Museum of Belarusian Printing
Belarus, Polock

The Museum of Belarusian Printing is one of the eleven museums of the National Polotsk Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve. It is housed in the premises of the former Fraternal School of the Polotsk Epiphany Monastery, an architectural monument of the 18th century.
The museum opened its doors to visitors on September 8, 1990 during the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Belarusian and East Slavic first printer, a polocyan Francis Skorina. The artistic decision of the exposition was carried out by the artists S. Dmitriev and I. Kurzhalov. The museum is dedicated to the book in all its aspects, from the first manuscript scrolls to the modern book, introduces visitors to the history of writing, writing materials, book illustrations, and printing. It is the only museum of its kind in Belarus. The exposition area of the museum is 928 m2. The museum exposition is located in 15 rooms, on two floors, 2,500 museum exhibits are displayed. The largest part of museum exhibits is made up of books: manuscripts, old-printed, as well as modern publications. Old-print editions are represented by interesting and beautiful editions of the Cyrillic and Latin fonts. Among them are such rarities as the “Teaching Gospel” (Vilna: Mamonich printing house, 1595), Jerome Falecki “12 speeches” (Venice: Aldov edition, 1558), “General Minea” (Moscow, 1628) and others. Modern publications are presented by the best books-laureates of the “Art of the Book" competitions. In addition to books, the museum also presents other products: magazines and newspapers of different years, postcards, leaflets, calendars, booklets. Here you can see those objects and materials that accompany the book and writing, and among them the writing instruments of past centuries, a printing press, a paper press, candlesticks, writing instruments from different eras and writing tools, ranging from writing and goose feathers to modern ones automatic pens. In order to travel through time and imagine the difficult process of creating manuscript books, the museum has recreated the workshop of the copyist of books - a scriptorium where you can see the copyist monk with a goose feather in his hands. And the process of creating the first printed books is presented in the reconstructed printing house of the 17th – 18th centuries, where the typesetter and printer work. In the museum you can see the interior of the office of a scientist or writer of the XVII – XVIII centuries, the workshop of the artist-designer, antique furniture and more. Museum employees take care of preserving and conveying the native word to the listener, and therefore most of the excursions here are conducted in Belarusian. And as a logical confirmation of this - the magnificent and beautiful sculpture of P. Voinitsky “Dedication to his native word”, which stands in the last hall of the museum and teaches visitors to respect and protect their language, their heritage. Traveling through the halls of the museum, you feel not only pride in the Belarusian great enlighteners: Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Francis Skorina, Simeon of Polotsk, Vasily Tyapinsky and others who contributed to the development of writing, enlightenment, knowledge, but also for contemporaries whose diligence creates a modern book.

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