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You are here: Home Slavonic Library About the Slavonic Library (SL) Book Collection of the SL The Collection of Manuscripts of Prof. A. D. Grigorʼev

The Collection of Manuscripts of Prof. A. D. Grigorʼev

A north Russian manuscript from the 17th century

A valuable part of the holdings of the Slavonic Library is the collection of manuscripts assembled in northern Russia by the folklorist, expert in Old Russian literature and linguist Aleksandr Dmitrievich Grigorʼev (1874–1945). It comprises 68 manuscripts from the 17th–19th centuries. The collection is structured based on Grigorʼev’s original division by the territorial provenance of individual manuscripts: 1) manuscripts from the River Pinega basin in the Arkhangelsk Gubernia (this part is further subdivided into secular and spiritual documents), 2) manuscripts from the southern shore of the White Sea (around Onega and Kem in the Arkhangelsk Gubernia) and 3) manuscripts acquired in Tomsk.

The documents are evidence of the late North Russian manuscript tradition, which survived thanks to the local conditions irrespective of the development of book printing and fast reprographic methods. They make it possible to study traditional Russian manuscript texts in the late period of the history of Russian manuscript books. The collection contains both documents of ecclesiastical nature, including prayer books, and common informative literature (with examples of correspondence between several local educated peasant families – for instance the Vereshchagins).

The collection was gathered by A. D. Grigorʼev on his repeated expeditions to the northern areas of European Russia at the turn of the 20th century. Subsequently, he handed a part of the documents to the Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; shortly before his death, he gave the second part to the Slavonic Library.

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