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

Archangel Gospel of 1092

This is the fourth dated Gospel after the Ostromir’s Evangelium, Svyatoslav’s Miscellanies and Miscellanies of 1076. From the XI century up to nowadays there have survived only 36 Slavonic-Russian Codices, and only 7 of them have the exact date of writing, including the Archangel Gospel. The manuscript is unique in terms of linguistics, paleography, codicology and book science. Archangel Gospel of 1092 was obtained by the Rumyantsev’s Museum at the end of XIX century; and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Moscow Public and Rumiantsev’s Museums there was issued its exact facsimile autotype edition, of 100 copies circulation. This manuscript for many years has been the object of research of the Russian and foreign scientists; scientific studies and monographs were devoted to this codex. UNESCO included Archangel Gospel of 1092 in the International Register «Memory of the World», which integrated the most valuable monuments of the world history.