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TEMPUS






Discovering the World History through Rare Books

Recently the international students visited the Scientific Library of PetrSU that contains around 2 million documents, journals, books in 18 languages and the rare books of XVI-XIX cc. Those who came are currently studying as exchange students at the faculties though the acquaintance with the university library was useful for them.
Marina Bayduzha, the Head of the Informatization Department, presented the library resources such as the electronic catalogue, electronic journals and data bases, manuals and fiction in electronic formats, and the electronic library of the Republic of Karelia where the books issued by PetrSU can be found.
After the presentation the students visited the reading and the catalogue halls of the library, but the most interesting for them was the Fund of Rare Books that nowadays contains over 22 thousand of books issued before 1946. Svetlana Novozhilova, the Head of the Fund of Rare Books, acquainted the students with its treasures and shared some interesting facts.
The first presented book was festal Menaion which consists of hand-written liturgical manuscripts dated XVII century. The handwriting differs from one page to another which means that the manuscripts were written by different monks. The book cover is made from the leather-covered plank with lettering. It was curious to learn that previously in Europe paper was made from cotton and linen whereas the pages of the Tibetan book “The Buddha Path” dated XVIII century was made from plants.
The visitors noticed that the most beautiful book design is from France. Those books have rich and impressive book covers made from red leather with golden lettering. Before the middle of the XIX century books were sold without book covers and uncut. The owner of the book brought it to the bookbinder who made the book cover according to the requests of the owner. That way the owners could order the book covers with their own initials in gold.
The students could keep in hands all that rare books and try reading the Old Slavic language. After the meeting the students subscribed to the library and were invited to attend the library events: book presentations, concerts and meeting with famous people of Karelia and Russia.

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