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Taras Shevchenko

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Taras Shevchenko

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Apostle of the words of Ukraine!

Jurij Fedkovich

Fragment of the «Testament» rhyme with…

Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 1861) – famous Ukrainian poet, prophet of a new Ukraine. Astrophysics say – there are configurations of stars exists, which is rather one of them flare as supernova star – its powerful radiation lights more and more neighboring stars.

Taras Shevchenko became such supernova for the Ukraine. Ardent poet's word inflame hundreds, thousands, and in subsequent generations – millions and tens of millions of people with national consciousness, remade the "mud of Moscow" to the nation, formed national religion from ukrainian language…

And these millions of conscious people formed our modern Ukraine – the best of states, which have only been during the whole history of mankind.

This project aims to give comprehensive information about Taras Shevchenko. It has a very wide hierarchical structure, so you might need some time to navigate it.

Site sections

About project

The project is based on the poet's complete works, published in Kiev by publishing house "Naukova Dumka" in 2001 – 2003th. Unfortunately, the from planned 12 volumes came out only 7 (6 volumes of literary heritage and first volume of the artistic heritage). So we used other publications too, in the first place "Complete works in 10 volumes (Kyiv: 1961 – 1963, vol. 7 – 10, devoted to the artistic heritage).

Studying edition 2001 – 2003's, we always wondered by quantity and quality of our Shevchenko experts' work. For each piece traced to the smallest details the history of the text, thoroughly grounded canonical text, submitted – even to the smallest detail – all variants, written comprehensive comments… So if nobody not interfere with work of experts, not – a brilliant outcome is not delayed.

How to use Web publishing


Site visitors can use next features;

- take advantage of the full texts, browse photo galleries, use these materials in theis own works;

- easy to move between works by pressing Ctrl + cursor up / down;

- search data you need via the search box in the upper right of the window;

- print documents you need using the "Print versoin" button;

- follow the news of our site;

- send mails to us with comments and suggestions;

- correct spelling errors, selecting them by mouse and pressing Ctrl+Enter;


To facilitate the reading of texts taken following font styles:

Style Value
Style With bold highlighted that Taras Shevchenko found necessary to highlight in his text, regardless of how fontware design of this selection.
Father With bold italic highlighted accents.
raison Highlighted words, which are explained. To see these explanations, one should move the mouse on the word – an explanation will appear in the hint bubble. In this way, given translations of foreign words (not to clog the main text) and rarely used synonyms of ukrainian words. To quotations I indicates the citation source.
[Note] In brackets are given in green comments by N.I.Zharkikh.


It is well known that most of the Shevchenko's works during his life, in conditions of Tsarist Russia, could not be printed in the form in which the author wanted to see them. Modern Shevchenko experts done gigantic work accomplished by studying all sources of Shevchenko's texts, revealing authoritive among them, discovering their sequence. On this basis defined canonical texts, closest to the author's will:

All vesrions still found arranged in their chronological-creative, genealogical sequence: from the first, rough, including to the penultimate (final version published in the main text).

Complete genealogical set of successive editions and variants from the earliest to the last but one and then to the main text including, gives the chronologically sequential reading of all layers of manuscripts and printed texts of Shevchenko and thus with the greatest today possible fullness reflects the formation and movement of text, graphically expressed history and design of each piece of text, and all successive stages and its interrelated phases.

Editions, which have independent significance, are presented in full texts. In all other cases presented only the variants of creative nature: separate lines, group lines, passages that are different from other text sources.

In the middle of each heading variants placed in chronological order. The return from chronologically later to the previous version or even an earlier one recorded as a separate, independent variant (element of the text motion). (T.H. Shevchenko Complete works in 12 volumes. – K.: Naukova Dumka, 2001, v. 1, p. 411)

A unique feature of our web edition is the ability to read all variants of each line of work for which such variants are known. A special variant management system was designed for this purpose.

If the product has variants then floating toolbar displayed on the screen (click here to see toolbar on this page). By default it is located in the lower left corner. You can move it to another location, pressing the handles in the corners of the panel. You can switch off the panel by pressing the «X» (after that you can re-activate the panel by clicking ☼ button, which is located right above the main text).

Example text options

Canonical text

Typically floating panel contains a group of checkboxes, each of which enables or disables the text of the relevant variant that visually highlighted with special background color. A special checkbox is the "canonical text" – it controls visibility of the frames. Inside each frame variants are placed in chronological order, they end with a string of canonical text.

The manuscripts that are not autographed by Shevchenko the scribe variants marked by "It was" and italics highlighting; below them goes text, corrected by Shevchenko (in regular font).

In cases where Shevchenko repeatedly corrected the same source text, all versions except the last marked with strikethrough font.

Line numbers

Another unique feature of our web edition (also specially designed for it): one can see the line numbers and manipulate those numbers.

Double click this line to see its number

To do this, double click the desired line. At the end of its text a small panel will be appear that contains the row number in brackets, and links with the letters C and B. When you click the link C[opy], you copy this line URL to the clipboard and then can paste it into your document. By clicking the link with B[ookmark], you can add a bookmark at this line to your browser.

To remove all panels, added in this way simply reload the document (in most browsers – press a F5 key).

Please be aware that B links are working only in MS Internet Explorer.

Thus, each line of Shevchenko in our publication has its own URL, which allow you make accurate references to work as a whole or to its specific fragment.

The author

The project author is Nikolai Zharkikh. So when you see the notes "I think…", this I means Nikolai Zharkikh. Because T.Shevchenko's works belong to our public domain, I will gladly consider any offers for improving this web project.


I express my gratitude to my friends who helped me in composing this site:

- doctor of history, Shevchenko Prize laureate , which vigorously supported the idea of web publishing and has provided plenty of materials from his personal library;

- ph.D. in History who provided me with the publication of his library;

- employees of named after T.H.Shevchenko National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Candidate of Philology S.A. Galchenko, A.A. Fedoruk, V.I.Dudko for valuable advices and good wishes;

- Roman and Tetjana Matviyiv, Natalie Miryuta – for assistance in preparing texts for publication;

- all others – that did not interfere.

Our other sites

Myslene drevo – free reading room – ukrainian information resources for science and education
Ivan Franko – encyclopedia of life and creativity – encyclopedia of life and creativity
Mykhajlo Hrushevsky – encyclopedia of life and creativity – encyclopedia of life and creativity
Lesja Ukrainka – encyclopedia of life and creativity – encyclopedia of life and creativity
Knowledge on Ukraine – ukrainian bibliography – ukrainian bibliography, links to full texts
Forefathers' glory – ukrainian sights – ukrainian sights and monuments