Early Printed Books

Stock: 8783 items
Last updated: July 2013

Early Printed Books — is a collection of books printed before 1830 stocked in RSL. It embraces electronic copies and facsimile editions of most prominent books of high cultural, scientific and historical significance.

The collection currently features books printed in early Slavonic printing houses in Poland, Montenegro, Walachia, Venice and Prague, including the Ochtoekos (Book of Eight Tones) printed by Schweipolt Fiol in Krakow. There is also a range of the 18th century editions printed by Moskovsky Pechatny Dvor (Moscow Printing House).

A full and comprehensible range of most significant 18th century legislative and state documents and descriptive works includes: 

  • Manifests, acts, statutes, tariffs adopted during the reign of Czar Peter I, Czarina Anna (Anna Ioannovna), Elisabeth (Elisaveta Petrovna) and Catherine II.
  • Statistics records, geographic and topographic descriptions of regions, provinces and towns (compiled by I. Lepekhin, P. Pallas, P. Rychkov). 
  • First editions of most significant records and studies in Russian history and culture: annals, treaties, books of heraldry, ’Early History of Russia’ by M. Lomonosov, ’History of Russia from the earliest times’ by V. Tatischev, ’History of Russia from early times’ by M. Scherbatov, the Dictionary of writers by N. Novikov and other rarities.

Recent Acquisitions

Описание Земли Камчатки / Сочиненное Степаном Крашенинниковым, Академии наук профессором. — Санкт-Петербург: При Имп. Акад. наук, 1755.

Description of the land of Kamchatka / Made up by Stepan Krasheninnikov, a professor of the Academy of Science. — Imperial Academy of Science, 1755. — 4° V. 1 — [22], 438 p., 13 s. ill. V. 2 — [4], 319 p., 12 s.ill.

Krasheninnikov’s book initiated a new genre, uncharacteristic of the Russian writing so far, — accounts of academic travel in Russia. Detailed and diverse information, comprehensive language, the excellent reference section by A. Bogdanov, a librarian of the Academy Library, and richness in illustrations are still appreciated by its readers. The book has been repeatedly published in other European languages.

Illustrations engraved by I. Grimmel and I. Sokolov from the drawings of another expedition member I. Berkgan, are by themselves of high artistic and scientific value. There are maps, views of Siberian towns, images of animals inhabiting Kamchatka and ethnographic sketches.