Fonds MSS 533 (A2018-051) - Orysia Tracz fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Orysia Tracz fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

MSS 533 (A2018-051)

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1946-2017 (Creation)
    Creator
    Tracz, Orysia

Physical description area

Physical description

86 photographs
2 photo reproductions
11 slides
40 blank postcards
12 blank greeting cards
1 sheet of 45 stamps

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1945-2016)

Biographical history

Orysia (Paszczak) Tracz (1945-2016) was born in a displaced persons camp in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, to Ukrainian parents who had been transported to Germany as forced labourers during World War II. In 1949 the family moved to the United States taking up residence in Jersey City, Newark and Irvington, New Jersey. Active in various Ukrainian organizations during her childhood and youth, Orysia majored in Political Science at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. (1963-67) and spent her summers working at Soyuzivka, a Ukrainian resort in upstate New York, where she met many prominent Ukrainian émigré artists, including Jacques Hnizdovsky and Edward Kozak (Eko). In 1967 she married Myroslav Tracz, whom she had met at Soyuzivka, and accompanied him on his VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) assignment to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. A year later the young couple moved to Winnipeg, which became their home, and where they raised their three sons.

Orysia was employed by the University of Manitoba Libraries as a library assistant in the Slavic Collection, in Archives & Special Collections, and in Collections Management (1968-78, 1988-2010). In her spare time she was active in the local Ukrainian community: she volunteered, served on the Board of Directors, and was briefly the acting executive director of the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre (Oseredok); she served on the executive of the Alpha Omega Women’s Alumnae; she taught Ukrainian heritage school classes at the “Prosvita” Ukrainian Reading Association on Saturday mornings; she wrote and broadcast weekly commentaries for the Ukrainian program on Winnipeg’s CKJS Radio; she was a columnist for the popular, widely circulated Ukrainian Weekly newspaper, published in New Jersey; and she produced a stream of letters-to-the-editor, some of them published in the mainstream press and periodicals, on issues of concern to Ukrainians in North America.

Above all, she pursued her lifelong interest in Ukrainian folk traditions, arts and ethnography with relentless enthusiasm. During the early 1970s she was involved in the Mamaj Gallery and fine arts boutique, established by her husband Myroslav, where works by some of the artists they had met at Soyuzivka were displayed and sold. Between 1971 and 2006 she organized and curated a number of Ukrainian folk and fine arts displays and exhibits at the University of Manitoba Libraries, including several displays of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and an exhibit of the works of the Ukrainian-born American painter, printmaker, graphic designer, and illustrator Jacques Hnizdovsky (1915-1985). In 1975-76 she served as a researcher on the production of Slavko Nowytski’s award-winning film Pysanka: The Ukrainian Easter Egg and she published her first article on the subject in The Canadian Collector. In subsequent years she delivered countless popular lectures on Ukrainian folk arts and traditions in Winnipeg and in Ukrainian communities all across North America. She served as a consultant on costumes, songs and dances for many Ukrainian-Canadian performing arts groups and she advised several Canadian authors on the Ukrainian content of their novels. From the mid-1980s she was frequently asked to translate Ukrainian-language books on the folk arts into English, working on texts prepared and published by the émigré World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, and after 1991 on books produced by Rodovid Publishers and the Ivan Honchar Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 1993, and then almost annually after 1997 she organized and led summer folk art and culture tours of Ukraine, with travelers from across North America, Australia and even Japan. In the fall of 2015 Orysia published The First Star I See Tonight: Ukrainian Christmas Traditions, an illustrated collection of her popular articles, several of them first published on the pages of the Winnipeg Free Press.

During her career Orysia Tracz received the Alpha Omega Alumnae Ukrainian Woman of the Year Award (1990), the Canada 125 Medal (1992), the University of Manitoba Outreach Award (1996), the Bulava Award of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (2016), and she was an honouree of the Osvita Foundation/Manitoba Parents for Ukrainian Education (2013).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The accession contains documents, manuscripts and photos covering Orysia Tracz’s career as a community activist and Ukrainian folk arts enthusiast. In addition to biographical materials that focus on many of her projects, the accession contains her correspondence (including letters to the press and other media); her published newspaper and journal letters and articles; manuscripts of mostly unpublished articles; the text of her most popular public lectures/presentations; and research materials, primarily articles, pamphlets, brief monographs, and newspaper clippings, on the pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg), on Ukrainian folk arts, and on current affairs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 8 series:

1) Biographical
2) Correspondence
3) Publications
4) Manuscripts
5) Presentations
6) Research – Pysanka
7) Research – Folk Arts
8) Research – Current Affairs

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A finding aid can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid created by Orest Martynowych (March 2019). Revised by N. Courrier (April 2019).

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres