There’s a new exhibit showcasing Ukrainian heritage in Johnstown.
It’s on the third floor of the Cambria County Library in Downtown Johnstown.
Family heirlooms, artifacts, and items are on display to showcase Ukrainian ancestry in our region.
Joyce Homan is the Reference Librarian who organized this display, who is Ukrainian herself.
She says it’s important to learn about your heritage to make you a better world citizen.
“The Ukrainian community in Johnstown is pretty connected. Lots of us know each other. We’ve had some wonderful people that I reached out to that I’ve helped with their genealogy — and said, ‘Do you have any family heirlooms, or things you feel represent Ukraine?’ They said, ‘Sure, I’ll bring something.’ We have a host of things from some great people,”.
“While I grew up with lots of Ukrainian traditions from my extended family, I didn’t know my grandparents (they died when my dad was small) and so I always had questions about who they were, where they came from, etc. It’s truly why I became a genealogist! And it led me to their villages, extended family, and my cousins in Ukraine and Poland, some of whom are now going through this terrible war. But if I hadn’t done that research, it would have all been sort of abstract to me. I know there are many others in this area in that same situation, and I just want to encourage them that the library is here as a resource to a) help preserve memories (like we’re trying to do with our exhibit, which has many photos from Ukrainian local history) and b) to help them connect to their ancestors, Ukrainian or otherwise, and to current family where connections may have been lost through the generations.”
“It’s a beautiful, rich heritage that we have here in Johnstown. I just feel like Ukraine is such a big part of that. We’re connected through the ages. We want people to know what their heritage is,” she said.
Visitors can check out the display for the next month or two.