Collection of periodicals

The Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve for history, architecture and art has a significant collection of documentary materials. Its basis is formed by documents from the monasteries and churches of the Belozersk district, by documents about the history of civil institutions and private papers. This collection contains 1038 units of issue. They cover the period from the 15th to the 21st centuries. The most ancient document is the Spiritual testament of the Father Superior Kirill which traditionally dates back to 1427. One of the most interesting documents of the museum collection is the Charter of the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich (1675) to the Father Superior of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery Nikita with the brethren giving the right to fish in the White lake and in the River Sheksna. In the small collection of documentary photographs there are photos retaining different events from the life of the region, photos of the inhabitants of Kirillov and Belozersk, photos and photo cards with views of Kirillov and its neighbourhood, Belozersk and other towns. Collection of periodicals (more than 200 names) is of great interest. It includes central and local newspapers, such editions as “Bulletin of the Novgorod zemstvo”, “Gazette of the Novgorod eparchy”, Church gazette”, “Spiritual conversation”, “Useful reading”, “Christian reading”, “Lamp” and others.

The collection of books of Kirillo-Belozersky museum-reserve is one of the largest in the Vologda Region. Its main body is formed by fragments of the library of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, the Goritsy Convent of the Resurrection, the Nilo-Sorsky hermitage. The collection was initiated already in 1924. In the 1930-s the museum received books from the Goritsy Convent, the Nilo-Sorsky hermitage and from the churches which were being closed at that time. In 1930 the collection was replenished by the edition of the 19th-early 20th centuries handed from the Central library of Kirillov. It gave books to the museum also in the 1960-s. At the same time, in the 1950-1960-s, some parts of the books (including manuscripts, editions in the Cyrillic and early civil script) were handed by the museum to the other collections (the Vologda Regional museum, the Saltykov-Tschedrin State Public library). In the last third of the 20th century the collection of books was replenished thanks to purchases and gifts of private persons. A special place among the newly received books is occupied by the 19th century manuscript “Use of the church hymn” presented to the museum in 1987 by S.S. Klyuev from the Novokemsky settlement of the Vaski district of the Vologda Region. The handwritten part of the collection contains 150 books of the 15th-20th century. Liturgical books and works of edifying character prevail among them. There are 26 manuscripts with printed music which contains melody records of D.S. Bortnyanskiy, P.I. Turchaninov, A.A. Archangelskiy and other composers. The museum has hagiography, including lives of the northern saints, narrations about miracle-working icons, apocryphal legends. Such works as “Alexandria”, “A story about Peter and Fevroniya” form part of the collections. Among few ornamented manuscripts we can mention “Precepts of Fedor Studit”, copied “by a humble monk Seraphim from the Solovetsky monastery for reading in the cell” in 1839-1840 and “Use of the church hymn” created by the master Ivan Moshkin in 1883.

The collection of books in the Cyrillic script dating back to 1623-1914 embraces almost all trends of the Cyrillic book-learning. Liturgical books prevail among them, but there is also a considerable selection of hagiography, works of religious writers, works of church and historical content. Collection of books in the civil script dating back to the 18th – first third of the 19th century is really interesting. Its main part is formed by theological books, including the books on moral and dogmatic theology. The museum has law books (legal code of the Russian Empire, law dictionary and other editions), books on church and secular history, geography, medicine, a cookbook and many others. The books contain numerous inscriptions with the names of those people who donated or owned them, reader’s records, stamps.

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