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

М. В. Ломоносов. Древняя российская история от начала российского народа до кончины великаго князя Ярослава Перваго или до 1054 года

M. V. Lomonosov. Early Russian History from the beginning of the Russian people to the decease of Great Prince Yaroslav the First, or to 1054, made up by Mikhailo Lomonosov, State Counselor, Professor of Chemistry and a member of Imperial Academy of Science in St Petersburg and Royal Sweden Academy of Science. — Spb., 1766. — [6], p. 140.

The book by M. V. Lomonosov is one of the first attempts made to compile the Russian history. It was triggered by a wish of the Empress Elisaveta Petrovna, who, according to Lomonosov’s letter, dated by 1754, ’casually remarked that would be pleased if I write the Russian History in my writing style’. The way Lomonosov presented historic matters made the ’Early Russian History’ retain its relevance up to publication of Karamzin’s ’History of the Russian State’.