Holowacz Family Fund

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This Fund was established in 2002 by Mrs. Zenia Holowacz to support the Y. A. Holowacz Collection at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (NaUKMA) in Ukraine.

The Fund provides for an annual grant, the amount being dependent on the annual income earned by the Fund.

The annual grant is contingent on the library at NaUKMA submitting annually to CFUS a comprehensive report on how the funds were used.



Mr. Holowacz’s collection was donated to the NaUKMA’s library by his widow, Mrs. Zenia Holowacz. The Holowacz Family Fund, managed by the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies, provides on-going support for the maintenance of the collection.

In accepting the collection, the library at NaUKMA agreed to Mrs. Holowacz’s request to prepare a catalogue of the 526 books therein. The catalogue was funded by Mrs. Holowacz and appeared under the title Kataloh biblioteky Iaroslava Holovacha.

The Holowacz Collection is unique. For over thirty-five years, from 1957 to 1993, while living and working in Canada, Mr. Holowacz sought to purchase all new Ukrainian and Russian books and periodicals in forestry science. If he was unable to do so, he acquired photocopies of such books, articles, and related materials. His collection consists of monographs, compendiums of scientific articles, textbooks, methodological materials, dictionaries, reference books, copies of newspaper and magazine articles, and a card file of forestry publications, personalities, institutions and organizations. All of the materials in the collection are organically linked by Mr. Holowacz’s own reference system. Every book contains the date he received it, his bookplate, and his signature. Most of the books have Mr. Holowacz’s handwritten notes in the margins and signed dedications from scholars who presented these works to him.

Information about the collection is preserved on index cards in the library’s bibliography department.




Mr. Holowacz was born in the village of Ostrów near the Polish town of Jarosław. After graduating from the village’s primary school, he entered the Ukrainian gymnasium in German-occupied Jarosław (Staatgymnasium mit Ukrainischer Unterrichtsprache). His studies there were interrupted by the outbreak of the German-Soviet War in 1941.

From 1944 to 1950. Mr. Holowacz lived as a refugee in the German cities of Mannheim, Elwangen, and Stuttgart, where he completed his secondary education and trained as a builder. From October 1949 to July 1950 he worked for the International Refugee Organization in Stuttgart as an archivist and a bookkeeper.

In August 1950 Mr. Holowacz emigrated to Hamilton, Canada, where his brother was already living. There he worked at a steel mill (1950–52) and for the Dominion Glass Company (1952–54). In 1952 he married Zena Krutyholova (born in Rakovets, Ternopil oblast), who bore him a son, Ihor, and a daughter, Tamara.

From 1954 to 1959, Mr. Holowacz studied at the University of Toronto and then at the University of New Brunswick, where he specialized in forest management and economics. In 1959, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forest management.

Mr. Holowacz constantly strove to deepen his knowledge and actively participated in forest-management workshops and conferences. He produced a number of articles on forestry, lumbering, and economics in the USSR, which were subjects of special interest to him.

From 1959 to 1979, Mr. Holowacz worked for the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests Research Branch (now the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) as a research forester in Maple, Ontario. In 1980, he was seconded to the International Forestry Branch of the Canadian Forestry Service (now Forestry Canada) in Hull, Quebec, and moved to Ottawa.

In early 1990, the year in which he died, Mr. Holowacz joined the Canadian Industry, Trade, and Technology Directorate as a special advisor on forestry-related trade with the USSR. He accompanied a number of official Canadian delegations to the USSR and was also a consultant to the Canada-USSR Science and Technology Committee.