The Ostroh Academy Research Center of Inheritance Studies.
The Ostroh Academy Research Center of Inheritance Studies was created for the purpose of studying the cultural property of the Ostroh Slavic–Greek–Latin Academy of the XVI and XVII century, the history of the establishment, its revival in 1994 and the present successor of the National University of Ostroh Academy. The first leader of the center, Petro Andruhov (1922-1995) was the chairman of the Local Historical Society of the Princes of Ostroh. After his death, Yaroslava Bondarchuk led the Ostroh Academy Research Center of Inheritance Studies. Other than research, display work is one of the most important tasks of the center. Workers of the center created several rooms in the museum. Visitors became better acquainted with the history of the Ostroh Academy in 1997 when the Museum of the Ostroh Academy, presently counting two thousand exhibits, was created.
A considerable part of the museum’s display is devoted to the history of the establishment and the development of the Ostroh Slavic–Greek–Latin Academy. Some of the things on display at the museum include: A portrait of the founder of the Academy (Prince Vasil-Kostiantyn of Ostroh), a copy of his 1585 Seym deed concerning the foundation of the Ostroh Academy, the 1585 king Stephen Batoriy document which granted the Ostroh hospital, church of St. Trinities, academy of Eight Villages of Sourazh and Ostroh the Jail of Magdeburg right. The walls of museum are embellished with the portraits of the first founder of Academy, Galshka, Princess of Ostroh, whose charmed contemporaries named her, “the most beautiful woman of the XVI century”. Galshka’s life was unhappy and vain. Her donation of 1579 – 6000 cop from her Lithuanian account played a considerable role in the development of the Ostroh Academy. Unfortunately, no original copies of her portraits were ever found. Thanks to sponsoring by the deputy chairmen of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, Natalia Danilenko, the Ostroh Academy organized a competition based on the recreation of Galshka portraits, thus the gallery took shape and artists from Ostroh, Rivne, Netishin and Kiev presented their best efforts.
There are many original items in the museum’s repertoire, including XVI-XVII century documents and editions. Of particular interest is a display of XVI-XVII century chinks, tiles, crockery and other items found by history and cultural students while on archaeological excavations of sites relevant to those centuries. Such an excavation occurred at the New (Round) tower, where it was conducted under the direction of archaeologist and professor of the academy, Alexander Bondarchuk. During the excavations of the XVI century tower and the XVIII century caves of Trios monastery of capuchins, students found quite a bit interesting items that testify to the way of life of past epochs, for example: tiles with the image of the coat of arms of prince Vasil-Kostiantyn of Ostroh, bricks with the sign of Ivan Fedorov, ceramic crockery and bottles for medications made from the gutta glass of monks-capuchins, and a massive XVIII century brick on which contains a cross-swastika that represent an ancient character of the sun. This was a common thing for a monastery inclined to mystic pantheism and for those who were followers of Sainted Francis.
Among the collection of manuscripts is an especially interesting notebook containing “Weeping of Saint Marry”. It was written in Holm, 1943, by a man known as Metropolitan Illarion in church and also as Ivan Ogienko, the historian (also a former student of Ostroh masculine high school). Sponsors, Dariya Yarushevych (USA) and Tony Demyanchuk-Shalapay (England), helped the museum acquire a especially valuable document – a deed from an April 23, 1594 signed by the very hand of the academy’s founder, Prince Vasil-Kostiantyn of Ostroh.
A large part of the display was devoted to the latest history of the Ostroh Academy, based on the decree of President Leonid Kravchuk on April 12, 1994. Presidential decrees, documents based on the revival and establishment of the academy, scientific research of teachers and students and gifts from numerous guests of the Academy are all on display. Different subsections of the academy, particularly the Cultural and Art center, Sport Complex and Department of International Cooperation also had their own displays. Special attention was put into illuminating the role of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the development of Ukrainian culture and education. On March 22, 1999 the Ostroh Academy won the 27th International Prize for high quality of educational technologies in Paris, which became the most valued display in the museum 22, 1999 in Paris. There were also a numismatist collection of Unkrainian anniversary chinks and medals donated in 1999 by Victor Yushenko.