The History of Founding.
Kharkiv Collegium was founded in 1721 in Belgorod by Belgorod and Obojan bishop Epifaniy (Tihorskiy). In 1726 it was moved to Kharkiv, to Pokrovskij monastery by duke Golitisin’s petition. It was approved as Slavo-Greek-Latin School by Empress Anna Ivanovna in 1732.
It is called Collegium because of learning children of spiritual and secular rank. After 1805 (the year of Kharkiv University establishment) Collegium became an absolutely religious school. In 1817 it was included into the number of theological seminaries. In 1840 Collegium became a theological seminary. The rector, who initially had hegumen and then archimandrite rank was the head of the institution. He also was the abbot of the monastery.
The rector’s assistant in the educational area was a prefect (renamed for an inspector in 1817). The body of the internal control was the bureau (converted into the directory in 1789), composed of the rector, the prefect and some teachers (from 1817 the composition of management consisted of the rector, the inspector and the oeconomus). The sustenance of Collegium was different. The studying course was the copy of Kyiv Academy one with some local differences. It was feasible to send young students abroad and engage foreign teachers.
The great attention was paid to teaching Russian language. Also the courses of mathematics, history and new languages were implemented.
The full volume of the course included: theology, ific, philosophy, history, geography, natural science, physics, arithmetic, geometry, architecture, engineering, artillery, geodesy, rhetoric, piitic, music, panting, as for languages: Russian, Slavic, Latin, Greek, Hebraic, French, German and Italian, also agriculture and medicine.
Collegium was a well-known educational institution of the XVIII century. It was the exemplary school in the South of Russia, the first one after Kyiv Academy. When eminent Peter (Smelich), bishop of Belgorod moved Collegium to the hierarchic village of Grayvoron by the reason of violent epidemic in 1739 and wished to leave it forever, the Holy Synod addressed to him that such exemplary institutions could not be established in the village (it was improperly) but apart from town bustle.
The rector of Collegium was ordered to wear a robe with tablets and a cross like the rector of Moscow Academy and also to wear a panagy and to use ripids. The fact that the rector of Collegium was compared to the rector of the academy and at the same time the expansion of the science Collegium teaching caused Collegium to be referred and named Academy: it was sometimes called Kharkiv Academy or Tihoriaska Academy (named after the founder – Epiphanius Tihorskiy).
Former students of Collegium are: Kyiv Metropolitanians Arseny (Mogilansky) and Gavriil (Kremenetsky), professors of Moscow University I. Dvigubsky, E. Mukhin and M. Kachenovsky, philosopher G. Skovoroda, writers S. Pisarevskiy, P. Pisarevskiy, S. Alexandrovich, P. Koreniciy and others.
Kharkiv Collegium was the first institution of higher education in the Left-Bank Ukraine and was the predecessor of the University opened in the beginning of the 19th century (Collegium was founded in 1722 in Belgorod by Bishop Epiphanius Tihorskiy as a school under control of bishop’s house. It was moved to Kharikiv on the initiative and with the active support of duke M.M. Golitsyn who was the Commander in chief in Ukraine in those years. According to the founders’ plan Collegium which was opened to all classes had to prepare young people for a variety of spiritual and secular activities).
Collegium was placed in the courtyard of the monastery. Necessary adjustments were made in two-storey stone building in Ukrainian Baroque style and it served as the main building of Collegium till 1850 and then was used as a consistory. At the end of the XIX century the house was demolished due to its decay. In 1903 the building of monastic cells with a refectory was constructed in its place, where Dzerzhinsky district military commissariat was placed in the postwar period and it is returned to the monastery now.
Collegium was given the lower church of two-tier Pokrovskaya church. The library which had more than two thousand books in different languages by the end of XVIII century was situated on the second floor of the monastery building. Unmarried teachers (their families lived in other cities in private apartments) and nonresident students were houses in several old cottages in the courtyard. There they also arranged a refectory and storerooms.
The elementary school called Siropitatelniy house or the seminary where clergy children mainly orphans were admitted was organized under the Collegium. Later commons’ children were admitted too. The house was situated on the north side of Bursatskiy Street. The living conditions and education in the seminary and in the Collegium were Spartan: there was no heating in the classrooms. The ink got frozen and pupils kept the inkpots in their bosom. They were not provided with linen, clothes and footwear. The food was also poor – Lenten soup, rye bread, buckwheat galushki. Desiring to improve their economic conditions older pupils went to villages for summer holidays where they were willingly hired as teachers by landowners and prosperous peasants for their children.
Little by little the seminary was equipped with all the necessary facilities. In 1770-1773 one storey stone building was constructed in the courtyard, in 1808 the accessory building was constructed for the college hospital. In 1818 the second storey was constructed over the educational building and a house church was opened. In 1821 a new big two and three storey building of barrack type but rather comfortable inside was constructed along Bursatskiy Street. Two departments of the seminary – district and parish-spiritual colleges were placed there, the house church was there too and the hospital was in the college building. In 1881-1885 the complex of spiritual college was fundamentally reconstructed. Old buildings in the courtyard were demolished and the main building was constructed into the depths of the area and overbuilt from the side of the street for one more storey, the attic one. The fa?ade was designed in Russian – Byzantine style. The building remains the same up to nowadays, now it belongs to the Institute of Culture.
Collegium which was often called Tikhorianskaya Academy (after the name of its founder) acquired the deserved fame.
Together with theology, philosophy, rhetoric, piitic Church Slavonic, Greek and Latin languages the training program included Russian, French and German languages, history, mathematics and physics. Natural sciences were added with the lapse of time and they became the peculiarity of Kharkiv Collegium. Not all the students took the full training program. Theology was studied by those who wanted to become priests (as a rule these were clergy’s children). Commons usually ended their education with philosophy before they could reach theology and showed their worth in different fields of government service. The most gifted pupils were sent for training abroad after finishing their program.
In 1768 so called Additional classes were opened under Collegium, where teaching of applied sciences such as geodesy, engineering, artillery with broadened teaching of mathematics, foreign languages was established. Later instrumental music, dancing, drawing, painting and architecture were added. The program was mainly counted on children of noble rank, who were preparing for government service. The schedule was so composed that optional classes in Additional classes could be attended by everyone. Though Additional classes were placed outside the monastery, in the place where Korolenko Library is situated now. Additional classes existed for 20 years and then they were separated from Collegium and were merged with so called Public College established in 1789.
About 400 people studied in Collegium during the first years, then their number increased to 800 people. As a rule those students who had already got their primary education in the seminary or local hierarchal schools were admitted. There were a lot of highly educated people who had broaden knowledge and genuine art among local teachers of Collegium. The special place belonged to a famous Ukrainian philosopher, illuminator and writer G.S. Skovoroda.
Unfortunately the activity of Collegium was complicated by regular disputes between the church and governmental authorities, and also by the insufficiency of given money. The foundation of the University in Kharkiv was a reason to the gradual reorganization of Collegium into a seminary – secondary educational institution of purely spiritual direction in the first half of the XVIV century. Since 1817 it was the spiritual seminary of the third level although until 1840 it conserved the name of Collegium. In 40s years of the XVIV century the seminary was moved into a new building on Holodnaya Gora (former Seminarskaya Street, now 46, Volodarskogo Street). In 1941-1945 the buildings were destroyed a lot. In one of the restored buildings there is a department of Kharkiv pilot University now. The additional classes of Collegium were called “Government College” in 1788 and in 1789 they were joined to the main public college which was called “Slobodsko-Ukrainian College”. In 1805 it became the first Slobodsko-Ukrainian male gymnasium, the main aim of which was to prepare students to enter the University. And the seminary was completely transformed into Spiritual College which consisted of the parochial one that gave elementary education and the district one that provided higher level of training.
After 1917 the owners of the building (Bursatskiy Street) often changed. It housed one department of the University of National Education, then the Library Institute in 1936, the Conservatory in 1943-1949, again the Library Institute, which became the Institute of Culture in 1964. The latter is the owner of the building nowadays.