Select language:

Bibliokhronika: History of Books and their Surroundings

 /  / Russkiy Mir Foundation / Publications / Bibliokhronika: History of Books and their Surroundings

Bibliokhronika: History of Books and their Surroundings

14.10.2015

In late September the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) hosted a most interesting event related to the Russian culture in Germany—a presentation of three volumes published as part of the Mezhdu nami… Entre nous series in the scientific publishing project Bibliokhronika.

With the blessing of Sergey Vengerov, project co-creator, and Sergey Maguta, Cultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy in Germany, the books found a new home.



Olaf Hamann, Head of the Eastern-European Branch of the Berlin State Library

Olaf Hamann, Head of the Eastern-European Branch of the Berlin State Library, gave an opening speech at the event. Ute Obernolte and Elizaveta Rogg, who translated the books into German, revised and edited them and worked with the German sources, shared how difficult yet exciting the work process was.

The project was initiated by two Russian book collectorsfather and son Alexei and Sergei Vengerov, founders of the innovative and acclaimed Russian project Bibliokhronika.

Bibliokhronika is not only an account of a book’s history, its editions, design and overall condition, but also an overview of its surroundings. A book is approached like an individual with a personal history in the form of labels, bookplates, dedications, readers handwriting and so on. Every single book is a reflection of world history with its dynamics, drama and sometimes tragic landmarks.



Sergey Vengerov, one of the projects co-creators

The books chosen for Bibliokhronika form part of book lovers collections. Arranged chronologically, they have some connection to Russiathey could be printed in Russian or published in this country, be illustrated by Russian artists or dedicated to Russia, or they could have belonged to Russian readers for some time.

The first volume of the Mezhdu nami... Entre nous... series is written in Russian and French. It contains 61 essays on the relations between Russia and France from 1700 to 1985.
The second volume is in Russian and German. It also contains 61 articles, this time spanning the period from 1550 to 1977.
The third volume is in Russian and English, and it has 69 tales about books dating from 1647 to 1980.



Books in the Mezhdu nami... Entre nous... series

The bilingual nature of the books makes them richer, as the original and the translation are perceived as a whole.

Another aspect worth mentioning with regard to the Bibliokhronika series is its outstanding design and typography, including such features as large paper size (A4), excellent chalk overlay paper, book jackets (same for every volume), silk ribbons, exquisitely reproduced illustrations and photographs of rare books marked with the stamp of time and soaked in the flavor of past epochs.

One cant help but congratulate the Berliners and guests of the city who will have access to the volumes of Bibliokhronika, each of them one of the 300 copies in the rare book series. From now on, one can visit the reading room of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and go back in time. For instance, read a passage from Panegyric in Praise of Trajan by Pliny the Younger published in France in 1772Paul I of Russia, the emperor-to-be, carried this book with him during his travels around Europe; or witness the havoc in Moscow of 1812 through the eyes of a Westphalian, Anton Wilhelm Nordhof; alternatively, look at the works of Boris Grigoriev, the illustrator of a collection of Russian childrens verse published by Sasha Chorny in Germany; or read an excerpt from the fascinating Sketches of Russia by Pavel Svinyin published in London in 1814: “One who never crossed the barriers between his country and the outside world created by nature or political institutions can only know other countries from books, oftentimes eulogies or satire. It is especially so for Russia. Looking at a country from the perspective of most travellers can only engender false judgment. Alas, those who read books on Russia are largely deceived by writers who, taking advantage of its remoteness and wishing to make their travelogues more intriguing, invent nonsensical tales and preposterous lies.”




German translators Elizaveta Rogg and Ute Obernolte

Professor Alexei Vengerov, head of the project, writes in his address to the readers: The collection of texts and illustrations presented in these volumes has one goal: To give the Reader a palpable feeling of convergence between fates and cultures, life events and academic research, literary tastes and movements, territorial aspects and ethnic sensibilities, parenting traditions and rituals of various nationsthe past and present population of different states that continue to communicate. The list of these information slices has no limits. We hope that our vision proves to be educational and appealing to a wide audience.

Rubric:
Subject:
Tags:

New publications

In the days of the latest anniversary of Saint Petersburg, the Russian émigré community respectfully remembers another significant yet unfairly forgotten Russian name. It is the name of Pyotr Alexeyevitch Dementyev, who was born on May 1, 1849 in Saint Petersburg on the Neva River and founded another St. Petersburg (or St. Pete, as it is called shortly) on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.
Special Assignment Pilots, a book by Anna Belorusova, a Russian writer, will be the basis for the exhibition in the British town of Bournemouth on the shore of the English Channel. The book tells about the Soviet air force of eagles and the Soviet-British cooperation during the World War II.
130 years ago Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky, a legendary Russian aircraft designer, philosopher and visionary, was born. It was he who designed the very systems that are currently used, for example, in advanced helicopters of the presidents of the United States and Russia. Indeed, the legacy of the famous aircraft designer who created the world's first bomber, a four-engine aircraft and a single-rotor helicopter is our national pride.
TheArtigianato e PalazzoFestival (Artisan crafts and Palace) was held in Florence over the weekend. The anniversary 25th edition has been devoted to charity fundraising for time-critical restoration and preservation of the great cultural and artistic legacy of Russian community that resided in Florence in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tatiana Kazzi, a Russian artist, works on a project to combine paintings of Australian Aborigines with Gzhel and Khokhloma. A native of Kaliningrad has lived on the green continent for almost a quarter of a century; and she is one of a few foreign women who were granted the right to study art of the indigenous people of Australia by their descendants. Tatiana Kazzi plans to ornament Russian Matryoshka dolls with kangaroos, snakes, birds and other symbols of Australian aborigines. The artist told the Russkiy Mir that active work of the Russian community in recent years has facilitated popularity and awareness of Russian art in Australia.
Robinson Crusoe is 300 years old. A novel by Daniel Defoe, an English writer, about a traveler who spent 28 years on a desert island was published in April 1719. The novel became the classics of world literature, which cannot be said about its sequel published in August 1719. There Defoe sends his central character to Russia ruled by young Peter the Great. According to the story, Robinson spent more than two years in Russia. He lived in Tobolsk and Arkhangelsk, and then he went back to his home land.
From April 29 to May 3, the 14th Congress of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature takes place in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. Specialists in Russian philology from all over the world participate in it. Among them is the General Secretary of the Indian Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (IATRLL), an assistant professor at the Center for Russian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) Minu Bhatnagar.
For more than ten years, hundreds of volunteers have travelled to the Arkhangelsk and Vologda Regions, as well as to Karelia and Komi to preserve ancient temples from destruction and extinction. Over the years, 320 expeditions have taken place, 360 churches and chapels have been explored, and accident prevention works have been conducted in many of them. Alexei Yakovlev, an archpriest and the supervisor of the Common Cause: Restoration of Wooden Temples of the North Project, shares how the project has been implemented and developed so far.