Collection of Manuscripts

Stock: 1009 items
Last updated: July 2013

Old Russian manuscript works form a most important part of cultural heritage of Russia, of Slavonic peoples and of the whole world. The digital collection of manuscript materials is destined to open for readers a captivating world of Slavonic word stored at the funds of the Scientific and research department of manuscripts of the RSL. The collection demonstrates the process of development of Slavonic written language and culture. It also gives a bright insight on book — writing schools and workshops, on stages of development of the Church Slavonic language. Manuscript Collection includes over a thousand of works dated by 10—18th centuries. Researches will also be glad to find digitized lists of funds of the Scientific and research department of manuscripts of the RSL.

At present the digital collection of manuscript materials can boast of:

  • Earliest manuscript books of 10—12th centuries (Old Slavonic, Old Russian, Old Bulgarian);
  • Manuscript books on parchment and bombicina (kind of paper) of 12—14th centuries;
  • Books of Holy Writ and chronographic writings in records of 14—16th centuries. These works were basic sources of historic, theological and philosophic knowledge for people of Old Russia.
  • Pieces of hagiography of 13—17th centuries, including lives of saints, Lives of the Fathers, prologues, etc.;
  • Books of 13—17th centuries for public and personal divine services. An important place among them is occupied by mineas. A considerable number of these books contain early hook or later square lined notation.
  • Teaching and ascetic literature in records of late 12—17th centuries of writings by fathers and teachers of church (Ephraim Syrian, Ioann Damaskin, Ioann Zlatoust, Vassily Velikiy, Ioann Lestvichnik, Grigory Bogoslov, etc.).




Highlights of the collection

Measure of Righteousness, the middle of the XIV century

The literary and legal collection, compiled at Tver’ at the turn of XIV century. The earliest copy was made in the middle of the XIV century on parchment and had the unique artistic features: historiated letters, teratological images and miniatures. The main part of the collection was formed by the Code of Law, including «Ruskaia Pravda» («Rus Truth [Law]») of Yaroslav the Wise, and «Ustav» («Code of Law») of Vladimir Monomakh. The introduction literary part of the collection served to convince the powers that be (princes) in the inevitability of Divine retribution for the unjust trial and the priority of the spiritual court over secular. The book is an outstanding monument of the written culture of universal value. The vast bibliography of well-known Russian scientists is devoted to it; among these researchers are A.I.Sobolevsky, D.V.Ainalova, G.I.Vzdornova, V.A.Koutchkina, G.V.Popova, and others. In 1961, by the effort of M.N.Tikhomirov, there was published the facsimile edition of the monument.