On November 19th, the National Library hosted the events dedicated to the album Terra Mariana and Belarusian-Latvian cultural ties.
The events, which were arranged by the National Library of Belarus and the Embassy of Latvia in Belarus, gathered researchers from Belarus and Latvia, representatives of institutions of culture, science, education, and also public societies.
The round table "Album Terra Mariana and Belarusian-Latvian Cultural Ties" was dedicated to cultural relationships between Belarus and Latvia and the publication which had become the unique phenomenon in the history of Latvian culture.
Attendees of the meeting were welcomed by Raman Matul’ski, the Director of the National Library of Belarus, and Martins Virsis, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Latvia to Belarus.
The Latvian party was represented by Andris Vilks, the Director of the National Library of Latvia (the report The Revival of the Album Terra Mariana); Ruta Kamiska, D.A., the Deputy Director of the Institute of Art History of the Art Academy of Latvia (the report In Search of the Origins of Art Heritage: the Album Terra Mariana and its Creators), and Henrihs Soms, Doctor of Historical Sciences and Associated Professor of the Daugavpils University (the report The Polish Livonia – the Most Precious Gem of the Mogilev Archbishopric ). All lecturers had taken part in the creation of the facsimile Terra Mariana.
Aliaksandr Suša, Candidate of Cultural Studies and the Deputy Director of the National Library of Belarus, shared the Belarusian experience in facsimile publishing of book monuments in his report The Activity of the National Library of Belarus on Facsimile Recreation of Book Heritage. Valiancina Maliušyna, Candidate of Cultural Studies and Alieh Dziarnovič, Assoc. Prof, the Senior Scientific Researcher of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Science of Belarus also presented their papers ( The Artistic Image of the Album Terra Mariana: a Look from Belarus by Valiancina Maliušyna and The Document Heritage of Belarus and Latvia Against the Background of General and Regional History by Alieh Dziarnovič).
The presentation of the album Terra Mariana was held in a solemn atmosphere. The bibliographic rarity – the facsimile edition of the historical album was presented to a wide audience.
The album is dedicated to the expansion of Christianity and Christian traditions in the Baltic countries from the 12th to the 19th centuries. The Latin title of the album means “the Land of Maria”. Such was the name of the medieval Livonia which corresponded to modern Latvian and Estonian areas. The album was printed in Riga in 1888 in a single copy as a gift to Pope Leo XIII, at the initiative of Countess Maria Przeździecka (1823–1890) from the Tyzenhaus family. It consists of 70 parchment sheets with the rich visual and text material about Livonian castles, churches, the arms of ancient noble families, historical persons etc. Presently the album is kept in the Vatican Apostolic Library.
The Director of the National Library of Latvia, Andris Vilks, presented as a gift the facsimile edition of the album Terra Mariana to the National Library of Belarus.