MainInformation resourcesStocks and collections of the LibraryOld printed and rare books

Old printed and rare books

Manuscripts, old printed and rare books collection holds more than 70 thousand items. It includes manuscripts and archival documents of the XIV–XXI centuries (more than 1,7 thousand items) in the Slavonic, West European and Eastern languages, among them: collection of ancient manuscripts, including ones of Belarusian origin (gospels, prologues, ordinals, Lives of the Saints, dicta and morals etc.; manuscript of the XVI century in the Old Belarusian language "Аристотелевы врата, или Тайная тайных"; ("Aristotle’s Gates, or the Mystery of Mysteries"); collection of song manuscripts of crotchet and line notation; collection of Eastern manuscripts on grammar, philosophy, law, Moslem theology etc; manuscripts by eminent Belarusian scientists and cultural figures.

The old printed books collection (more than 30 thousand) includes collection of incunabula (43 items), among them: "Chronicles" by H.Schedel (1493), issue of "The Divine Comedy" by Dante (1481); collection of palaeotypes (about 200 items), including 16 books by M. Luther publishedin his lifetime; publications by Aldes printing house in Venice (XV–XVI centuries), by Dutch publishers Elseviers (XVI–XVIII centuries), by the eminent printers Etiennes, Plantins, Frobennes, and others.

The Cyrillic print collection includes the unique collected editions by first Belarusian book-printer F. Skorina (10 issues of the Bible, Prague, 1517–1519);"Евангелие учительное" ("The Edifying Gospel") by V. Garaburda (about 1580); "Apostle" (Lvov, 1574) and "The Bible" (Ostrog, 1581) by I. Fedorov; books printed in P. Mstislavets’ and Mamoniches’ printing houses; issues by Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Russian printers of the XVI–XVIII centuries. The collection includes as well books by M.V. Lomonosov issued in his lifetime, books by the eminent Russian enlightened of the XVIII century N.I. Novikov and the journals issued by N.I. Novikov: "Древняя российская вивлиофика" ("The Ancient Russian Library"), "Живописец" ("The Painter"), "Кошелек" ("The Purse"), printed publications issues during the Great French Revolution; leaflets of the period of the Commune of Paris; collection of partisan and conspiracy print of the period of the Great Patriotic War; publications banned by the tzar’s censorship (collection of the free Russian press). Besides, the collection contains books autographed by eminent writers, artists, scientists and public figures (M. Bogdanovich, N. Gogol, V.Hugo, E.Zola, P.Picasso, S.Dali, and others).