The PJRC was founded in 1994 through the generosity of Petro Jacyk, a Toronto businessman and philanthropist, and his Foundation. This was one of several of his permanent contributions to the University of Toronto Libraries, including funding for the Petro Jacyk Collection of Ukrainian Serials (1848-1918) in 1982, and the creation of an endowment to support annual subscriptions to Ukrainian periodicals in 1994. The PJRC’s mission broadens his interests in Ukrainian culture, education, and scholarship, to support study and research on all the countries of East Central Europe, Russia, and Eurasia.
Besides the financial support of Petro Jacyk, the Slavic collections at the University of Toronto Libraries have benefited from the philanthropy of Seweryn Windyk who established a fund for the purchase of Ukrainian library materials in 1975; Vlasta Scheybal who endowed The Josef Scheybal Czech Collection in 1996; and John and Anne Zdunic who since 2003 have provided generously for the acquisition of Croatian library materials. In 2008 the University of Toronto Libraries received a pledge, payable over five years, from the John and Mary Yaremko Foundation to be used for special projects to preserve and improve access to Ukrainian materials held by Robarts and Fisher Libraries.
The development of the East European and Slavic collections could also not have taken place the past half century without the hundreds of generous gifts of library materials from individual and institutional donors.
Over the last ten years (May 2000-April 2011), the University of Toronto Libraries received over a total of 22,436 gift volumes of Slavic and East European monographs. The breakdown of gifts by language is as follows: 5,833 Russian; 4,161 Ukrainian; 2,786 Belarusian; 2,457 Hungarian; 2,164 Polish; 1,349 Czech; 728 Lithuanian; 655 Finnish; 622 Estonian; 397 Serbian; 263 Croatian; 235 Romanian; 76 Slovak; 63 Bulgarian; 36 Albanian; 23 Macedonian; and the remainder in other languages.
The PJRC gratefully recognizes all those people and organizations who have helped build the premier Slavic and East European library collection in Canada.
For more on how you can support the continuing development of the library’s collections please contact the University of Toronto Library’s Office of Advancement at 416-978-7644 or the University's Office of Gift Planning at 416-978-3846. If you wish to donate books or periodicals of scholarly value, please contact the Gifts Section in Robarts Library at 416-978-3118.