The article analyses the historical experience of administrative reform implementation in the past. The reform of 1864 can be investigated as a good example of introduced local self-government (council) in the districts and provinces. Provincial and district institutions were created, and they provided regulatory (provincial and district assemblies) and executive functions (provincial and district councils). On the territory of Right-Bank Ukraine, the elective self-government was introduced by the imperial decree of 14 March 1911. Before the First World War district councils actively contributed to the cultural and economic development of the region. The economic crisis during the war and the revolutionary upheavals slowed their activities, although such councils were officially operating until the end of 1919 and were abolished by the decree of the Soviet Government on 22 January 1920.
The activities of district councils in Right-Bank Ukraine have been analyzed in many prominent works of both domestic and foreign scholars. They studied the district councils’ historiography, their organizational and legal status and social functions, political, organizational, and legal foundations of their self-government, economic and cultural activities of their institutions. As a result, a representative source base was formed which includes various types of historical sources. However, only some of them have been put into scientific circulation. The provincial newspaper «Kievlianin (Kyiv Resident)», which was being published in 1864–1919 within the Southwestern region of the Russian Empire, was one of such sources.
Among other materials, this newspaper published reports about the Uman district council, which was formed in July 1911 as an elective body of local self-government. In 1912-1919 “Kievlianin” issued about sixty reports on the formation and activities of the Uman district council, and about forty of them depicted its cultural and educational work. Such materials have not yet been the subject of separate research and were not introduced into scientific circulation. Moreover, since Uman district was one of the largest in Kyiv province (the third-largest in area and the second-largest in population among twelve districts) the analysis of publications on district self-government poses a special interest for historians and political scientists.
Thus, the relevance of this research is determined by two groups of factors, namely, the need for retrospective reflection on the existing experience of the creation and functioning of local self-governing elective bodies for current administrative reforms and, secondly, by the presence of historical sources which were not introduced into the scientific circulation.
The purpose of the work was to systematize the publications on Uman district council in the newspaper «Kievlianin» dated by 1911–1919 and to determine the directions of its cultural and educational activities for deepening general idea by specifying the information about functions of local self-government bodies in late XIX — early XX centuries.
The principles of objectivity and historicism were applied to this research, while historical systemic structural method enabled to present information from the newspaper as a complex system of the Uman district council’s cultural and educational activities.
The article provides a general conclusion that the consistent publications of Kyiv provincial newspaper «Kievlianin» about the Uman district council gave a clear idea of the cultural and educational policies of the local self-government institutions. The existing experience needs rethinking, due to its importance for the implementation of the modern reform of the state decentralization.
Keywords: newspaper «Kievlianin», district councils in Right-Bank Ukraine, Uman district, local self-government, Uman district council, district council’s cultural and educational activities.