On February 10th, the National Library of Belarus hosted the roundtable “Belarusian book collections in Great Britain”.
The event was timed to the 500th anniversary of Belarusian book-printing, as part of the XXIV Minsk international Book Fair. Organizers: the National Library of Belarus, the Embassy of Great Britain in Minsk and the Belarusian Library and Francysk Skaryna Museum.
The event gathered researchers and representatives of institutions of culture, science, education, public organizations and mass media.
Alexander Susha, the deputy director of the National Library of Belarus for scientific work and publishing, moderated the roundtable. In his address, he stressed that today the contribution of libraries in a sustainable international cultural policy was particularly relevant and active.
Mr. Simon Williams, the head of the British Council Office in Ukraine, made a welcome speech. He expressed confidence that such meetings provided a fruitful humanitarian dialogue, helping to make contacts between the UK and Belarus more intense and effective.
The keynote presentation was made by Igor Ivanov, the Secretary of the Library Board of the Belarusian Library and Museum named after Francysk Skaryna (London, UK). He presented a detailed and interesting story about the main periods of activity in the history of the Belarusian Library and Museum named after Francysk Skaryna, persons associated with its fate, as well as about the formation of the collection and the beginning of Belarusian studies and publications.
Presentations were made by experts from Belarus whose scientific and creative activity was connected with the Belarusian socio-cultural center in London: deputy director of the Belarusian State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art Natalia Gordienko and leading researcher of the National History Museum of Belarus Yuri Lavrik.
The event ended with a discussion during which the questions of inter institutional cooperation to provide mutual access to their collections for users in Belarus and Great Britain were considered.