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In St. Petersburg, now everyone can see the oldest books of the KXan funds 36 Daily News

Date: May 26, 2024 Time: 07:59:27

In Soviet times, print publications published before 1700 entered the fund, says Yegor Zubkov, its keeper. There are very few of the latter. In total there are 1638 volumes in the fund. The most interesting are presented in a special room.

By the way, the first printed book in Rus was not at all the Moscow “Apostle”, published by Ivan Fedorov and Pyotr Mstislavets in 1564. “Apostle” – the first dated Moscow book. And before Fedorov, there was an anonymous printing house in Moscow, which worked from 1552-1553 to 1564. Seven editions came out of his printing house.

– Why anonymous?

– There is no trace at the beginning or at the end of the books. And we do not know where the printing house was located, who worked in it. It is likely that the first printing houses Fedorov and Mstislavets gained experience in this, the caretaker explains. – Of the seven books, three are the Gospels.

How do experts determine the time of publication of books if there is no printing? It turned out – on paper. In those days, books were printed on watermarked paper. Each paper mill had its own trademark, which changed from time to time. Let’s say, there was a jug with one handle, now it has two. Considering that the country used to print only on imported paper for a long time (ours appeared in the middle of the 16th century) and the main suppliers are known: France, Germany, signs of factories of different years, the book can be more or less with date of.

The curator puts on white gloves, takes a tome with a red cover (he is supposed to work with old books only in gloves, so as not to leave sweat marks). The binding is already modern, the historical one has not been preserved. The book itself is in good condition, 1553, narrow font (there were also medium and wide fonts). And all those old books have one feature: the letters are big. Because they were mainly intended for reading in temples, where it was often quite dark. The fine print is hard to read even in good light.

And the need for mass printing of church literature arose from the fact that the Moscow Grand Dukes, pursuing a policy of strengthening and centralizing the government, were faced with the need to unify religious texts. It would be extremely difficult to redo the handwriting.

By the way, having launched a printing business in Moscow, Fedorov and Mstislavets went to the West to distribute the Cyrillic script among the Orthodox population of the Commonwealth. Mstislavets went to Vilnius, where, with the support of the Orthodox merchants, the Mamonich brothers, he founded a printing house that operated for half a century.

Fedorov organized printing houses in Lvov and Ostrog. It was at Ostrog in 1581 that he published his main work, the Ostrog Bible, which became the basis for later editions.

– Ostrozhskaya was published at that time in a large circulation – two thousand pieces, although in those days they usually published 600-700. And we have five copies in our collection, – emphasizes the curator. In addition, “owner’s marks” have a particular value, that is, when the book passed from hand to hand, the owners left their notes on it, and they can be used to trace the path of a particular copy. Now, of the two thousand books in that historical circulation, the whereabouts of 400 are known.

– An old book has its own aura. There are “traces of centuries” on it. You take it in your hands and understand that these pages that you are leafing through could have been leafed through by Ivan the Terrible. And for another, it is also in our collection, there is an inscription of the boyar Morozov, a former teacher of Alexei Mikhailovich and one of the most influential people in the state. These are indescribable sensations from touching at that moment, the keeper shares the impressions of him.

A reprint edition may repeat text and images. But the spirit of the times lives only in the original.

By the way

However, the printed book for a long time remained a great rarity in the state and was only available “at the top”. As Zubkov clarified, in Moscow, for example, only 15 editions were printed in 40 years, while in Paris in the 16th century, hundreds were published annually. The boom in book printing already began under Peter the Great.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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