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The Facsimile of the World's First Primer Has Been Donated to the National Library of Latvia

The Facsimile of the World's First Primer Has Been Donated to the National Library of Latvia
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Throughout the year, the National Library of Belarus has held events dedicated to the 400th anniversary of this unique ancient Belarusian book.

This time, the Republic of Latvia hosted the solemn events on the occasion of the publication of the facsimile of the Primer, the book that marked the beginning of the centuries-old tradition of primary education in Eastern Europe.

On December 20, the director of the National Library of Belarus, Roman Motulsky, visited “The Castle of Light” – the new building of the National Library of Latvia, where he presented a facsimile of the first Belarusian Primer and told the audience about the history of its creation.

“In 1618, in the printing house of the Vilna Holy Spirit Orthodox fraternity in the town of Evie (now the city of Vievis), near Vilnius, the Primer was published. It was one of the oldest Belarusian publishing houses, which released books in the Church Slavonic, Old Belarusian and Polish languages. Before that, other educational publications existed, but this was exactly the first Primer. This publication had had a significant impact on the development of the book tradition in the field of education not only in the Belarusian lands, but also in many countries of Europe and Asia,” Roman Motulsky said.

In turn, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Latvia, Vasily Markovich, and the director of the National Library of Latvia, Andris Vilks, thanked the Belarusian side for such a valuable gift and presented them a digital copy of the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1588).

A unique copy of the 1588 Statute from Latvia was previously shown at the international exhibition "Francysk Skaryna and His Epoch", which opened in the National Library of Belarus on September 14, 2017. The heads of the National Library of Latvia and the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Belarus provided great assistance in organizing the exhibition.

The facsimile reproduction of the world’s first Primer was made in cooperation with the Library of the Honorable Society Middle Temple in London, the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, the International Association of Belarusian Scholars, Belarusian State University, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the Belarusian Bank for Development and Reconstruction "Belinvestbank".

All materials are provided by the Public Relations Department.


Excursions on National Unity Day

17 Sep 2021

The students of the Minsk City Cadet School and Minsk Secondary School No. 225 attended the excursion of the "Outstanding People of the Motherland" cycle on September 17. For them, excursions were conducted on the heritage of Francysk Skaryna and the writings of Uladzimir Karatkievich.

National Library of Belarus News

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This year, the Book Museum of the National Library of Belarus celebrates 15 years from its opening. The history of the Museum is an important part of the Library's history. We continue a series of publication-recollections about the Museum from its creators and associate experts.

National Library of Belarus News

Sustained Silent Reading: How to Stop Being Afraid and Teach Children to Love Literature

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To you, an accomplished book lover, it may seem that the new generation is lost to culture. They don't read anything other than social media posts. This is terrible – mainly because it is not true. However, it is true that getting children to read is becoming harder and harder. What can be done about it? First, take your child to the Children's Room classes in the National Library. Second, recall experiences from the past. Take, for example, an interesting practice from the US school curriculum, which in the distant 1960s distracted children from televisions and put them back on the proper path of book lovers.

Author's Point of View

"To Set in Motion the Eneegy of Conscience..."

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An exhibition “To Set in Motion the Energy of Conscience”, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the birth of Nil Hilievich, national poet of Belarus, literary critic, folklorist, translator, Honored Scientist of Belarus  (1931-2016), is on show in the Belarusian Literature Reading Room (room 205)From September 21 to November 15.

Book exhibitions