Titovets E.   Gubanova O.  

Research on cyrillic books printed in 16-18 centuries in Central Science Library of NAS of Belarus

Reporter: Titovets E.

Research on Cyrillic books printed in XVI-XVIII centuries in Central Science Library of  NAS of  Belarus

The collection of Cyrillic books in the State Institution Yakub Kolas Central Sci¬ence Library of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus includes 548 volumes. 482 of them are printed in XVI-XVIII centuries and contain mostly liturgical texts. Among notable volumes can be mentioned books printed by Ivan Fyodorov and Pyotr Mstislavets (6 exemplars of 5 different editions). Other rare item, which hasn’t been included in any catalogues so far, is Psalter printed in Mogilev in 1757.
Cyrillic books have been added to the library’s funds after the World War II – some were taken from duplicate collections of various USSR libraries, some other were bought from private citizens, one of them being reputed book collector M.S. Sevastyanov. Many exemplars feature handwritten notes, ex libris of former owners that provide valuable research information.
The first description of the collection was made by the officer of the library’s Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts V.V. Bilevich. Certain exemplars of the collection are depicted in catalogues compiled by G.Y. Golenchenko, Y.A. Labyntsev. Unfortunately, these catalogues sometimes are inaccurate. As yet not all exemplars are introduced into scientific use.
In 2014 Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts has started the work on the catalogue of Cyrillic books printed in Belarussian printing houses in XVI-XVIII centuries. In accordance with modern bibliographic standards the decision was made to include the detailed information on paper, bookbinding and other important characteristics in the description of an exemplar. The description of watermarks consists of the type of mark, its date, reference to the album of filigree paper and the extent of resemblance of the exemplar’s mark and the mark from the album (resembling, close, very close, similar). But in practice it is sometimes nearly impossible to relate exemplar’s watermarks to ones that are present in the album. Also filigree paper researchers haven’t worked out the uniformity for watermark titles.
One of the least developed areas in early printed book description is the description of  bookbinding. The collection stores a lot of defective (incomplete) exemplars, some of them have incorrect page numbers. Throughout their existence many books have suffered the change of the bookbinding more than one time. It complicates the dating because some of books were at some point rebound with other books covers.
The authors of the catalogue see their main aim in solving all aforementioned problems and providing the fullest description of the books.

Abstracts file: тезисы2.doc
Full text file: Макушинск_посл.doc

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