The archive aims to collect, store, study, provide access to, and popularize collections and files that are often neglected by the State Archives collections. Thematically, the archive’s materials are related to urban history in its various manifestations and perspectives.

The UMA is also a place for analyzing archival data and rethinking the role of archives in society in general. We explore and seek to develop new and ingenious ways of evaluating, contextualizing, displaying, and applying different archival media and documents. The project is not about developing tools to digitize archival files. We aspire to unite the community of archivists with historians and the general public.

In order to enrich our collection, we cooperate with various institutions and partners in Ukraine and beyond in digitizing, archiving, describing, and creating virtual digital collections. By collaborating with research, educational, and cultural institutions, we also disseminate historical materials both among experts and the general public. We strongly believe that this will foster the democratization of historical science in Ukraine.


The Urban Media Archive (UMA) comprises digitized or digital visual, audiovisual, and audio resources that display the city and give an account of urban life in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th-21st centuries.

The following collections form the core of the archive:


The archive has three focus areas, i.e. digitization, research, and use of historical sources in compliance with legal principles and open access philosophy.

Alternative digital collections: In contrast to hard-copy documents (rolls of film, photo albums, maps, etc.), the UMA processes digital visual, audiovisual, and audio content stored in archives and private collections as well as contributes to the creation of new sources (for example oral history interviews). The UMA also works with unconventional data and materials that are not used by researchers due to their content, social origin, or form.


The UMA participates in the implementation of research projects on such topics as the shaping and change of the urban media landscape, critical evaluation of data collection and archiving, the impact of digital technologies on historical culture in Ukrainian society as well as in other CEE countries, etc. As part of UMA development, the Center for Urban History runs international seminars and workshops on digital technologies in history and on the analysis and processing of visual and audio materials. Such events are designed as forums for discussing challenges and ideas that emerge in the humanities under the influence of digital technologies as well as for exchanging experiences and new tools.

Integration with educational projects: The UMA’s archival and research activities are part of the Center for Urban History’s work in the area of public history. The archive’s collection is integrated in a number of projects and formats, including exhibitions, lectures, presentations, installations, film screenings, and scientific seminars whose recordings are also archived. The UMA also displays its materials and research findings in the form of public lectures, presentations, talks, and round tables. New assets of the collection that also reflect the Center’s research component are integrated in a series of exhibitions on public and digital history and the city that are held in our exhibition space at 6 Bohomoltsia Street.


The UMA is guided by the principles of equal rights to information, ethical use of private data, and open access, including to cultural heritage. We work with open digital formats and standards, digitize, produce multilingual descriptions, and prefer open source digital solutions. We conduct and process interviews in line with the current legislation of Ukraine on personal data protection and the conditions of use put forward by our interviewees.

Legal regulation: Any use of the archive’s materials is regulated by the current legislation of Ukraine on copyright and related rights as well as by laws on libraries and librarianship. All digitized materials are part of the library of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe.


Researchers can get access to the UMA databases stored on a server and thus study all the collections of images, video materials, and interviews accumulated by the Center for Urban History. For this purpose, a dedicated computer was set up in the Center’s library that allows viewing all digitized materials in high resolution, including the ones that have not been published yet.

The UMA materials include a large collection of Lviv Television’s video materials from the 1950-1980s, newsreels, documentary films, and amateur recordings as well as photographs from private and state archives depicting urban history in Central and Eastern Europe. For more details on the available collections, visit the relevant sections of the Urban Media Archive project.


One of the components of the Urban Media Archive is a large collection of films and multimedia materials (classic live action, unique documentaries and history movies, films on urban topics, etc.) collected on disks and available to library users. The entire collection is separated as “mediatheque” in the library’s structure and can be requested through an online catalog.

The requested materials can be viewed on a dedicated computer in the reading room.

The Center for Urban History’s library is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am – 5 pm.

Address: 6 Akad. Bohomoltsia St., Lviv


Digital copies of video materials, images, audio recordings, layouts, maps, and plans are published within the Urban Media Archive with the full permission of our partners who own the copyright. All the aforementioned materials are protected with watermarks bearing the inscription Lvivcenter.org or the logo of the Center for Urban History as well as by the Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights”.

Information on copyright owners is placed in the field “Legal Regulation”. The Center for Urban History is not authorized to transfer digital copies of materials to any third parties without the written permission of copyright owners.

The materials published on the web pages of the Urban Media Archive can be used for private (non-commercial) purposes under the following conditions:

  • When using information from the materials published on the web pages of the Urban Media Archive, providing a hyperlink to the relevant webpage is obligatory.
  • When using textual information from the web pages of the Urban Media Archive, you are requested to mention the author of the text.
  • When using materials, you are requested to indicate data from the fields “Source”, “Collection”, and “ID”.
  • When using any materials of the project, you are requested to indicate that they belong to the UMA collection of the Center for Urban History.


We are open to cooperation with academic and educational institutions, researchers, museums and archival establishments, private collectors and owners of home archives as well as any other interested parties.

Should you have any questions, comments, or proposals, please send them via email to [email protected]