12 August 2010

Васильев, И. В. Фемида, или Начертание прав, преимуществ и обязанностей женского пола в России на основании существующих законов / Соч. Илариона Васильева. — Москва: Унив. тип., 1827.

Vasiliev, I. V., Femida or Inscription rights, benefits and responsibilities of women in Russia on the basis of existing laws / Op. Hilarion Vassiliev. Moscow: Univ. type., 1827. — 96., 1 l.. ill.; 13 sm

The book is one of the first experiments in Russian publishing of the collection of legislative materials on women’s rights. Lawyer and the teacher of Russian jurisprudence at Moscow State University, Ilarion Vasilyevich Vasilyev preceded his work by saying — 'But who does not agree that the knowledge of one’s rights and responsibilities is a necessity and a pleasure! Let’s remember the orders of the Kings- legislators themselves, that no member of the state, women included, can excuse ignorance of local laws'.

Collected volume 'Femida...' is divided into sections on political and civil rights of women in Russia. For example, ’about marriage, about the power of the parent, the right of women to incur acts, on the rights of foreign women in Russia, about the benefits of women in criminal cases, the highest award for females, on pensions and lump-sum payments, the posts in the service court'.

In preparing the book the author took on board the advise of the curator of the Moscow school district and the chairman of the Society of Russian History and Antiquities, the writer Alexander Alexandrovich Pisarev, who, as pointed out in the author’s preface, 'first brought the idea to compile a manual book for women in which they would see their rights, their distinctions and responsibilities'.

The book opens with a printed dedication to the wife of Alexander Pisarev: 'To Her Excellency ,my gracious lady Agripina Mikhailovna Pisareva, my offering as a writer'.

Read the book

2 September 2010

Бецкой, И. И. Учреждения и уставы касающиеся до воспитания и обучения в России юношества обоего пола: Во удовольствие общества собраны: И новым тиснением изданы.

Betskoi, I. I. Institutions and regulations relating to the education and training of the youth of both sexes in Russia : Are collected for the use of society : And published with a new embossement. — St. Petersburg: [Type. Suhoput. cad. Building]. — T. 1. — 1774. — [4] 203, [2], 44., Front., 4 liters. ill.

In June 1763 the Russian politician Ivan Ivanovich Betskoi presented Catherine II with the draft of the establishment of a Russian Orphanage. The Empress supported this initiative. The system of education provided by the project, retained class character.

A special role was assigned to the Orphanage and 'low-middle class' schools. This was connected with the idea of a deliberate creation of a 'third rank' (class) in Russia, consisting of educated people. Betskoi’s views were progressive for his time: educators must be 'fair and worthy examples of human beings', the training should take place without coercion and the use of corporal punishment.

The basic principles of the education reform for young people were presented by Ivan Betskoi in his paper 'The General establishment of education of young people of both sexes', which was approved on March 1, 1764. The materials, program notes and regulations prepared by Betskoi, as a rule were published and widely reprinted.

Except for the works of Ivan Ivanovich, the book 'The institutions and regulations...' (1774, T. 12), includes documents on the establishment of educational institutions in Russia, as well as part of the materials published by the Orphanage. The most important of them have been translated into French and published 'for the attention of the European Society' (Amsterdam, 1775).

Read the book

23 August 2010

Лисянский, Ю. Ф. Путешествие вокруг света в 1803. 4. 5. и 1806 годах ... Санктпетербург: В типографии Ф. Дрехслера, 1812. — 8°.

Lisyansky, Y. F. Journey around the world in 1803, 4, 5. and 1806, respectively, by the command of his Imperial Majesty Alexander I, on the ship 'Neva’, under the command of Navy lieutenant commander, now captain of the 1 st rank and decoration holderYuri Lisyansky. — St. Petersburg: Publishing house F. Drechsler, 1812. — 8°.

Yuri Fyodorovich Lisyansky (17731837) — Russian navigator, explorer, hydrologist and a member of the first Russian world expedition. The son of a priest he was born on August 2nd 1773 in the city of Nezhyn. He trained at the Sea Cadet Corps and made friends with Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern. In 1793 he was promoted to lieutenant and sent to England with a group of 16 top officers. Upon his return to Russia, he was promoted to lieutenant commander and appointed as a commander of frigate ’Avtroil’. In 1798, The Russian-American Company (trade association, established to digest the territories of Russian America, the Kuril Islands and other islands) initiated the organization of a special expedition to supply and protect the Russian settlements in Alaska. From that moment preparations began for the first Russian world expedition under the command of Ivan Kruzenstern. By order of the Maritime Ministry one of the leaders of the expedition was appointed Yuri F. Lisyansky. On 26 July 1803 the expedition left from Kronstadt, on the journey unknown to Russians before. On November 14, 1803 both vessels — 'Hope' under the command of Krusenstern and ’Neva’ under the command of Lisiansky crossed the Equator for the first time in the history of the Russian fleet. After that, having lost 'Hope' in the fog , 'Neva', commanded by Yuri Lisiansky , reached the island of Kodiak on the 1st July 1804, and spent more than a year off the coast of North America. Sailors participated in the construction of the fortress of Novo-Arkhangelsk, conducted scientific observations and hydrographic work. Acting independently, Lisyansky managed to steer his ship all the way from the coast of China to Portsmouth.in England without stopping and docking in any ports, for the first time in the history of navigation. On the July 22nd 1806, Yuri Lisyansky and the crew of the ’Neva’ returned to Kronstadt. Two weeks later 'Hope', under the command of Ivan Fyodorovich, also made it back safely..

In 1809 Lisyansky retired with the rank of Captain and began organizing his travel records, which he published in 1812 under the title 'Around the World in 1803, 4, 5. and 1806...' (the book was publicly funded by the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty). Then Yuri Fyodorovich translated his work into English and published it in London in 1814. In the foreword to 'Around the World in 1803, 4, 5. and 1806...' (1812) the author says that his goal is 'to describe the independent sailing', that part of the journey, which took place separately from Kruzenstern, so the reader could have complete information about all the travel. That’s because the work of Ivan Fedorovich 'Around the World in 1803, 4, 5. and 1806...' was published earlier: the first part was published in 1809, the second and third in 1810 and 1812.

In the book by Yuri Lisiansky there is the first description of one of the Hawaiian Islands discovered by the explorer, and the astronomical observations, set coordinates of harbors and islands, made by the navigator. These are close in accuracy to modern data. Today the bay, peninsula, strait, river and cape on the coast of North America, as well as one of the islands in the Hawaiian archipelago and a peninsula on the northern coast of the Okhotsk Sea, are all named after Yuri Fyodorovich Lisiansky.

Read the book

16 September 2010

Голиков, И. И. Деяния Петра Великаго, мудраго преобразителя России, собранныя из достоверных источников и расположенныя по годам. — Ч. 1. — Москва: Унив. тип., у Н. Новикова, 1788. — XXVI, 368, [2] c.

Golikov, I. I., Acts of Peter the Great, the wise transformer of Russia,: collected from reliable sources and arranged by years.— Part 1.— Moscow: Univ. print., N. Novikov, 1788.— XXVI, 368, [2] c.; 8°.

In his preparation work for 'Acts of Peter the Great...' the court counselor Ivan Ivanovich Golikov began by collecting tales of Peter I, 'told among people <...> and from manuscripts <...> and in the Moscow squares'. Some of the stories have been told to Golikov by the associates of Peter I: van Ivanovich Neplyuev, Semyon Ivanovich Mordvinov, Aleksey Ivanovich Nagaev, Ivan Lukyanovich Talyzin and others.

The inspiration for the systematic work on the book was a handwritten translation of Johann Philipp Stralenberg 'Historie der Reisen in Russland, Siberien und der grossen Tartarey' (Leipzig, 1730), obtained by Golikov from the library of Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov. 'Refutation of Stralenberg criticism' served as the introductory part of the 'Acts...'.

His own role in creating the 'Acts...' Ivan Ivanovich Golikov understood primarily to be as a collector of the material. In the initial period, the only available state collections for the researcher were the ones from the Rasryadny and Voronezhsky archives. In private he was able to get more than two thousand letters and papers of Peter I and about one and a half thousand books and manuscripts about him (1788, Part 1, with. XI—XVIII) from private individuals. The author did not know foreign languages so he hired translators to prepare the translations of important works for him. The first volume had been approved by the Empress, and Golikov gained the access to the state archives. In addition,he began receiving documents from readers from all over Russia.This made it possible for Ivan Golikov to prepare a large 'Addition to Acts...' (1790—1797, T. 1—18) instead of the expected new edition of 'Acts...'

Until the second half of the XIX century, neither in Russia nor in Europe, was there anything to equal the work by Ivan Ivanovich Golikov with it’s wealth of material about Peter the Great. Andrey Timofeevich. Bolotov called the 'Acts' a very interesting book, 'that any Russian citizen can not get tired of reading.'

Read the book

12 July 2010

Pallas, Petr Simon, a Description of plants of the Russian State with their images / By Imperial order, and as dependent of Her Imperial Majesty, published by P. S. Pallas;

Translated from the hand written work of Vasily Zuev. — St. Petersburg: Imp. print., 1786. — 2°

This book is the first part of the work,devoted to the description of the plant world of European and Asian parts of Russia by Berlin’s most famous naturalist Petr Simon Pallas. However, the entire scientific work remained unfinished. In 1786 the 'Description of plants of the Russian State with their images...' was published by the Academy of Sciences in Russian translation by scientist Vasily Fedorovich Zuev. The basis of the book was formed from the materials collected by Pallas during the expedition from 1768 to 1774 undertaken to study geological, mineralogical, animal and plant resources of the Russian Empire.

The author of the work is Petr Simon Pallas (17411811), a native of Berlin, who lived and worked in Russia from 1767 to 1810. At the age of 26, already having a Ph. D., Petr Simon received an invitation from the Empress Catherine II to work as an adjunct of the Academy of Sciences. On June 21, 1768 to June 30, 1774 the scientist led an expedition, gathering information about the unique natural resources of Eastern Siberia and Altai.

In the 1780’s Pallas began work on putting together an overview of Russian plants.This work was to cover the entire flora of European and Asian Russia and contain approximately 600 prints with images of plants, but it remained unfinished.

The first 'News' about the preparation of the edition was published on behalf of Pallas on September 13, 1782 in the gazette 'Sanktpeterburgskie Vedomosti'. Two parts of the extensive work 'Flora Rossica...', containing descriptions of about 300 species of plants with beautiful engravings, based on drawings by the animal painter K. F. Canape were published in Latin in St. Petersburg in 1784—1788 respectively, and in 1786 the Academy of Sciences published the first part of the work of Pallas’ 'Description of plants of the Russian State with their images...', translated into Russian by scientist and member of the expedition Vasily Fedorovich Zuev. Vasily Zuev’s translation earned a great appreciation from his contemporaries. It was noted in the review, published in the journal 'Zerkalo Sveta' (1786, № 52), that he 'didn’t just write in clear and intelligible Russian language, but also tried to explain Botanical terms in corresponding words'.

The book gives detailed descriptions of the plants and trees on the territory of Russia, and their locations, as well as information about the use of plants in everyday life and medicine. For the 'Description of plants of the Russian State with their images...' there were made not less than 125 illustration sheets, but not all copies had remained.

Read the book

12 May 2010

Кирилл и Мефодий, словенские первоучители. Историко-критическое изследование Иосифа Добровскаго.— Москва: В тип. Семена Селивановскаго, 1825. — VII, [1], 150, [2] с., [1] л. ил.; 4°

Cyril and Methodius, Slovenian premier teachers. Historical-critical study by Joseph Dobrovsky.— Moscow: The printing house of. Semen Selivanovsky, 1825.

'Cyril and Methodius Slovenian premier teachers. Historical-critical study by Joseph Dobrovsky' consists of two parts. The main part is represented by a study by Joseph Dobrovský, the famous Czech scientist of the late XVIII — early XIX century and one of the founders of Slavic studies. The supplementary materials include information about the Slavic masters of IX century — Saints Cyril and Methodius, reported by such members of the Rumyantsev circle as book translator Mikhail Petrovich Pogodin, scientists Alexander Khristoforovich Vostokov and Peter Ivanovich Keppen. Josef Dobrovský chose the Greek biography of the Bulgarian archbishop Clement, which is an alternative to 'Makarievsky Chetii Minei', as the bases for his work.

The book was assembled and published at the expense of the Rumiantsev circle which had been led and financed by Count Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev (1754—1826), statesman, diplomat, collector and philanthropist. A great deal of historical documents and monuments of ancient Russian literature was introduced by the efforts of the Rumyantsev circle (prominent historians, philologists and archeographers) into the scientific and general cultural circulation.

The publication opens with an engraved title page with Rumyantsev’s coat of arms bearing the motto 'Non Solum Armis' — 'Not just with weapons'.

Read the book

10 March 2010

Феофан Прокопович, Рассуждения о книзе Соломоновой, нарицаемой Песни песней ... В лето от воплощения Бога слова 1730. — Москва: Тип. И. Лопухина, 1784. — V, 46 с.; 4°

Читать книгуFeofan Prokopovich, Discussions about the book by King Solomon , known as Song of Songs ... In the summer of embodiment of God’s word 1730. — Moscow: Print. I. Lopukhin, 1784. — V, 46 с.; 4°.

The real name of the book — 'Discussions about the book by King Solomon , known as Song of Songs, it is not the will of a man, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit been written by Solomon, and like not carnal in its mind, but is of the spiritual and the divine , and is a book among the undoubted books of Holy Scripture of the Old Testament; Against unreasonable and unintelligent sapient men, it is easy to doubt this reasoning about this book, suspecting Solomon with his bride, the daughter of Pharaoh, in body, not in soul; Written by the Archbishop of Veliky Novagorod and Velikie Luki, Feofan Prokopovich. In the summer of embodiment of God’s word 1730'.

The reason for writing of the 'Discussions' was the talk the author Feofan Prokopovich had with Vasily Nikitich Tatishchev, with whom he had met during the Prut campaign. 'Discussions about the book by King Solomon' (1730) have been written by Prokopovich in the response to the denial of the divine origin of 'Song of Songs' by Tatishchev and was first published in 1774.

Feofan Prokopovich (16811736) — Archbishop of Novgorod and Narva, a famous preacher and a statesman, a close associate of Peter the Great, took an active part in the reform of the Russian Orthodox Church led by the Tsar. He even accompanied Peter the Great as a preacher during the Prut campaign in 1711.

In the 'Digital Library' there is a reproduction of the reprint of the 'Discussions about the book by King Solomon', 1077 copies of which had been confiscated in 1787 from Moscow’s bookshops in the connection with the decree of 27 July 1787 on the withdrawal of 'all church or scriptural related books' from secular publishing houses and book shops.

Read the book

5 February 2010

Мелетий Смотрицкий. Грамматика. — Москва: Печатный двор, 2 февраля 1648 [06.12. — 02.02.7156]. — 378 л. — 4°.

Meletii Smotritskii. Grammer. — Moscow: Printer‘s Court, 2 February 1648 (06.12. — 02.02.7156). — 378 k. — 4°.

Meletii Smotritskii (Maxim Gerasimovich Smotritskii) — prominent social, church leader, educator and scientist, one of the most erudite men of his time, a zealous defender of Orthodoxy, at the end of his life he joined the Greek-Catholic Church. Educated at the Jesuit Academy of Vilnius, he attended lectures at Leipzig, Nuremberg and Wittenberg universities. The main philological work by Meletii Smotritskii 'The Correct Grammar' had been published in 1619 in the town of Eve ( situated near Vilnius, now called Vievis ) — an outstanding monument of Slavic grammatical thought, which became the basis of Church Slavonic grammatical science for the next two centuries. Being modelled on Greek grammar, Smotritskii’s work reflected the specific phenomena of the Church Slavonic language. His textbook consisted of four parts: orthography, etymology, syntax and prosody (accent and pronunciation). Smotritskii stressed the need for a conscious learning — 'the mind understands the word'. He proposed 5 steps of learning: 'Look, listen, understand, consider, remember'.

The Moscow edition of 'The Grammar' by Meletii Smotritskii (1648) appeared anonymously, the author’s name was not indicated because of his move towards the Uniatism at the end of his life. The 'Grammar’s' text has been substantially edited by Moscow’s Printers Court editors Mikhail Rogov and Ivan Nasedka in view of the particularities of colloquial Slavic speech, the text has also been supplemented by articles from the works of Maxim the Greek on the benefits of learning grammar and examples of sentence analyses. The book was in print from December 6, 1647 to February 2, 1648 and within 13 months the circulation had reached 1200 copies.

'The Grammar' by Smotritskii had been called 'the gates of learning' by M. V. Lomonosov. During the XVIIXVIII centuries 'The Grammar' was reprinted several times. It maintained its scientific and practical value until the release of 'The Grammar' by M. V. Lomonosov in 1755.

Read the book

15 January 2010

Скрижаль. — Москва: Печатный двор, X. 1655; дополнительные статьи 2. VI. 1656. 4°

Skrizhal’ (Tablet). — Moscow, Printer’s Court, X. 1655; additional articles 2. VI. 1656. 4°.

Skrizhal’ is a collection of polemic Greek and Old Russian literary works, aimed to explain and promote the innovations introduced into the Orthodox practices in Russia by Patriarch Nikon. It is an important source to enhance understanding of Nikon’s church reforms. The collection was compiled by a Greek hieromonk Ioann Naphanail and sent to Patriarch Nikon in 1653 by Paisius, the Patriarch of Constantinople.

After Arseny the Greek, a supervisor of Moscow Printers’ Court, translated it into Slavonic the book was published in 1655. Nikon requested ’Skrizhal’ to include all the Paisius’ letters to him containing the replies of Constantinople Assembly on the issues of religious books and ceremonies. There were also several articles on the sign of cross and the Symbol of Faith.

’Skrizhal’ with all the attachments was already printed by October 1655, but Nikon delayed its release till the Council’s analysis and approval. The book was then extended by more articles, including the account of the Church Council of 1656, and released, validated by the Council on June 2, 1656. 

Read the book

23 December 2009

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 (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.

During 18th century the Russian Government issued over 250 regulations of salt trade. By mid-1750s salt was regarded as strategic goods, with the information on its deficiency in the state forbidden to distribute.

Part of the printed copies of ’The Charter on salt production, trade and other specialties...’ was included into the collection of ’Orders, Statutes and Charters, proceeded in the Supreme Secret Council in response to accounts of Commercial Commission, 1727′. (St Petersburg, 1728).

Read the book

15 December 2009

Попов, Михаил Иванович. Славенския древности, или Приключения славенских князей. — Ч. 1—3. — Санктпетербург, 1770—1771. — 8°

Popov, Mikhail Ivanovich. Slavonic antiquities, or Adventures of Slavonic Princes. — P. 1—3, St Petersburg, 17701771. — 8°.

The author was born to a family of a merchant in Yaroslavl. An apocryphal story plots Popov among the actors — first members of the famous Volkov’s troupe, but the documentary evidence of his engagement with the Court Theater only relates to 1764. About 1760 he started as a writer of loose translations of plays. In 1769 he began writing for satirical magazines ’I to I se’ (’This, that and the other’) and ’Truten’ (’Drone’); Novikov, the publisher of the latter, encouraged Popov to persevere in his literary work.

The book ’Slavonic antiquities, or Adventures of Slavonic Princes’ by Popov is a fictionalized romance-like account of adventures of princes of the pre-Christian Rus. Popov’s descriptions of pagan rituals are based on the unauthentic, but fascinating corpus of legends, folklore and ethnographic sources. ’Slavonic antiquities’ are one of the first in the Russian literature samples of pseudo-historical fiction, in 18 century most readers took the book for a historical work. For this reason, when reprinted (1778), the book’s title was changed for ’Curiosities of old, or Adventures of the Slavonic Princes’, to stress its fictive, artistic character.

Read the book

25 November 2009

Миллер, Герард Фридрих (1705—1783) — Описание Сибирскаго царства и всех произшедших в нем дел: От начала, а особливо от покорения его Российской державе по сии времена

Miller, Gerhard Friedrich (1705—1783) — The Description of the Siberian Kingdom and all the events that took place there : From the beginning and especially from its conquest by the Russian Empire to these days / Composed by Gerard Frederick Miller, the historian and professor at the University Academy of Sciences. — St. Petersburg: At the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1750. — 4°.

Gerhard Friedrich Miller (Fedor Ivanovich), a native of Westphalia, was educated at the University of Leipzig. In 1725 on an invitation of I. P. Koll he arrived in St. Petersburg as a student of the Academic University . In 1730 he received the title of professor of history, in 1732 he published the first research program of integrated studies of history and geography of Russia, designed to last thirty years — 'The announced Suggestions of Russia’s history improvement...'

From August 1733 to February 1743 G. Miller takes part in the second Kamchatka expedition to explore Siberia under the leadership of V. Bering, during which he brings together a collection of archaeological and written historical sources, extensive materials on the ethnography of Siberian peoples. The materials of the expedition were published in German and partly in Russian languages. Book One of 'The Description of the Siberian Kingdom' contained chapters 1—5 translated by V. Lebedev which was approved by M. V. Lomonosov, and by I. Golubtsov whose translation had been corrected by K. F. Moderah on the recommendation of Miller. 'The Description of the Siberian Kingdom' was published as an edition of 1325 copies , which appeared on sale in The Academic Bookshop in 1750. Chapters from the second book ,translated by Ivan Golubtsov had been published in the 'The Monthly essays for business and entertaining' in 1764.

Miller’s work 'The Description of the Siberian Kingdom' signified an era in the development of Russia’s historical science and provided the impetus for other regional studies on the history of Siberia. The book thus far remains a scientific value.

Read the book

10 November 2009

Письмо покойнаго Михаила Васильевича Ломонсова к Ивану Ивановичу Шувалову: Из журнала древней и новой словесности издаваемаго г. Олиным.

— Санктпетербург: Типография Департамента народнаго просвещения, 1819. — 38 с.; 8°.

A letter by the deceased Mikhail Vasilievitch Lomonosov to Ivan Ivanovitch Shuvalov: in the Journal of early and modern literary art, published by Olin. — St Petersburg: Printers of the Department of public education, 1819.

This is the first, partly censored, publication of Lomonosov's work 'On preservation and reproduction of the Russian people'. It is written as a letter to Comte I. Shuvalov on his birthday November, 1, 1761 (erroneously 1766 in the book).

Expanding on the ideas of 'common well-being and growth', Lomonosov analyses in his 'Letter...' migration in Russia, bringing out social issues that hamper normal population growth. He had been planning an extended research on multiple political and ecomomic issues and the ways people's well-being might be improved through raising culrural, medical and scientific awareness and implementation of the relevant legal regulations.

After the journal publication was out the journal's censor G. Yatsenkov received the warning of 'being dismissed from the position' and the journal censorship was transferred to another person. The Ministry of Public Education forbade distributing the brochure. 

Read the book

6 October 2009

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

/ cочиненная Михайлом Ломоносовым, статским советником, профессором химии и членом Санкт-Петербургской Императорской и Королевской Шведской академий наук.

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’.

Three sheets of the book wer printed during Lomonosov’s lifetime, in 1754—1758, then the author had the printing stopped, disappointed with the initially chosen format for the appendixes . In 1763 printing was restarted, but Lomonosov died before he was able to submit the final part of the text and appendixes. After his death, by the verdict of the conference of the Academy of Science, the book was published in 2425 copies. The address ’To a reader’, which opens the book, was written by a prominent Russian historian of the German origin, an academician A. L. Schletzer, by request of the same Conference.

Since the work had not been completed, in the majority of copies the last page saying ’The end of Part Two’ was replaced with the page saying ’The end’. The digital copy available via the e-catalogue of RSL represents the initial, more rare version.

Read the book

30 September 2009

Уложение. — Москва: Печатный двор, 29 янв. 1649.

Ulozhenie (Code). — Moscow: Pechatny Dvor, Jan 29, 1649. — [339] л. — 2 (30 см).

The first edition of the ’Council Code’ (’Sobornoye Ulozheniye’) of 1648—1649 by the Czar Alexey Michailovich — the Code of Russia adopted by Assembly of the Land in 1648—1649. Since then the term of ’Ulozheniye’ has been constantly used and retained by the Russian codifications up to the October Revolution (1917). ’Ulozheniye’ is an ancient synonim for ’code’, designating not only a systemic compilation of law articles (corpus), but a description of Russian legal system as a whole.

The Code was compiled by a dedicated commission by the royal appointment of the Czar Alexey Michailovich, the Church Council and the Duma. Among the members there were two boyars — N. Odoyevsky and F. Volkonsky — and two sextons — G. Leontyev and F. Griboyedov.

The Council Code 1649 was based upon ’Sudebnik’ (’Book of Laws’) by Ivan the Fourth (1550), Books of Decrees of Manorial, County, Criminal and other Departments (’Prikazes’), joined petitions of Moscow and regional nobles and tradespeople along with the Book of the Helmsmann (’Kormchaya Kniga’) and the Lithuanian Statute (1588). The Council Code contained 25 chapters and 967 Articles altogether, explaining the issues of state, property and criminal law.

Assembly of the Land was called for to adopt this significant state document. Since October, 3, 1648 the draft has been discussed simultaneously by the Tzar and Sacred Council on the one hand, and by the elected nobles presided by a boyar Yu. Dolgorukiy, on the other. The discussion was completed by January, 29, 1649.

’Ulozheniye’ started to print on April, 7, and finished by May, 20, 1649. The copies were distributed so fast, that as soon as in the same 1649 new editions were printed twice.

Council Code adoption represented an important bench-mark in the history of Russian statehood. It retained its legal significance up to the middle of the 19th century.

Read the book

24 September 2009

Люде, Яков фон. Изображение мундиров российско-императорскаго войска, состоящих из 88 лиц илюминованных. — В Санкт-Петербурге: [тип. Сухопутн. кад. корпуса], 1793.

Lude, Jakob von. Representation of uniform coats of the Russian Imperial forces, as shown by images of 88 people, illuminated. — St Petersburg: [Print-house of the Ground Forces Cadet Corps], 1793. — 11 p., [1] front s., 88 s. ill. — 8º (22 sm).

The album was compiled by Jakob von Lude, lieutenant of the Ranger Corps in Finland. There are 88 engraved images of military service people from general field-marshal to kossak, all wearing the Russian army and navy uniforms adopted late during the reign of Catherine the Second.

The images are engraved by C. G. G. Geisler (1770—1844), a German artist who lived and worked in Russia in 1790—1798, and hand-painted in watercolours.

According to advertising in the ’St Petersburg’s Vedomosti’, the engravings were available from the Imperial Ground Forces Cadet Corps (St Petersburg) as two sets. One consisted of 45 sheets depicting fully uniformed and armed soldiers, the other included images of General Officers. The sets were priced 25 rbls.

This is a presentation copy with a dedication sheet related to Comte N. Saltykov (1736—1816), who succeeded G. Potemkin as the Head of Military Collegium, a tutor of Great Princes Alexander and Konstantine Romanov.

Read the book

7 September 2009

Собрание портретов россиян, знаменитых по своим деяниям воинским и гражданским, по учености, сочинениям, дарованиям, или коих имена по чему другому сделались известными свету.

A collection of portraits of the Russian people, celebrated for their military or civil labours, studies, literary works, talents or those whose names became known to the world for other reasons, in chronological order, according to the year of their departure; Complemented by their brief biographies. / Published by Platon Beketov. — Moscow [the print-house of Semen Selivanovsky], 1821—1824. — I—X, 11—63, [1], 67—74, 1—2, 75—76, 1—12, 77—93, [1], 1—4, [2], 97—150, 1—3, [1], 151—292, [2] с., 50 л. портр.; 4° (31 см).

The book by a collector, art patron and publisher P. Beketov (1761—1836) is based on his renowned collection of portraits. This most complete and effigially valid pool of portraits of the celebrated Russians was Beketov’s crown jewel. He engaged an artist N. Sokolov and an experienced book engraver I. Rozanov to train his bonds A. Osipov, F. Alexeev, K. Anisimov, A. Afanasyev, M. Vorobyev, A. Grachev, F. Kasatkin and some others in engraving. This unconventional team subsequently engraved over 300 plates copying the original items of the collection. Most of the collection was soon ruined by Moscow fires of 1812, which inhibits the value of the edition.

The book is opened by an engraved title sheet carrying the Beketovs’ Arms and the publisher’s dedication ’To Motherland’. The body of the book contains 50 portraits of most significant and celebrated characters in Russian history, such as Yermak, Hermogen, Minin amd Pozharsky, Lefort, the Patriarch Adrian and others.

Surprisingly, Beketov’s ’Russian History in Portraits’ did not attract much of a readership at the time. ’I hope for people’s grace and charity in their attitude towards this work, which, though imperfect, can be rightfully called unselfish, since publishing such a book with as few as 15 subscribers is both difficult and irksome’, Beketov lamented. The edition born before its time now makes a pearl of any book collection. The copper plates created by Beketov’s bonds were after a long while acquired by Kireevsky brothers who used them in books ’Portraits of the celebrities of the Russian Church’ and ’Images of the famous... people of Malorossija’.

Read the book

7 September 2009

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. — V. 1, V. 2.

The author of this book, a son of a soldier, started his education in the Slavo-Greko-Latin Academy in Moscow. In 1732 he was commissioned to the St Petersburg Academy of Science to continue his studies and take part in the Second Expedition to the peninsula of Kamchatka. In 1737, having travelled through Siberia for three years with the party led by academicians G.-F. Miller, I. Gmelin and L. Delile de la Croyer, Krasheninnikov left for Kamchatka to carry out the research programme designed by his superiors and also to prepare lodging for the rest of the party to stay after they arrive. He had been working all by himself for three years, only having ’translators, shooters and other people I required’ at hand. Meanwhile the leaders of the expedition became engaged in their Siberian research and never left Irkutsk. Krasheninnikov communicated with his superiors by means of regular reports and received their recommendations in return. During these three years he collected important information on plants and animals of Kamchatka, its population, history and nature. In 1740 he was joined by Delile de la Croyer and an adjunct of the Academy Steller (Shteller).

After the expedition returned to Petersburg in 1743 their records had to be prepared to publishing. Since Steller died in 1745, ’it was decided, according to Miller’s account, to unite the records of both participants in one volume and delegate the whole task to the person who had already put most into its accomplishment’, meaning Krasheninnikov.

Krasheninnikov died in 1755, ’on the very day when the last page of his Kamchatka records left the press’, according to Karamzin, a prominent Russian historian and writer. The book was published with the Introduction by Miller (one of the expedition leaders) written immediately after Krasheninnikov’s death. In the Introduction Miller characterises the book as highly significant and its author as ’one of those, who, while granted neither noble origin, nor the benevolence of chance, advanced due to their own worth and labours, with no credit to their ancestors, and thus should rightly be called progenitors of their own success’.

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.

1288 copies of the book were supplied to the Academy Book Shop in May 1755, with the rest 62 copies distributed free of charge, but the sales would not start before March 1756, when 1288 copies of the Introduction were supplied to complement the edition. Printrun — 1350 copies. Price 2 rbls 50 kopeks.

Read (in Russian): book 1, book 2

7 September 2009

Наказ Eя Императорскаго Величества Екатерины Вторыя самодержицы всероссийския данный Коммиссии о сочинении проекта новаго уложения. — Санкт-Петербург: При Имп. Акад. наук, 1770.

Instruction (Nakaz) by Her Imperial Highness Catherine the Second, the Sovereign of Russia, given to the Commission on creating the proposition of the new Statute. — St Petersburg: Academy of Science, 1770. [8], 403 p.; 4°.

Making up the ’Nakaz’ (Instruction) Catherine II was driven by the need for a new Statute to replace the predecessor, adopted as long ago as in the 17th century and obviously out-of-date for the moment. In 1766 she called for a Committee representing all social classes and estates to design the new Statute. In the Instruction to the committee members (compiled mostly on the basis of works by Montesquieu, Beccaria and Justy) the empress laid out her vision of the Russian legal system along the lines of the Enlightenment social philosophy.

The committee had been discussing the ’Nakaz’ through 1767—1768, raising sensitive issues like rights of social classes and estates and limits of pomeschiks’ (landlords and bond-owners) power, which resulted in ardent polemics on Russian historic perspectives and eventually brought the Committee to dissolution. Nevertheless publication of the ’Nakaz’ backed up Cathrine’s image as an enlightened sovereign so efficiently that in France the document was forbidden to distribute as overly liberal (1769).

The Enlightenment ideas of the ’Nakaz’ had never been implemented, but the document as such became a notable fact of Russian history and encouraged Russian social thinking.

In 1767—1771 ’Nakaz’ used to be published in Russia repeatedly, including editions with parallel translations into German, French, Latin and Modern Greek. The present academic edition is four-lingual: Russian, Latin, German and French. The prominence of its content is empasized by meaningful vignettes: the book starts with allegorical images of praying Russia and Themis, the Roman deity of justice, and ends with an image of an obelus carrying Catherine’s monogram and surrounded by the three characters: a woman clad in empress gown, Saturn and Venus. The engravings were made by C. Rot from I. Shteglin’s drawings. Printrun — 4800 copies.

Read the book

27 July 2009

Псалтирь. — Александровская слобода: Печ. Андроник Тимофеев Невежа, 20 июля 1577.

Read the bookPsalter. — Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda (Alexandrovskaya Quarter): Printer Andronic Timofeev Nevezha, 20 Jul 1577. — 281 p.

This is the only book printed in the printing house of Czar Ivan IV’s residence in Alexandrovskaya Quarter. Contemporary foreign visitors to Moscow mentioned this printing house in their records. The Psalter published by Andronic Nevezha is known as ’Slobodskaya (quarter-made) Psalter.

The volume contains an engraved image of King David cut by a Russian artist.

The exhibit is provided by the collection of Moscow Public museum and Rumyantsev museum.

Read the book

27 July 2009

Четыре книги царств. — Прага: Тип. Франциска Скорины. 10 августа 1518.

Read the bookFour Books of the Kings. — Prague: Printing House of Franciscus Skorina. 10 Aug 1518. — 242 p.

It was printed as part of Nineteen Books of the Old Testament series translated into the Byelorussian language and published as separate volumes by a Byelorussian educator and scholar Franciscus Skorina. The printer himself wrote the introduction and conclusion for each of the volumes.

The volume of ’Four Books of the Kings’ contains twelve wood-cut engraved images illustrating the biblical text. Unlike other early Slavonic editions it is also illustrated with the engraved portrait of the printer.

RSL collection contains seven books of the series. The website features the book provided by Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy.

Read the book

25 June 2009

Октоих. — Краков, 1491.

Ochtoechos (Book of Eight Tones) — Krakow, 1491.

The first Slavonic edition printed in cyrillics in the print-house of Schweipolt Fiol (Krakow) in 1491. Ochtoecos, a reference collection of liturgic vocal music was initially created by Iohann the Damaskin, and eventually translated into many languages, Old Slavonic one of them.

The copy was acquired from the collection of Tomasch Rediger (Wroclaw). The book is in a amazingly good condition, giving justice to the care with which it has been treated by its owners for over 500 years. Along with some other Slavonic cyrillic-printed editions of the 15th — early 16th century, stocked by RSL, Ochtoecos by Schweipolt Fiol is registered with the UNESCO 'Memory of the World' international programme.

Read the book