As many of my readers already know, my ethnic heritage is 50% Carpatho-Ruysn, due to my paternal family that lived in what is today Slovakia, in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountians.
If you are of Carpatho-Rusyn descent and would like to read more about your heritage, here is bibliography of printed works.
Several of the books on this list include prices from C-RRC, which is the Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center, P.O. Box 35, Grand Isle, Vermont 05458-0035. They have a fairly extensive catalog of books about Carpatho-Ruthenia and ship quickly. Ask for a publications list – sometimes their prices are way better than online. (For example, The Lemko Studies handbook by Horbal online is $1495.50 !!!)
In addition to the listed books, I’d highly recommend purchasing the Map of Carpatho-Rusyn Villages – only $18.00 from C-RRC! All known villages are included on this large (30″ x 40″) map. It’s worth every penny of$18.00!
1. With Their Backs to the Mountains, Paul Robert Magocsi, Central European University Press, Budapest- New York, 2015. This is the premier book written about Rusyn history in terms of details and depth of information. Dr. Magocsi is a professor at the University of Toronto and has published many books and articles about Carpatho-Ruthenia and its peoples. I’d highly recommend purchasing this as a reference book. ($45.00 from C-RRC)
2. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Stephan Thernstrom, Editor, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1980. This book has nine pages (200-209) dedicated to statistical information about Rusyns who settled in the United States. There are also numerous footnotes identifying scholarly works for further reference. An added benefit is that information on the collateral ethnic group to which your family belongs (Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian or Slovak) can be found in this book, too. (There are copies on eBay now for under $25.00.)
3. Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture, Revised and Expanded Edition, Paul Robert Magocsi and Ivan Pop, University of Toronto Press, 2005. ($75.00 from C-RRC)
4. Carpathian Rus’ A Historical Atlas, Paul Robert Magocsi, Governing Council of the University of Toronto, 2017. ($28.00 from C-RRC)
5. The People from Nowhere, Paul Robert Magocsi, V. Padiak Publishers, Uzhhorod, Ukraine, 2006. ($24.50 from CRRC – see below)
6. The Rusyns of Hungary, Maria Mayer, East European Monographs, Columbia University Press, New York, 1997. ($24.50 from C-RRC)
7. The Rusyns of Slovakia, Paul Robert Magocsi, 1994 ($65.00 on Amazon)
8. Our People, Carpatho-Rusyns and Their Descendants in North America, Paul Robert Magocsi, 2006 (Out of print from C-RRC. $50.00 on Amazon)
9. Lemko Studies: A Handbook, B. Horbal, 2010 (Out of print at C-RRC)
10. The Rusyn-Ukrainians of Czechoslovakia, Paul Robert Mabocsi, 1993 (Out of print at C-RRC)
11. Byzantine Rite Rusins in Carpatho-Ruthenia and America by Walter C. Warzeski, 1971 ($45.00 on EBay)
12. The Byzantine Rite – A Short History, Robert F. Taft, 1992 ($10.00 online)
13. Mapping Stateless People: The East Slavs of the Carpathians (revised), Paul Robert Magocsi, 2018, ($8.75 from C-RRC)
14. The Lost World of Subcarpathian Rus’: Photographs of Rudolph Hulka, 2016 ($45.00 from C-RRC)
15. God Is a Rusyn: An Anthology of Contemporary Carpatho-Rusyn Literature, edited by Elaine Rusinko, 2011 ($30.00+ online)
16. Peoples of North America: The Carpatho-Rusyn Americans, Paul Robert Magocsi, 1989 ($20.00 online)
These are just a sampling of books, many of which are available from the C-RRC.
There are two other books, which are definitely in the collectible category, as they are somewhat rare and expensive.
Andy Warhol is arguably the most famous Rusyn. Raymond M. Herbenick wrote Andy Warhol’s Religious and Ethnic Roots: The Carpatho-Rusyn Influence on His Art. Mellen Press still carries the book, but it’s $200.00. However, that is much cheaper than the $350-500 prices when the book is found on Amazon or EBay.
Another fun book is Rusyn Easter Eggs from Eastern Slovakia by Pavlo Markovyc, 1987. It costs around $100.00 when copies are sold online.
Learning to speak the Rusyn language is not for the faint of heart. C-RRC has several language books for sale, including Let’s Speak Rusyn (Presov Region edition, Transcarpathian edition and Lemko Region edition. Each is just $15.00.
These books are basic vocabulary and phrase guides, but are helpful because they present information in 3 columns – English translation, Cyrillic alphabet appearance and a pronunciation guide using our alphabet.
Stefan M. Pugh published an actual textbook (бітаеме! Welcome!) for learning Rusyn in 2021, but a sound knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet and its sound system is essential, as there are no tapes or videos to help with pronunciation. ($32.75 from C-RRC)
The Carpatho-Rusyn identity, after centuries of being ignored or subjugated, is flowering in the 21st century. If you have Rusyn heritage, now is the time to learn more about it.