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Various Authors & Editors

Early Printed Cyrillic Books
Library of Moscow State University, Belorussian and Ukrainian Publications

National and cultural identity
This collection bears witness to the complex, yet fascinating process of book printing in Belorussia and Ukraine when these countries were still under Polish-Lithuanian rule. Deprived of political rights and freedom of worship, the Orthodox Byelorussians and Ukrainians struggled to preserve their national and cultural identity by printing religious, liturgical, and historical books in the Cyrillic script. Often, these publications had a polemical intent – attacking the Catholics, the Uniates, and the Protestants alike – or propagated an openly nationalist agenda. One of the most popular works included in this collection is the Sinopsis – the first printed book on the history of the Eastern Slavs that promoted the idea of uniting all Slavic peoples. Equally interesting in this respect is the politically charged Trebnik, which was published in 1646 at the instigation of Piotr Mogila, the Metropolitan of Kiev.

The Brotherhoods
The role of the Brotherhoods ( bratstva) was crucial to this process of national emancipation. The Brotherhoods were political organizations that sought to stimulate Belorussian and Ukrainian culture by, for example, establishing schools and printing houses. Alarmed by these initiatives and anxious to curb the activities of the Brotherhoods, the government of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, in tandem with the Catholic and the Uniate Church, banned all politically sensitive publications. However, this did not prevent educated and influential Belorussians and Ukrainians from taking part in printing Cyrillic books. Printing houses specializing in Belorussian or Ukrainian publications existed at some point in time in Kiev, L’vov, Chernigov, Vilnius, Mogilev, and many other places.

Kiev-Perch Laura
The largest and most productive printing house in Ukraine belonged to the famous Monastery of the Caves, in Kiev ( Kieov-pecherskaia lavra). It functioned from 1616 until the end of the 18th century, and is represented in the present collection by 47 titles. These include a 1619 edition of the Anfologion (translated by Iov Boretskii), Pamva Berynda’s Leksikon slavianorusskii (the first Slavic “encyclopedia”), and a number of Besedy (“Conversations” on religious topics) that are especially noteworthy for the exceptionally high quality of the typography. The second largest segment of the collection comprises 20 books printed by the Uspenskii Brotherhood of Lvov, which was one of the most important cultural centers in Ukraine during the 17th and 18th centuries. In Belorussia, the Brotherhoods of Vilna and Eve, as well as smaller printing houses in Mogilev and Kutein, specialized in the printing of Cyrillic books. Among the most valuable of the 23 Belorussian books included in this collection are Kirill Trankvillion Stavrovetskii’s Perlo mnogotsennoe (1699), Akafisty vsesedmichnye (1698) – which was printed by the Brotherhood of Mogilev – and a number of sumptuously illustrated liturgical works and prayerbooks.

Unique collection
The present collection consists of 109 rare or otherwise valuable Belorussian and Ukrainian books printed in the 17th century. As well as having an historical value, the combination of luxurious design and sophisticated typography makes these works stand out as true landmarks of early book printing. The books were often embellished by professional artists, who added illustrations and designed the title pages. Ukrainian and Belorussian books differed from those printed in Moscow in both style and content. Whereas the latter were funded by the government and meticulously censored by the Metropolitan and the Tsar, the printing in the Ukraine and Belorussia was supported primarily by private donations. Their repertoire was also much more diversified. The books’ more colorful design, their covers, dedications, coats of arms, and spectacular illustrations contribute to the uniqueness of this material.

Moscow State University Library
Moscow State University Library (founded 1756) is one of the biggest libraries in Russia. Today, it stores more than 8 million volumes and owns many rare books and manuscripts. The most valuable part of its holdings is in the Rare Books and Manuscripts section, which accommodates over 200,000 items, including unique Western, Oriental, and Slavonic manuscripts, archives, incunabula, prints, and other early works. The unique collection of early printed Slavonic books was obtained largely through donations, purchases, transfers from other libraries, and the work of the Archeographical Expedition (which spent over 30 years working among Russian Old Believers in different parts of the former Soviet Union). Nowadays, the Slavonic collection comprises 2,170 items dating from the 1400s to the 1900s.
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A. H. van den Baar and Hilda Meijer

Slavic Palaeography

Works on Slavic palaeography as well as material useful for the analysis or comparative study of old handwritten texts, such as reference material, diplomatics, computistics, and printed liturgics.
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Various Authors & Editors

Russian Symbolism
Including Futurism, Acmeism and Imaginism

All items in this collection are connected with Symbolism, Acmeism, Futurism, and other movements of the aesthetic revival in Russia which began around 1890. Collection includes works representing the "silver age" of Russian literature. Authors such as A. Blok, A Akhmatova, K. Bol'mont, V. Briusov, A. Belyi, S. Esenin, Z. Gippius and many others are included.
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Various Authors & Editors

Irish Pamphlets, c. 1700-1850
The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Pamphlets documenting the range of popular literature during the early stages of Ireland's Campaign for Parliamentary Reform and the first appearance of the Catholic Question. In addition to sources on the Catholic Question, the collection, by way of personal correspondence, parliamentary proceedings, journalistic and committee reports and creative writing, provides insight into issues such as the connection between the Volunteer movement and the struggle for Catholic emancipation; the significance of land policy and structure in rural Ireland; and the influence of nutritional and educational guidelines stipulated by various societies upon the lifestyles of the Irish poor.
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Various Authors & Editors

This collection includes Hebrew Bibles, Polyglots, Hebrew Grammars and Dictionaries.
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Die Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft
Printed works, manuscripts and images from the German baroque

Discovery and experiment
The German Baroque period, viewed through letters and science, is marked by a flowering of intellectual activity within a dazzling array of new scholarly fields. It is particularly interesting for students of German cultural history as it is the period in which the German language, after a long period of neglect, once again became the medium for scholarly and literary communication of the highest calibre. The Baroque was deeply imbued with the spirit of discovery and experimentation, and it gave rise to the creation of new styles of literary craftsmanship. This culminated in the classical forms of German lyric, drama, narrative and epic in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Baroque period can, with considerable justification, be regarded as the cradle of modern German literary culture.

Learned societies
A particularly interesting aspect of the Baroque was the emergence of social structures that promoted literacy and the humanistic arts and sciences. Throughout Europe "learned societies" such as the Accademia della Crusca in Florence were founded to bring scholars and writers together as well as to encourage humanistic discourse. In Germany, the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, or the Fruit Bearing Society, was formed in 1617, and amongst other things, it set itself the task of propagating German as both a scholarly and literary language. The Fruit Bearing Society was also known as the Palmenorden (Order of the Palms) because its emblem was the then very exotic coconut palm tree, and its motto was “Alles zu nutzen” – everything for a purpose – in keeping with the German conception of the palm tree as the source of countless material goods used in housing, clothing and nourishing the indigenous peoples of the new world that Europe was in the process of discovering. The Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft was Germany's first such learned society, and was one of its most important in terms of the role it played in encouraging the use of written German.

M. Bircher
The great Baroque scholar Martin Bircher spent thirty years collecting books, manuscripts, engravings and other art objects relative to the Fruit Bearing Society. His remarkable collection concerning the membership and publications of the Fruit Bearing Society includes over 685 printed books, 335 manuscripts, 300 copperplate engravings, and 21 maps and other similar graphic materials. These items cover a wide range of subjects, in keeping with the interests of the Society's membership, and include law, art, religion, theology, history, near Eastern philology, geography, music, hagiography, and mathematics. The manuscript materials, in particular, offer a rich variety of official documents and correspondence by and about the members of the Fruit Bearing Society, and the graphic materials provide a unique source of primary information from this period.

Eminent authors
Representative of the kind of rare and valuable printed works in the collection is Justus Georg Schottelius' Ausführliche Arbeit Von der Teutschen HaubtSprache, published in 1664. Conceived as a vehicle for the propagation of "correct" German and as a tool for linguistic unification of the German-speaking lands, there is no more significant publication in the annals of the Society. Schottelius, known as " Der Suchende" or "The Seeker" to his Fruit Bearing brothers, attempted to create an exemplary vocabulary of German based on the works of contemporary authors, and in the process has created more than just a dictionary of the language, but rather as Martin Bircher writes, eine kleine barocke Literaturgeschichte. Curt Faber du Faur was of the opinion that this work makes him "if not the father, then the grandfather of Germanic philology”. Similarly the collection is rich in other rare volumes and first editions by many eminent German Baroque literary authors such asMartin Opitz, Andreas Gryphius, Georg Philipp Harsdoerffer, Johann Philipp Moscherosch, Friedrich von Logau, and Philipp von Zesen.

Autograph documents
The autograph documents in the collection offer another exciting dimension to students and scholars of the period. They range from the official records of the Society to private correspondence between, to and from Society members. Those concerning Prince Ludwig I of Anhalt-Köthen are reasonably representative of the collection’s scope and breadth Martin Bircher collected 26 distinct items in connection with Ludwig, which vividly detail the political turmoil surrounding the confessional disputes raging in Germany at that time. Among them are a letter from Wallenstein to Ludwig in response to the latter's entreaties that Wallenstein's army spare the principality of Köthen, in which Ludwig writes of "the deplorable condition of this miserable country" and of the fields, which "lay unsown, bare and deserted, the cattle and victuals eaten up, the landscape ruined, credit wiped out and all the country’s property gone." Wallenstein's letter to Ludwig is reassuring and indeed bestows upon the prince a generous travel pass, which allows him to pursue a badly-needed cure at the baths in Wildungen. Other important letters to Ludwig include those from Maria Eleonore, Queen of Sweden, widow of Gustavus Adolphus, and from the Emperor Ferdinand III dated 23 August 1645, in which he summons his electors to a peace treaty congress to be held in Osnabrück or Münster later that year – the first step on the long path which led to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

Pictorial materials
Likewise the iconographic materials in the collection give a vivid sense of the persons, places and artistic themes of the German Baroque. Many portraits of Society members have been included, as well as the “emblems” or coded engravings which depicted their most striking personal characteristics and gave rise to each member’s “cognomen” in the Society, the sobriquet by which he was known to other members. Other valuable kinds of pictorial materials include maps and aerial views of cities, ornately decorated proclamations and decrees, and various sorts of highly inventive tables and graphs which codify the elements of German grammar and word formation.

Valuable addition
The Fruit Bearing Society collection is a valuable addition to any library that supports the study of German and Central European history in the early modern period. The careful and knowledgeable manner in which it has been compiled combined with the scholarly thoroughness of its cataloguing make it a truly unique resource for both students and advanced scholars alike. For researchers, it is a breathtaking collection of primary sources which vividly portray the period and place. Furthermore, it serves as a microcosm of 17th century Germany which stands in stark contrast to the terrible depredations that marred a great part of that period.

James H. Spohrer, University of California, Berkeley
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Various Authors & Editors

Periodical titles concerning not only literature and linguistics but also drama, folklore and the fine arts. The majority of the titles were published in France; those published in other Western countries are in some way related to French philology.
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Emblem Books with Songs and Music

Singable texts
So relatively little researched has emblem literature been that new subgenres can still be identified. This is shown by the collection of emblem books with songs and music. In this group of emblem books the poets have made part of their emblems singable, or have added a singable text to their emblems. By doing so, combinations of text, a picture and music were made, which were meant to be looked at, read and sung. This unusual literature requires an active reader, who participates in contemplating the picture, in reading the poetry, and in singing the song or playing the composition.

The phenomenon of emblems with songs and music is partly rooted in a meditational tradition, whereas some of the books are merely meant as a pleasurable pastime. The majority were written for private meditation or to stimulate mystical experience.

On the basis of the material, a series of all known emblem books with songs and music from the Low Countries has been collected by Dr. Raasveld. The publication of the material, which has been largely unknown until now, enables literary scholars, art historians and musicologists to investigate this new corpus of emblem books with songs and music, for example, to focus on the changing relationships between text, pictures and music. This collection also demonstrates the importance of emblem literature for musicological research into the role of music in private meditation, the reception of music in literary contexts and the history of music in Western Europe.

Dr. Paul P. Raasveld
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Various Authors & Editors

Early Western Books, 1500-1599
The Ottoman empire and the Mediterranean

Titles from the collection of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A majority of the titles concern the history of the Eastern Mediterranean and relations between the European Christians and the Ottoman Turks, including a number of works inspired by the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Other topics include the East Indies and China, South America, a Japanese embassy to Rome and the history of several Italian cities. Also includes treatises and grammars by humanist scholars, such as Guillaume Postel.
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Early Slavic texts
The Scaliger Paterikon

This collection is also included in the Early Slavic Texts collection.