Knygotyra ISSN 0204–2061 eISSN 2345-0053
2019, vol. 73, pp. 329–337

The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context”: Topics of the Collection in the Chronology of Publications for 200620171

Larisa Dovnar
Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts (Minsk, Belarus)

Received: 31/8/2019
Copyright © 2019
Larysa Doŭnar. Published by Vilnius University Press. This is an Open Access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

In Belarus, “book culture” as a generalized theme for scientific conferences had began to be identified from the 1990s. Certain contributions were made by the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts (BSUCA). It held scientific conferences and organized the publication of materials of conferences, the likes of which were “Non-Governmental Publishing Activities in Belarus: The History and the Present” (1996),2 “International Scientific Cyril and Methody Readings Devoted to the Days of Slavic Written Language and Culture” (1997–2019),3 “For Folks and the Newly Arrived (To the 165th Anniversary of A. Jelski)” (1999),4 etc.

Since 2006, the scientific project “Book Culture of Belarus: Historical and Theoretical Aspects” has been organized in the BSUCA. The international scientific and practical conference “The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context” (February 78, 2006) was one of its first results, during which historical as well as theoretical and methodical problems of book culture were discussed. The results of the conference promoted a consolidation of international, interregional, and interdepartmental contacts, a unity of the scientific community, widening the range of investigations in the branch of the Belarusian and world book culture. In the end of 2006, the main part of the conference transactions were published in the book of the same name – The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context (2006).5 Its contents confirm the considerable potential of the Belarusian and world bibiliology and prove that the traditional book culture is one of the guarantors of the national and cultural identity and common to the preservation all of mankind’s culture. The first edition was also dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Department of Rare Books of the BSUCA Library. The articles from authors of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia were devoted to theoretical, historical, and methodological issues of studying book monuments in Belarus and Western Europe, the problems of book art, book culture, and book publishing.

The exchange of book culture experience and achievements had found its prolongation in the international scientific and practical seminar “Bibliological Investigations in Belarus and Poland: Experience, Organization, Prospect (to the 490th Anniversary of the Belarusian Book Publishing)” (April 18, 2007), organized and held by participants of the BSUCA project. The leading specialist of the first-rate scientific libraries of Belarus (the National Library of Belarus (NLB), the Kolas Central Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (CSL of NASB), the President Library of the Republic of Belarus (PLRB)) took part in the seminar, including some famous Polish scientists (Dr. Krzysztof Migoń, Dr. Oscar Charnik). In his report “The Condition of Modern Bibliology as Science,” Dr. K. Migoń analyzed the theoretical aspects of bibiliology, together with its object and subject, scope and structure, methods, cooperation with other sciences, and the position of bibliology among other sciences. Tamara Samajliuk presented the modern tendencies of scientific investigations of Russian, Polish and Belarusian bibliologists in the sphere of book culture and extracted the most perspective conceptions for subsequent theoretical elaborations. Aliena Ivanova, Director of the National Book Chamber of Belarus, analyzed the activities of her institution as an informational resources base of bibliological investigations. Ihar Lapcionak, Vice-Minister of Information of the Republic of Belarus, made a review of book publishing and distribution in Belarus in 20062007. The report “Book Publishing Activities in Minsk in the Context of Modern Tendencies of Book Business Development in Belarus” of Larysa Doŭnar continued the theme. The report of Aliaksandr Stefanovič was devoted to the situation of the study of private collections in Belarus by the example of the CSL of the NASB. L. Doŭnar presented the list of books from the private collection of Aliaksandr Jelski, which were recovered by her in the book depositories of Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. The delivered reports from the seminar compose a publication of collection articles that is the second part of the edition The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context (2008).6

The third edition is based on international round-table discussions with the participation of scientists of Russia and Poland: “The Informational Society and Libraries” (March 16, 2011) and “A Book as a Factor of Culture and an Object of Scientific Investigations: Historical and Modern Aspect” (April 13, 2011).7 The articles by authors from Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, and the USA are placed in the following parts: book culture theory; source study of the book culture of Belarus; librarianship history; book collections: experience, methods, outlook of study; art of the book; statistics of print; “Personalia”; reviews.

Book culture theory is presented in the article by Professor K. Migoń, titled Book Culture – An Attempt to Define the Notion as a Research Category. In the article by Professor Maryna Mažeika, A Postmodern Rethinking of the Book Phenomenon: An Extra-Gutenberg Being of Book Culture, the author primarily stresses the problem of the reader as the carrier of culture codes and sources of text meanings. The main idea of the article written by Professor Arkadij Sokolov, Libraries and the Informational Society, is that the ignorant informatization of libraries is a threat that may provoke the dehumanization of society. The author proposes his arguments for the preservation of library institutions in the future informational society.

The article by Professor of the Institute of the Lithuanian Language (Vilnius), Sergej Temchin, Editions of Francisk Scorina in the Lbrary of the Suprasl Annunciation Monastery: Book Inventory of 1557, is devoted to a source study of the book culture of Belarus. Some materials of this part are devoted to the activity of Vaclaŭ Lastoŭski and given in the thematic subsection (L. Doŭnar, Aleksiej Zuzin, and Nelli Popkova).

The part “Book Collections: Experience, Methods, and Prospects of Study” contains an article written by T. Sapieha, Head of the Book Museum of the National Library of Belarus. Liavon Jurevič’s article The Collection of Emigrant Periodicals in the New York Public Library contains a bibliographic list of the collections of the Belarusian emigrant periodicals that were collected and presented by Zora and Vitaŭt Kipiel. The topic of book art is considered in the article written by Iryna Synkova and titled The Art of the Oriental Decorum: The Belarusian Collections in the Muslim Book-Cover Tradition Context. The part “Statistics of Print” contains an article of A. Ivanova, Director of the National Book Chamber of the Republic of Belarus. The segment “Personalia” contains an article written by A. Stefanovič, devoted to Lidia Zbralevich, former Head of the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts of the CSL of the NASB (she celebrated her 80th anniversary in 2010 and devoted her whole life to the study and collection of books).

The volume is concluded with a review by L. Doŭnar of the new publication of Lithuanian scholar, Professor Arvydas Pacevičius, titled A Forgotten Patronage: The Book of Donations of the Vilnius University Library, 1792–1832 (Vilnius, 2010)

The fourth book8 is dedicated to the phenomenon of culture and its role in the development of spiritual traditions of the Belarusian people. These articles discuss the theory and history of book culture, experience, methods, and prospects of the study of book collections. A special place is occupied by the materials of the round table “The Restoration and Conservation of Book Monuments: The Opinion of Professionals” from Belarus (Zoya Kavalenka, T. Sapieha), Russia (Rosa Salnikova, Svietlana Dobrusina, and Natalia Podgornaya), Ukraine (Lesia Dzendzialiuk), devoted to the problems and features of the restoration of book monuments as well as the problems of teaching education in this area.

The direction of the collection on the theory of book culture is continued by Professor K. Migoń, who presented an article on the subject titled Language, Writing, Universum of Literature – Notions of Book Culture in Contemporary Bibliology.

The main materials on the history and source study of book culture are presented in the following articles: The Definition of the Hebrew “almāh” in the Cyrillic Manuscript Manual of Hebrew (according to the extant 16th Century Copy) by STemchin; On the Question of the Relationship between the Evangelical Translations of M. Smotritsky and V. Tsiapinsky by Ihar Klimaŭ; Cyrillic Vilnius Editions in the Fund of the National Library of Belarus by Taciana Salaviey; The Page Layout of Books Printed in Kuciejna in the Middle of the 17th Century by J. Laŭryk; The Publishing of the Belarusian Orthodox Church at the Present Sage by T. Samajliuk. The experience, methods, and prospects of studying book collections are represented by Valery Hierasimaŭ and Vol`ha Cyrkun in The Private Book Collection “Suprasl Zachert’s Library”; the problems of identification and reconstruction – in L. Jurevič’s paper Handwritten Books by Mikola Pankou.

The main theme of the fifth issue of the collection of scientific papers The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context is Word. Language. Text. The Spiritual Potential of Book Culture.”9 The section “Personalіa” is devoted to the 90th anniversary of the birth of the famous Belarusian philologist, Professor of Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, Mikola Hrynčyk and includes his article To the Question of the Ethnic Substratum of Ancient Slavic Writing.

The section “Book Culture Theory begins again with an article written by Professor K. Migoń and is devoted to a comparative approach to the question of the beginning of the printed book in Slavic languages, which is essential to such scientific disciplines as linguistics, history, history of literature and culture, and historical bibliology (book historiography). In the article by J. Laŭryk Historical Bibliology as an Independent Science (to the Statement of the Problem) the raised theme is continued, and there is an attempt already to show the role of historical bibliology as an independent scientific discipline with a specific field of interest and the relevant methodological apparatus for its research. The main tendencies of the development of the contemporary research of history of the Belarusian book and bibliology are discussed in the article by L. Doŭnar titled History of the Belarusian Book and Bibliology: Achievements and Needs. The article of a young researcher Nadzeia Vaitsehovič, titled Book Activities in the System of Continuous Education, is devoted to the problems of the didactical and bibliological theory of the educational book. Emilia Ohar, Professor at the Department of Publishing and Editing of the Ukrainian Academy of Printing, considers the basic theoretical and practical preconditions of the creation of the typological model of a modern children’s book. English and Belarusian literature contains a publication by the famous Belarusian public figure, literary critic, publicist, and bibliographer from the USA (New York), Zora Kipel (1927–2003), titled Bibliology Development in Belarus, 1917–1935, based on the edition of 1986 (New York). This is one of the earliest attempts to review the history of Belarusian bibliology during the specified period.

The publication of S. Temchin has a significant source study value. It is devoted to the Cyrillic handwritten textbook of the Hebrew language from the 16th century. The author examines the features of the language competence and ethnic designations of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages.

The sixth edition of the book The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture ContextThe Time-and-Space of the Book and the Library: Scientific and Cultural Cooperation10 – is devoted to the Belarusian bibliographer Valery Hierasimaŭ on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his birth. The section “Personalia” shows the work and activities of V. Hierasimaŭ as well as the literary works of his friends and associates.

The sectionTheory and Methodology of Book Culture” contains a few articles. The first of these is Names of Book Science. Terminological Lexical Field and Semantics by Professor K. Migoń. J. Nieściarovič notes the ignoring of domestic bibliology in the development of the conceptual apparatus and terminology used in documentology and library science diachronic concepts of the document. The article by Taciana Roščyna By the Definition of “National Documents”: The Belarusian Old Printed Editions (16th–18th Centuries) discusses the criteria for the definition of “the national book” in relation to the Belarusian old printed editions of the 16th–18th centuries. J. Laŭryk explores and compares the origins of the Cyrillic printing tradition in Belarus and Ukraine in the 16th to the first half of the 17th centuries. The perspectives of the new research and promotional activities of Mikołaj the Black Radziwiłł in Europe are presented by Wacław Walecki using the example of the Brest Bible. Lilia Kowkiel raises the problem of the research on readership in 19th century-Belarus.

The history of book collections is devoted to research by Stanisław Siess-Krzyszkowski and his paper The Brest Bible in European Libraries and Collections: From the Point of View of Its Editing History; Aliena Citavec’s paper The Psalter of 1576: The Lot of the Book; Natalia Bondar’s paper Belarusian Cyrillic Editions of the 17th–18th Centuries in Collections of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine; Zoja Jaroszewicz-Pieresławcew’s paper Cyrillic Books of the Great Duchy of Lithuania of the 17th–19th Centuries: New Storage Locations in Poland; A. Stefanovič’s paper One Book – Five Owners; as wel as other publications.

The section “Personalia” is mainly represented by the works of Valery Hierasimaŭ. Dedications to V. Hierasimaŭ are presented by T. Sapieha, W. Walecki, Laŭren Juraha, M. Nikalajeŭ, Andrej Fiedarenka, Anatol Kudlasievič, Taciana Dziemjanovič, and Tamara Samajliuk – Valery Hierasimaŭ: Bio-Bibliographic Index.

The seventh issue of the collected articles The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context – “The Birth of Bibliological Thought and the Origin of Book Science: Vitae Parallelae” – is devoted to the 500th anniversary of Belarusian book-printing.11 The basis of the edition is an idea expressed during the round-table discussion “Scientific Bibliological School: Succession, Guidelines of Forming, and Interaction” (held in the BSUCA on February 24, 2017), in which bibliologists from Belarus, Poland (K. Migoń), and Russia (M. Nikalaieŭ) took part.

The range of the theme of bibliologic history was drawn up for this issue from questions regarding the birth and beginning of bibliology and came in useful to its revelation with regard to Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, France, Estonia. The part “Theory and Methodology of Book Culture” begins with a paper devoted to scientific and national bibliological schools of the world, which simultaneously have a memorial meaning, as the authors – K. Migoń and L. Doŭnar – honor the memory of the outstanding bibliologists Karol Głombiowski and Robert Estivals. Natalia Lelikova’s article analyzes the treatise about bibliography written by the French bookseller and bibliographer of the 18th century Jean François Née de la Rochelle. As determined by Aušra Navickienė, the interest in problems of book science became apparent during the period of the late 18th to the first half of the 19th centuries, and not only in France, Austria, or Germany but also in the area of the former Polish-Lithuanian state. The origins of the studies of the Estonian book and bibliology history, as Aile Möldre and Tiiu Reimo posit in their paper The Development of Book Studies in Estonia, come from the 17th century and are concerned (as in many other countries) with the collection of the bibliographical data of book production.

Ukrainian scientists dedicate fundamental investigations to single periods too, including the monograph Ukrainian Scientific Institute of Bibliology (1922–1936) (2015) written by Halyna Kovalchuk, also author of the next article in the issue, which is called The Ukrainian Bibliological School of the 1920s and is also focused on activities of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute of Bibliology (USIB) and the characteristic properties of the Ukrainian bibliological school.

V. Hierasimaŭ, in the paper Vaysblyum Project: A Monument of Bibliology and Librarianship, investigates the project of building of book, library and archival activities in the former Western Belarus, which joined the BSSR in 1939. The article by J. Laŭryk, titled Praeliminaria for Studies on the Book History of Jews and Tatars in Belarusian Lands. Part I. Praeliminaria for Studies on the Book History of Jews is aimed to draw attention of native bibliologists to the generally non-researched segment of book culture in Belarus, such as the book traditions of the Jewish people that have during some point settled in Belarusian lands, as well as to introduce a definite minimum of knowledge necessary for any subsequent studies of Jewish book history in Belarus.

The part “Review” introduces papers on new editions published recently in Belarus (Bibliography Science. History), Lithuania (Lelewel J. Dvejetas bibliografinių knygų. Vilnius, 2011–2016), and Poland (Encyklopedia książki).

The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context is a continuous scientific publication and a collection of original scientific papers and articles, literary and artistic works. The purpose of publishing this edition is to promote the development of Belarusian book culture. Its main thematic areas are the theory of books and book culture, the history of books and book culture, books art, the current state of book culture, the preservation and reconstruction of book collections, the organization of research training and research in the field of book science, book science personalities, and reviews. Our entire scientific collection of The Belarusian Book in the World Book Culture Context (issue 1–7) for 2006–2017 contains more than 200 original works of authors from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Estonia and the USA. The main topics are: (1) the history of books and book collections; (2) theory, methodology, and historiography of books and book culture; (3) the history and source of book culture. In our opinion, this is not only conducive to the strengthening of scientific ties, the expansion of the circle in the Belarusian book culture studies, but also to the general designation and solving of science problems related to the book and the strengthening of its humanistic purpose.

The presented themes witnessed the influence of global tendencies on the research process in the branch of book culture – the deepening of fundamentality from the one side, and extension of interbranch components from the other. At some degree, the presented reports became a reflection of the current state of bibliological science in Belarus, its theoretical and practical achievements, and have presented and confirmed the existence of a national and distinctive bibliological school. From the other side, the diversity of European scientific schools and centers of bibliological researches was presented.

Today, the editorial board of the collection consists of the following members: Krzysztof Migoń, Dr. of Book Science, Professor (Poland); Mikola Nikalajeŭ, Dr. of Philological Sciences, Professor (Russia); Domas Kaunas, Dr. of Historical Sciences, Professor (Lithuania); Halyna Kovalchuk, Dr. of Historical Sciences, Professor (Ukraine); Viera Kasap, Ph.D., Professor (Belarus); Tamara Samajluk, the Secretary of the Publications Board of the BOC (Belarus); Larysa Doŭnar, Ph.D., Professor (Belarus). We are grateful to all our authors, reviewers, and members of the editorial board. We look forward to further fruitful cooperation.

1 See also: DOŬnar, l. i. 1) “Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury” ŭ asobakh i pratsakh. In Materyyaly ХІІ Mizhnarodnykh knigaznaŭchykh chytannyaŭ “Knizhnaya kultura Belarusi: poglyad praz stagoddzi” (7–8 krasavika 2016 g.). Minsk, 2016, s. 336–340; 2) “Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury”: vyniki i perspektyvy vydavetskaga praekta. In Navukovy poshuk u sfery kultury i mastatstva: tradycyi i suchasnasts’: materyyaly navukovai kanferentsyi, Minsk, 28 listapada 2014 g. Minsk: BDUKM, 2016, s. 96–101.

2 Nedziarzhaŭnaya vydavetskaya dzeinasts’u Belarusi: gistoryya i suchasnasts’: materyyaly Mizhnarodnai navukova-praktychnai kanferentsyi (Minsk, 3–4 kastrychnika 1996 g.) / Belaruski dziarzhaŭny ŭniversitet kultury i mastatstvaŭ, fakultet bibliyatechna-infarmatsyinykh sistem, bibliyateka, addzel redkai knigi, Belaruskaya bibliyatechnaya asatsyyatsyya, [redkalegiya: Aleg Trusaŭ, Tamara Samailyuk, Larysa Doŭnar, Tatstsyana Dzemyanovich, Alyaksandr Patupa, Yaŭgen Budzinas, Natallya Byarozkina]. Minsk: Tekhnalogiya, 1997. URL:

3 DOŬnar, l. Pa zapavetakh svyatykh Kiryly i Myafodziya. Bibliyatechny svet. 1998, 4 (9), s. 20–21.

4 Dzelya blizkikh i pryshlastsi: materyyaly Mizhnarodnai navukova-praktychnai kanferencyiUniversitety Jelskikh” (da 165-goddzya z dnia naradzennya Alyaksandra Jelskaga), Minsk, 7 kastrychnika 1999 g. / Belaruski ŭniversitet kultury; [redkalegiya: T. A. Dzemyanovich, L. I. Doŭnar, U. I. Markhel’, A. U. Paznyakoŭ (adkazny redaktar), T. A. Samailyuk; skladalniki: L. Doŭnar, T. Dzemyanivich]. Minsk: Kovcheg, 1999.

5 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury: zbornik navukovykh artykulaŭ: [vyp. 1] u 2 ch., skladalniki: L. I. Doŭnar, T. A. Dzemyanivich, T. A. Samailyuk; redkalegiya: M. A. Byaspalaya (adkazny redaktar), A. P. Grytskevich, V. E. Lyavonchykaŭ, M. A. Mazheika, M. V. Nikalaeŭ. Minsk: BDUKM, 2006. – URL:

6 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury: zbornik navukovykh artykulaŭ. Vyp. 2, skladalniki: L. I. Doŭnar, T. A. Samailyuk, T. A. Dzemyanivich; redkalegiya: B. U. Svyatloŭ (adkazny redaktar) [i insh.]. Minsk: BDUKM, 2008. – URL:

7 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury: gistoryya i suchasnasts’: zbornik navukovykh prats. [Vyp. 3], skladalniki: L. I. Doŭnar, T. A. Samailyuk; redkalegiya: L. I. Doŭnar (adkazny redaktar). Minsk: БДУКМ, 2011. URL:

8 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury: vyvuchenne i zakhavanne: zbornik navukovykh artykulaŭ. [Vyp. 4], redkalegiya: M. A. Mazheika (adkazny redaktar), L. I. Doŭnar [i insh.]. Minsk: BDUKM, 2012. (XVIII Mizhnarodnyya Kiryla-Myafodzieŭskiya chytanni, prysvechanyya Dnyam slavyanskaga pismenstva i kultury pa temeKniga ŭ farmiravanni dukhoŭnai kultury i dzyarzhaŭnastsi belaruskaga naroda” (Minsk, 16–18 maya 2012 g.) : u 2 t. T. 2). – URL:

9 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury: zbornik navukovykh prats. Vyp. 5: Slova. Mova. Tekst. Dukhoŭny patentsyyal knizhnai kultury, skladalniki: LIDoŭnar, T. A. Samailyuk; redkalegiya: L. I. Doŭnar (adkazny redaktar) [i insh.]. Minsk: Medyyal, 2014. – URL:

10 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury. Vyp. 6. Chasaprastora knigi i bibliyateki: navukovae i kulturnae ŭzaemadzeyanne: zbornik navukovykh i litaraturna-mastatskikh prats, akhvyaravanykh Valeryyu Herasimavu da 60-goddzya z dnya naradzhennya, skladalniki: L. I. Doŭnar, T. A. Samailyuk; redkalegiya: L. I. Doŭnar (adkazny redaktar) [i insh.]. Minsk: Kaŭcheg, 2015. – URL:

11 Belaruskaya kniga ŭ kantekstse susvetnai knizhnai kultury. Vyp 7. Naradzhenne knigaznaŭchai dumki i paŭstanne navuki pra knigu: vitae parallelae: zbornik navukovykh prats, prysvechanykh 500-goddzyu belaruskaga knigadrukavannya, skladalniki: LIDoŭnar, T. A. Samailyuk; redkalegiya: L. I. Doŭnar (adkazny redaktar) [i insh]. Minsk: BDUKM, 2017. – URL: