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An incunabula from the National Library of Belarus is the major exhibit at the Treasures of Pinsk exhibition

An incunabula from the National Library of Belarus is the major exhibit at the Treasures of Pinsk exhibition
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Kazanni-P.Skargi-1.jpgThis weekend, October 4–6, the ancient Pinsk will celebrate the Day of the City. On this occasion, and in connection with another significant event – the 95th anniversary of the Museum of Belarusian Polesie – the Treasures of Pinsk exhibition opened in the former Jesuit Collegium.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a book that was published in the same building for almost three centuries ago, and today is kept in the National Library of Belarus.

The library has endorsed the initiative of the museum, giving for display purposes an extremely rare incunabula – the Sermons (in Belarusian: Казанні, in Polish: Kazania) by the famous leader of the Catholic Church in Poland, Piotr Skarga. Pinsk, the informal capital of Belarusian Polesie, was happy to welcome the rarity. Curator of the exhibition project, head of the Scientific-Educational Department of the Museum of the Belarusian Polesie, Valery Kabryniets, tells journalists about the exposition.

Historical note

Pinsk Jesuit Collegium was established in 1638 on the basis of the Order’s residence in Pinsk. During its existence (1638–1773) it hosted a music bursa, a pharmacy, a theater, a hospital for the poor and a printing house.

The intensive activity of Jesuits led to the need for a printing house. As aptly noted by researcher N. Nikolaev, "during the reign of Augustus II, the only new printing press appeared in Pinsk." The exact dates of the activities of the printing house remain open. Some scholars consider (T. Roshchina, M. Tsubzhynskaya-Leanarchyk, T. Samoylyuk) it operated intermittently from 1727 until 1746. The difficulty is that a number of books were published without indicating the place of publication. On the basis of this particular feature – place of publication – Lithuanian researcher E. Misyunene registers only one book which was precisely published in Pinsk Jesuit Collegium: the collection of Piotr Skarga, 1735, with an eloquent inscription on the front page: “W Pińsku: w Drukarni Collegium Societatis Jesu, 1735.”

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Bibliology Research Department

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