"Unfamiliar City and Strangers": Lviv Through the Eyes of Housemaids

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Dr Ivanna Cherchovych

Center for Urban History

16.7.2024, 18:30

Conference Room of the Center for Urban History

We invite you to the lecture by historian Ivanna Cherchovych that continues the series of lectures entitled "Let's Have a City…".

In the nineteenth century, the work of housemaids was one of the most demanded female professions in the city. Thousands of young girls from Lviv's outskirts or distant counties came here in search of a job. What kind of city did they see, or could they see from the window of their service house? What was it to them: an opportunity with which they associated their better future, or a threat that the popular press and the actively published manuals for servants at that time insistently warned them about? Or maybe it was a necessity, a despair, or an escape?

The microhistory for this lecture will be the family home of the retired Ukrainian teacher of classical languages, Teofil Hruszkiewicz, and his wife Liudmyla. From Hruszkiewicz's extant diary and family correspondence, we will learn about at least ten female servants who worked in their home between 1905 and 1913. The names of eight of them are known for certain: Tania Kaspriv, Maria Linchak, Liza B...ich, Anna Chaika, Mariia Yessyp, Parania Bnik, Agnieszka Chmielowska, and Pazia Dzhumalo.

Materials of the press of that time, city statistics, criminal court cases, documentation of women's societies designed to "take care" of city housemaids, as well as handbooks for domestic service and other specialized literature augment the knowledge gained from the Hruszkiewicz private archive. Together, these sources and data allow us to examine and study numerous low-paid, young, unmarried new female city dwellers using the case of maids from one family.

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Dr Ivanna Cherchovych

Center for Urban History

Historian, PhD in History, coordinator of the Center’s educational projects. Author of the free choice course “To Be a Woman in the Late 19th — early 20th Centuries Century Eastern Galicia” at the Ukrainian Catholic University (2019). Since 2016, she has been a member of the Ukrainian Association of Women’s History Researchers. Research interests: women’s history, historical anthropology, history of everyday life in relation to Galicia in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Viktoria Panas

Center for Urban History

Head of the Center’s Public History Programs. She studied at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Her areas of interest include public history, cultural management, museum studies, and art history.

Credits

Cover Image: Cavalry unit of the Sich Tustanovychi-Bolekhiv // Collection of Stepan Haiduchok // 1913-1914 // Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History