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Litsevoi letopisnyi svod

Some of the facsimile in its new home in closed access.

The Library has acquired a full set of the facsimile recently published by Akteon of the sixteenth-century illuminated chronicle commissioned by Ivan the Terrible. This is currently the only library set in the country.

The chronicle is extraordinary as a source and as a physical item - its illuminations are of breathtaking quality. It is bound in 10 huge volumes which are housed in three different locations in Russia, two in St Petersburg and one in Moscow. The delicate state of the original and its multiple locations mean that accessing the material has traditionally been challenging.

The new facsimile is the first ever made of the chronicle and it draws material from the original volumes into chronological order. The resulting 40 volumes are divided into three main strands - Biblical history (5 volumes), universal history (11), and Russian history. Each strand includes an accompanying editorial volume. The facsimiles themselves give a page to each page of the original, with the original wording printed out along side and with a translation of the text into modern Russian.

As is standard with such material, the facsimile is kept in closed access and must be called up and consulted in the Rare Books room. Further details about the facsimile can be found in the three bibliographic records on the Library