Ukrainian Publishers Limited (UPL) [Українська Видавнича Спілка] – a publisher of printed material and provider of printing services to various Ukrainian organisations in the UK and other clients.
The UPL was created primarily for the purpose of providing facilities for the publication of the Vyzvolnyi Shliakh (Liberation Path) journal, which began to be produced in 1948 by the UK branch of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (Banderivtsi). A formal decision on the founding of the company was taken on 15 May 1949 by an initiating group comprising Roman Borkowsky, Wolodymyr Wasylenko, Ewhen Harasymczuk, Hryhorij Drabat, Bohdan Mykytyn, Wasyl Oleskiw, W. Jaworsky. On 27 June the company was officially registered.
UPL was initially based in Manchester, but in 1950 it was moved to London, where it purchased a property at 28 Minster Road, NW2. In 1952 it acquired a second property at 237 Liverpool Road, London N1, at which typesetting, printing and binding equipment was gradually installed. At the end of 1962 it bought new premises at 200 Liverpool Road into which its offices and printing works were transferred.
In the spring of 1951 UPL became the publisher of Vyzvolnyi Shliakh, although it was not yet able to print the journal in house. In the autumn of 1952 the company began in-house typesetting of the journal, and also of the Ukrainian Observer, an English-language bulletin of the Ukrainian Information Service (UIS), which functioned alongside the UPL. In the autumn of 1953 UPL began to print both publications.
From 1954 UPL expanded its operations by offering printing services to various clients. In August of that year it began to print the Ukrainska Dumka newspaper published by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), and subsequently took on the printing of periodicals published by other Ukrainian organisations in the UK: The Ukrainian Review (AUGB), Surmach (Association of Ukrainian Former Combatants), Nasha Tserkva (Ukrainian Catholic Church), Vidomosti (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church), Yuni Druzi (AUGB), and the AUGB’s pocket yearbook Kalendarets Ukraintsia u Velykii Brytanii.
In addition to printing books and brochures for the UIS, other Ukrainian organisations and private individuals, including clients in other countries, UPL also published numerous books and brochures of its own, both fiction and non-fiction, in Ukrainian and in English. Other items printed by the company included leaflets, programmes, invitation cards, greeting cards etc.
After the death of Stepan Bandera in Munich in 1959, UPL acquired his personal belongings and items of furniture from his appartment, and these became the core exhibits of the Stepan Bandera Museum of the Ukrainian Liberation Struggle. From 1962 the Museum was housed at the premises of the AUGB branch in Nottingham, and in 1976 it was relocated to the UPL building in London.
In 1993 UPL was merged with the UIS, which had been registered as a separate company in 1978. The UIS continued the printing and publishing activities of UPL, and the latter was formally dissolved in 1997.
The company secretary throughout UPL’s existence was Wasyl Oleskiw, the managing director from 1958 to 1988 was Julian Zablocky, and the printing works were managed from 1952 to 1986 by Ihor Hawryliw.
‘Deshcho pro Ukrainsku Vydavnychu Spilku’, Vyzvolnyi Shliakh (London), 1956, no. 1, pp. 123-127
I. K., ‘Ukrainska Vydavnycha Spilka’, Ukrainska Dumka (London), 25 October 1956, p. 4
Oleskiw, V., ‘Korotkyi narys rozvytku “Vyzvolnoho Shliakhu” i “Ukrainskoi Vydavnychoi Spilky”’, Vyzvolnyi Shliakh (London), 1962, no.4-5, pp. 522-526
Pokalchuk, Yu., Ukraintsi u Velykii Brytanii (Lviv, 1999), pp. 61-64