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

Устав о соляных промыслах, и о торгу оною, и о протчем: [Утвержден 31 декабря 1727 г.]. — [Санктпетербург]: [Печ. при Сенате], [генваря 5 дня 1728].

The Charter on salt production, trade and other specialties: [validated Dec 31 1727]. — [St Petersburg]: [Printed by the Senate], [January the 5th 1728]. — 18 p., — 2°.

Salt Charter, published in 1728, had been prepared by Peter the II’s government as a response to the decline of salt production in Russia, caused, in its turn, by the initially highly profitable state monopoly on salt trade (established in 1705). The Charter states that from 1728 on all the salt in the Russian empire ’should be traded free, on the due tax basis, while the existing state salt trade and leasing should be abandoned from now on.