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Archival Research

Central State Historical Archives of Ukraine, City of Lviv (also known by its acronym TsDIAL)

The archives were founded in 1784 after Austrians first gained control over the region. Over the years they grew and became an important resource center for the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. The modern archives were set up in November 1939 as the Central Archives of Ancient Deeds. Since then they went through a series of mergers and reorganizations. Currently TsDIAL holds 764 funds and 1,114,583 collection items. They are located in the former St. Bernard Monastery, on 3a Soborna Sq.

The archives boast of a truly vast collection of documents which are of considerable interest to genealogical community:

  • Metrical books (vital records) of the Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Evangelical and Jewish denominations

In 1784 the Austrian government issued a decree according to which the Catholic Church, in the person of Catholic parish priests, was assigned a role of keeping records of births, deaths and marriages of the Catholic population. Lutherans began their own record keeping in 1849, while Jews started doing the same in 1868. The researchers should keep in mind that people belonging to different religions often intermarried. In 1927, for instance, over 16 per cent of the marriages in Eastern Galicia were mixed.

The Roman Catholic Church records (2657 parish books) range from 1600 to 1948.

The Greek Catholic Church records (7421 parish books) range from 1776 to 1944.

The majority of books are from mid 1700’s through the beginning of 20th century. The earlier documents are in Latin, the later - in Polish.

  • Lists of house owners (from 19th to early 20th century)
  • Cadastral records and maps produced between the end of 18th and early 20th centuries

Two surveys were commissioned by the Austrian crown during the time Galicia was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. The first land cadastre was conducted on the order of Joseph II, and took place between 1785 and 1788. The second inventory of Galician lands, ordered by Francis I, was compiled between 1819 and 1820. Both cadastral records are in German.

  •   Annual directories listing offices and office-holders (the so-called schematisms)

If your ancestors worked for the government, a church or a school, those books can be quite helpful for finding necessary information. For example, records from educational institutions will include personal files, information on graduation certificates, etc.

  • Historical documents relating to Jewish people who lived in western Ukraine and eastern Poland.

Fond 701 is the largest Jewish collection in the archives. It contains the birth, marriage and death registrations for Galician towns and villages. The earliest records (or kehillahs) date back to 1784. Please note that Judaica documents are often scattered across multiple collections and are not easy to locate. Hence, patience and perseverance will be required to find records relevant to your research.

  • Austrian military records/personnel cards (1865-1930)

If your grandfathers served in the Austrian army you may find information about them in personnel cards. Thousands of the WW I military records pertaining to East Galicia and Bukowina are kept at the Lviv Historical Archives. They are not indexed, however, and you will have to go through the documents card by card, and page by page.


State Archives of Lviv Oblast

The archives were established in December 1939 on the basis of the former Polish State Archives in Lwów. Since then the archives’ name and subordination changed several times. Over the years they absorbed several smaller regional and institutional archives. Currently, a greater part of their collection is kept in the buildings of the former Dominican Monastery, on 13 Pidvalna Str.

The archives keep documents of governmental institutions, private companies and political organizations which functioned in Lviv region at the times of Austrian-Hungarian monarchy (1772-1918), Second Polish Republic (1918-1939), Nazi occupation of Galicia (1941-1944), and the Soviet rule (1939-1941, 1944-1991).

The following collections of the Lviv Oblast Archives are of special interest for genealogists:

  • Testamentary documents on immovable property (1849-1918)
  • Household records of Lviv city properties (1854)
  • Diaries of combat veterans, photographs, personal files, and lists of participants of the Polish-Ukrainian war (1918-1919)
  • Documents of police authorities of the interwar Poland (1918-1939)
  • Records of Ukrainian police detachment of the city of Lviv (1941-1944)
  • Lists of people taken from western Ukraine to Germany and Austria as forced labor (1941-1944)
  • Files of citizens subjected to repressions and deportations from the territory of the present-day Lviv oblast of Ukraine (1939-1941, 1944-1953)
  • Documents on reciprocal evacuation of the Ukrainian and Polish population performed under agreement between the communist Government of the Ukrainian SSR and the Polish Committee for National Liberation (1944-1948, 1951). Please keep in mind that, as in the case of repressed and deported citizens these will be the documents pertaining to the Lviv oblast only.

Among other things, with our help you can order lists of people relocated from Poland to Ukraine at the end of and after WW2. The references issued by the State Archives of Lviv Oblast include full names of family members resettled as a group, year of birth for each person, their destination place in Ukraine, and (most of the time, but not always) general description of the property left in Poland. Please keep in mind that references are written by hand in Ukrainian. 

The translation services are available upon request. We accept handwritten documents in the Polish, Russian and Ukrainian languages and the Lemko dialect. Working with old handwritten documents and texts is often more about deciphering them, rather than translating. If it is possible to read a document, it will also be possible to translate it.

Please also see the Translation section of the Web site.



June 2023
Today: 10.06.2023

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