Alexander Baran fonds

Call Number: Mss 221, Pc 224, Tc 58, El 13 (A.05-49, A.08-71)

Title: Alexander Baran fonds.

Dates: 1618-2004.

Extent: 5.98 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Rev. Dr. Msgr. Alexander Baran was born on March 28, 1926 in Koncove, a suburb of Uzhhorod, Carpatho-Ukraine. His father, Viktor Barany, was a secretary to the Czechoslovakian prime minister, M. Hodzha (1935-1939). Rev. Baran obtained a B.A. (History-Slavic) at Charles University in Prague in 1948. He left Czechoslovakia after the Communist "putsch" in 1948 and continued his studies in Rome, Italy. In Rome he completed two doctorate degrees, one in theology (Urbanianum University) and one in history (Eastern Oriental Institute). During his years in Rome he studied and worked at the Vatican Archives. On March 25, 1954, he was ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop Ivan Buchko and worked as a priest amongst Ukrainian immigrants in England and Belgium. In 1961 he arrived in Winnipeg where he worked in different parishes, such as Holy Eucharist, Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Josaphat, Christ the King and Sts. Peter and Paul.

In 1964 he became the chaplain of “Obnova”, the Ukrainian Catholic Students’ organization at the University of Manitoba. In 1965 he started teaching at the University of Manitoba as a part-time lecturer. Rev. Baran became a full-time professor of history in 1966 and taught courses in theology and Byzantine art history until 1991. He completed his studies in Canada when he received an M.A. (Slavic) from the University of Ottawa in 1976.

Rev. Alexander Baran’s main sphere of interest was Cossack history, Ukrainian Church history and Carpatho-Ukraine (Ruthenian) history. He knew many languages including Ukrainian, English, Italian, Czech, Hungarian, and Latin. In 1968 Rev. Baran and George Gajecky spent time at the Viennese Archives going through 17th-century documents about Cossacks' activities in western Europe. This research led to their two-volume work, The Cossacks in the Thirty Years War (1969, 1983). Another research project Rev. Alexander Baran was involved in was bringing the Vatican documents to Winnipeg relating to his project, “History of Roman Catholic Church in Canada from 1668”. He acquired the documents for St. Paul’s College and the documents were microfilmed in 1967 with grants from the Canada Council and National Archives of Canada.

Rev. Alexander Baran was the author of many scholarly works on the Church history of Carpatho-Ukraine (Ruthenia), on pre-Khmelnytsky Cossack history, and on Ukrainian church history in Canada. He published articles in the scholarly journals Alma Mater, Analecta OSBM, Logos, Bohoslovia, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, and Ukrainian Historian. He also published articles in the following journals published by UVAN (Ukrainian Academy of Arts & Sciences in Canada): New Soil-Old Roots, Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine 988-1988, and Jubilee Collection of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts & Sciences. Rev. Baran compiled and edited a book about his father Viktor Barany titled Dennyk Viktora Barana (1996). In 1989 he collected research material in the Czech Archives for his book, Statni Ustredni Archiv v Praze.

Rev. Baran was a long-serving member of many learned societies including the Shevchenko Scholarly Society Association, the Association of Canadian Slavists, the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), the Ukrainian Historical Association, and an associate of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. He was also involved in many Ukrainian organizations. He served as president of UVAN from 1973 to 1976, and again in 1980 and 1989. He was also president of the Conference of Ukrainian Studies, president of Shashkevych Cultural Society, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Cultural & Educational Centre.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II granted the “Papal Honour of Chaplain to His Holiness” in favour of the Rev. Dr. Msgr. Alexander Baran at the request of the Most Reverend Michael Bzdel (CSsR), Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada. Rev. Alexander Baran passed away on October 12, 2004.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the Executrices of the Estate of Dr. Rev. Alexander Baran, Irene Gajecky and Marika Gawron, in 2005 and 2008.

Scope and content: The 2005 accession consists of biographical information, correspondence, research material from the Vatican,Viennese, Czech, and Hungarian Archives (photocopies), research material on Carpatho-Ukraine (Subcarpathia) region, material on his courses at the University of Manitoba, and UVAN (Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences) documentation.  The tape collection consists of 8 audio-cassettes featuring recordings of Andrej Sakharov's visit to Winnipeg on February 17, 1989, audio recordings of Ukrainian-Canadian Conferences and Ukrainian visitors to Winnipeg.

The 2008 accession consists of Reverend Baran's identification documents, education documents, travel documents, material on his awards and honors, his father's (Viktor Baran) diary, and a photograph collection consisting of 208 photographs depicting his childhood and 50 years of priesthood.  Also included is a CD containing digital reproductions of items in the fonds.

Restrictions: One folder is labeled confidential and is restricted.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below:

MSS 221, TC 58 (A.05-49)

MSS 221, PC 224, EL 13 (A.08-71).