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ST. PETERSBURG, May 1 (Itar-Tass) - In the year of the 1025th anniversary of the Christianisation of Rus, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library has expanded its collection of unique materials and documents of historical value.
The website of the first national digital library provides free access to the Ostromir Gospels, a literary monument of the 11th century, written upon an order of Novgorod’s Mayor Ostromir. Now, the original Gospels are held by the National Library of Russia. It cannot be made freely accessible due to the age of the document. At the same time, the interest in the Ostromir Gospels is quite high since it is one of the first illustrations of the Orthodox faith in Russia.
According to the Bishop of Tikhvin and Lodeinoye Pole, Mstislav, who visited the Presidential Library, “its unique digital records usher in a new milestone in Christian education, and now we need to create digital displays for pilgrims at the largest monasteries.” The Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, whose abbot is also the Bishop Mstislav, may lead the way.
In the year of the 1025th anniversary of the Christianisation of Rus, a special place in the collection of the Presidential Library has been given to digitised rare books on the history of the Bible’s Russian translations, and to the contributions of the Russian emperors to those efforts. Unique photographs of the founder of colour photography in Russia, Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, made in the early 20th century, illustrate evangelic topics in the sacristy of the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin, the Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma, and St. George Church in Old Ladoga. There are also photographs of ancient manuscripts of the Gospel in the Vologda region.
The collection and the holdings of the Presidential Library will further be increased to add materials about the history of the Orthodox Church, its development in Russia and relations with the state. The library is located in the historic complex of Synod, whose archive is also being digitised. The materials provided by the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, which is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, are being digitised too.