Old Printed Books
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    Early printed, rare and valuable books fund is one of the most valuable collections of the Maksymovych Scientific library. Early printed books are books printed during the period of time from the beginning of printing until year 1830 inclusive. The Library collection of early printed books includes more than 11.000 items, mainly on Philosophy, Religion, and History. Many of them need farther scientific analysis and cataloguing. They are mostly printed in ancient European languages: Latin, ancient Jewish, ancient Greek, ancient Bulgarian, or in languages noticeably different from contemporary English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Therefore, in many cases the scientific description of such books is not complete, and on the assumption of their thorough investigation finds of European and world level are possible amongst the items of the fund. About 80% of the books are printed in foreign languages.

    The most part of early printed books fund is made up of books printed in Europe in the XVI -XVII centuries. Most books are from Austria, England, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and France. Among them are books of the well-known medieval European printing dynasties of Alds, Etiens, Elzevirs, and Plantains.

    The pearl of the early printed books fund is incunabulum with religious content printed in Venice in 1496 year in the Latin language.

    Adornment of the Library fund is rare early printed books of the first half of the XVI century – paleotyps. The oldest among them dates back to 1519. It's a rare specimen of early printed books and of the old Bulgarian language – "Sluzhebnik" printed by celibate priest Pahomy and published in Venice in Bozhydar Vucovych printing office in 1519.

    The book of Hugon Falcand was published in Paris in the printing-office of Apud Dupuys in 1550. The book consists of 225 pages. The cover of the book dates back to the XVIII and the XIX century and is made from paperboard. The book has numerous marginalia in Latin, some of which are hand-written. The book is a medieval chronicle. The story written by Hugon Falcand depicts the events in Sicilian Kingdom from the beginning of its foundation, through the siculian and till Christian times.

    Among the collection of early books printed in second half of the XVI–XVII centuries we can highlight such books:

    "Naprestolnoye Evangeliye" (The Enthrone Gospel), printed by Moscow printer Petr Timofeevich Mstislavets, was published in Vilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1575. It is a very rare book. It was described by outstanding Russian bibliographer Sopikov (part 5-a, page 102). The cover of the book is made from board wrapped by velvet. The "srednik" (the inside field between printed type pages) in the form of a cross has remained intact, as well as "spinki" (kind of clasps). The first sheet is lost. There is ornament with eleven miniatures in the book. The engravings in pictures of four Evangelists are absent. The type of 10 printing lines makes up to 127 millimeters.

    The book of Pamva Berynda "Lexicon Slavyanorussky" ("The Slavic-Russian Lexicon"), printed in 1653 in the printing-office of Kutein cloister (Kuteiny village in Belarus) is of great value, too. It has 324 pages. The cover is made from paperboard. The title is designed with vignette. Pamva Berynda was a printer, engraver, philosopher, and writer. From 1616 he worked in the printing-office of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where he got the title of architypograph. He is the author of the first dictionary printed in Eastern Europe of the title "Lexicon Slavenorussky i imen tolkovaniye" ("The Slavic-Russian Lexicon and Names Commentary").

    The Library has one of rare edition in Old Ukrainian. The book of Trankvilion Kyryl "Perlo mnogotsennoye" ("The Most Precious Pearl") was printed in Mohyliv in 1699 in printing-office of Maxim Voshanka. It has 476 pages. The cover is made from board wrapped by leather. On the title page there is picture of the Trinity and 8 Saints, made in two colours – red and black. On the reverse side of title sheet is "detorit" miniature – Epiphany.
    "Perlo mnogotsennoye" consists of sections, on each of which there is the name of the day of the week. This book had educational purpose. It is the monument of Ukrainian culture of the XVII century.
    The author is a Ukrainian churchman, teacher, and writer. The collection consists of several prose works and 21 poems. The poems are written in the style of sacred literature and they have elements of folk poetics, in particular, of the Ukrainian popular "duma" (genre of folk poem).

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Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University Copyright 2006
Kyiv National
Taras Shevchenko University