Title: Book reveals history of local Slavic community
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: The Dispatch
The book boasts more than 200 vintage photographs along with a supportive narrative from local author Brian Ardan.
He has carefully selected rarely seen images from various private collections, churches, historical societies, and archives for the new book.
The Anthracite Coal Region's Slavic Community presents a pictorial history of Slavic people in hard coal country, conveying the unique and rich culture brought to the area with the arrival of these diverse communities.
Author Brian Ardan hopes The Anthracite Coal Region's Slavic Community "will be a touchstone of sorts for those interested in knowing about, and perhaps preserving, a culture that has had an enormously strong hand in shaping the character of hard coal cities and towns."
Older readers of Slavic descent will experience a pleasant and nostalgic look at events and organizations once widespread in the region.
Younger readers will find the photographs to be an "eye" into the world of their forebears not only in the U.S., but also in far off eastern, central, and southern European locales.
The book does not limit itself to one particular Slavic group; Poles, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, and are highlighted.
Readers interested in church history will find two chapters about the establishment of Slavic churches in the region, as well as with parish daily life.
The book is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Brian Ardan is a faculty member in the Stevenson Library at Lock Haven University.
He has a master's degree in Slavic studies from Indiana University and a master's degree in library science from Clarion University.
He has lived in Slavic language-speaking countries, including Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.
The company's mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Title: A look at our ancestry
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: The Daily Item
A new book titled "The Anthracite Coal Region's Slavic Community" boasting more than 200 vintage photographs along with narrative from author Brian Ardan, of Trevorton, will be released Monday.
Ardan hopes the book "will be a touchstone of sorts for those interested in knowing about, and perhaps preserving, a culture that has had an enormously strong hand in shaping the character of hard coal cities and towns."
Ardan has lived and worked in Slavic-speaking counties, such as Poland, Bosnia and Montenegro. In his book, he examines Slavic culture as it relates to the anthracite coal region.
With master's degrees in Slavic studies and library and information science, Ardan currently serves on the faculty at Lock Haven University. He recently co-presented a paper in Prague, Czech Republic, dealing with internationalization efforts on small college campuses.
He is the faculty advisor to a newly-forming Slavics Club comprised mainly of students from Russia and Ukraine. He has also produced a musical CD with a well-known Slavic folk singer, Julia Doszna, from Poland.
Ardan hopes his book will inspire those in the region with Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn, Slovenian or other Slavic heritage to learn more about their culturally rich and historically significant roots.
Q: What was your inspiration for writing the book?
A: Since I was a child, I have always maintained an interest in Slavic roots and customs: why we ate the foods we did; the meanings behind those occasional foreign-language phrases passed down by our grandparents; why our customs during the holidays seemed different than those of many other children. For example, the Christmas Eve meatless meal, the passing around of the "oplatek" (wafers) and the accompanying well-wishing.
The customs and other cultural connections between Slavic culture overseas and those in the coal region were undeniable. I thus felt compelled to write a book that conveys a broad, yet pictorially vivid history of Slavs in the area.
Q. What will readers find interesting about the book?
A. I think that local people whose heritage includes Polish, Ukrainian, Slovak, Carpatho-Rusyn, Slovenian and other Slavic groups will be able to make connections between their own experiences in coal country with those of other Slavs in the region. The pictures will strike a chord with those who have heard family tales of the experiences of early immigrants and their first-generation descendents. They will also find it interesting to see photographs showing how Slavic culture is still alive and well in the region today.
Q. What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?
A. As the older generations have begun moving on, coupled with the fact that the anthracite coal region has become increasingly diverse, the influence of Slavic culture steadily diminishes. I would therefore like the book to be a touchstone of sorts for those interested in knowing about, and perhaps preserving, a culture that has had an enormously strong hand in shaping the character of hard coal cities and towns.