen sub-series. Sub-series 1 documents the history (box 122) of ODWU with various anniversaries and speeches made by Granovsky as well as the 20th anniversary of his presidency. Sub-series 2 contains his correspondence with officers of ODWU’s Central Executive Committee (CEC). Granovsky maintained close contacts with these officers. The most extensive and day to day correspondence is with ODWU’s secretaries Volodymyr Mykhailo (boxes 124-125), Volodymyr Riznyk (boxes 125-126) and Evhen Skotsko (box 126). Sub-series 3 contains circular letters (boxes 128-129) which informed ODWU members of the CEC’s activities, directives, etc. ODWU owned a homestead at Lehighton, Pennsylvania, where many ODWU meetings, conferences, and social activities took place. This documentation is located in box 130. Sub-series 4 documents ODWU’s annual and special conventions and conferences (boxes 129-132). There was a lapse of these conventions during World War II and shortly after. Conventions held during 1939-1940 contain material regarding the need to establish an umbrella organization of Ukrainian-American civic associations. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America was founded at the First Congress of Ukrainian Americans in Washington, D.C., on May 25, 1940. Additional conferences included Canadian affiliate organizations at A Studies Conference, in 1963 (box 132). Granovsky’s speeches at some of ODWU’s conferences and conventions are located in box 132.

Granovsky maintained extensive correspondence with not only members of ODWU but also with US State Department (as it concerned matters about Ukraine) and also individuals outside of ODWU. This correspondence is contained in sub-series 5 boxes 132-136. Sub-series 6 consists of his correspondence (boxes 136-139) with many Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian organizations and committees. During the Second World War, ODWU was investigated by the Dies Committee (a Special Committee to Investigate Un-American Activities) and the FBI for “perceived pro-Nazi sympathies” after 1939. ODWU was cleared. Material pertaining to this period is located in box 137. Sub-series 7 contains material and correspondence of ODWU’s local Branches (located in boxes 139-141). Granovsky founded and was long time president of the local Branch #32 in the Twin Cities in 1933. Its history and activities are located in box 140. Sub-series 8 contains notes on ODWU. Here Granovsky noted his thoughts, concerns, and expressions regarding events surrounding ODWU. These are located in boxes 145-146. ODWU’s affiliate organizations and their Branches are located in sub-series 9 and contain correspondence, minutes, reports, etc. These include the women’s auxiliary the Ukrainian Gold Cross (boxes 144-145), ZAREVO (the United Ukrainian Students’ Association) in boxes 145-146, the Ukrainian National Youth Federation of America (UNYFA-MUN) and its Branches (boxes 146-147). The latter organization’s Twin Cities Branch is located in box 145.

Sub-series 10 contains material on ODWU’s main publication, the magazine Samostiina Ukraina (Independent Ukraine). As president of ODWU, Granovsky maintained steady correspondence with the editors providing guidance and contributing his own articles to the magazine (box 147). Additional publications, for ODWU youth, The Trident and Tri-Trendette, are also found in box 147. Sub-series 11 contains material pertaining to ODWU’s counterpart organization in Canada, Ukrains’ke Natsional’ne Ob’iednannia v Kanadi-UNO (Ukrainian National Federation of Canada -UNF) and its affiliate organizations. The material includes correspondence, minutes, reports, conferences, circulars, notes, and photographs. These are located in boxes 147-150. ODWU maintained close relations with the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists of the Andriy Melnyk faction (OUN-M). This was a political movement dedicated to the establishment of an independent Ukrainian State, with headquarters in Europe, and members in Great Britain, South America and Australia. Material pertaining to this relationship is located in Sub-series 12. Included in this series are correspondence, appeals and resolutions, conventions, circulars, conferences and notes. They are found in boxes 150-153. Of importance is Granovsky’s correspondence with two leaders of OUN-M, Evhen Konovalets (box 151) and Andriy Melnyk (box 152). Sub-series 13 contains a significant collection of photographs of ODWU’s activities, the 25th Anniversary of Granovsky’s presidency of ODWU, conventions (both local and national), ODWU’s affiliate organizations’ activities, and visits by OUN leader Andriy Melnyk to the USA and Canada. These photographs are located in box 154.

SERIES 9. Immigration History Research Center (IHRC), Ukrainian American Collection

Series 9 consists of correspondence and other material that document the history, development, and activities of the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC, and formerly known as Immigrant Archives) and its “Ukrainian American Collection.” Much of this material is in English. The IHRC was established at the University of Minnesota in 1965 to collect, preserve and document the history of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Near East. Among the founders and staunch supporter of the IHRC was Alexander A. Granovsky. His personal Ukrainian library (accumulated since his arrival to America in 1913) formed the bases of the Ukrainian American Collection. His personal archives later enriched the print material. The brief histories of the IHRC and the Ukrainian American Collection are located in sub-series 1 boxes 155-156. The opening of the Ukrainian American Collection (box 155) took place on January 16, 1966 with a presentation of the “Symbolic Key to the Ukrainian Section." Further documentation of the history of the IHRC and the Ukrainian American Collection are contained in sub-series 2 in the extensive correspondence with the University of Minnesota Libraries’ directors, the History Department, University president and vice president, and especially with the Director of the IHRC, Rudolph J. Vecoli are located in boxes 156-157. Granovsky’s standing and position in the Ukrainian American community gained substantial support for the Ukrainian American Collection at the University of Minnesota. Its development is further documented by the personal extensive correspondence he had with the Ukrainian Diaspora, with individuals and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally. This extensive correspondence is contained in sub-series 3, boxes 157-162. He also traveled extensively to solicit for collections (box 162). Granovsky had two major goals after retirement. The first was reached with the founding of this Ukrainian American Collection. The second, a more challenging goal, was the establishment of a Ukrainian Studies Chair at the University of Minnesota. There was competition in the Ukrainian American community to establish such a Chair at a prestigious university. One was Harvard and the other the University of Minnesota. The final outcome was Harvard. These efforts are well documented, mainly in English, in sub-series 4, box 163. Because the IHRC kept Granovsky informed of all acknowledged acquisitions to this Ukrainian American Collection, Sub-series 5 consists of carbon copies of all the correspondence (boxes 164-166), documenting print and archival material donated to the Ukrainian American Collection. Granovsky also kept a detailed transfer of records (box 166) of what was donated.

SERIES 10. Newspaper Clippings

Series 10 contains a substantial collection of Granovsky’s own newspaper clippings, predominantly in English. These reflect his interest in world events and articles mainly pertaining to Ukraine in the American press. Other clippings include articles on American politics, education, religion, immigration, etc., and some poems.

SERIES 11. Greeting Cards, Maps, Certificates, and Miscellany

Series 11 consists of postcards, greeting cards, maps, certificates, and miscellany. This series is divided into three sub-series. Sub-series 1 contains a substantial collection of illustrated postcards illustrating portraits of prominent Ukrainian literary and historical figures, cities of Ukraine, Russia, and in Europe, illustrations by Ukrainian artists, events, Ukrainian folk art, and some from the Displaced Persons camps in Germany. These are contained in boxes 175-178. Sub-series 2 contains Ukrainian and English Christmas, Easter, and Birthday greeting cards received by Granovsky over many years. The Ukrainian greeting cards, many of which can be considered letters, contain scenes of Christmas and Easter as they were celebrated in Ukraine. These are illustrations of Ukrainian embroidery, and the uniquely decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs. They are located in boxes 181-183. The English Christmas and Easter greeting cards are located in boxes 183-184. Sub-series 3 contains maps, certificates, and miscellany material. The maps (box 185) include those of Ukraine, Europe, and other countries. Granovsky received various certificates, and these are located in box 185. The miscellaneous material includes posters, banners, flyers, copies of addresses by various, pins and ribbons, and travel books and maps.

SERIES 12. Photographs (Please note that photographs are also located in other series)

This series contains over 400 photographs. These are of Granovsky and his family in Ukraine and America, his birthday celebrations (a Ukrainian American local community event), classmates in Ukraine, trips to Europe after WWII, the opening of the Ukrainian American Collection at the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC), visitors to the IHRC, Ukrainians in the Twin Cities and the US, and various events.

SERIES 13. Audio-visual materials

This series includes interviews with Granovsky; recordings of Ukrainian music; video of the opening of the Literary Memorial Museum of A. Neprytsky-Granovsky in Velyki Berezhtsi, Ukraine in 1996; and likely a film of the unveiling of the Taras H. Shevchenko monument in Washington, D.C. in 1964.

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