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Academician Evfimi Karsky’s heritage: the 150th birthday

January 1, 2011 is the 150th birthday of outstanding Belarusian scientist and public figure Evfimi Karsky.

Evfimi Karsky (born on December 20, 1860 (January 1, 1861), village Lahsa in Grodno Uyezd, actually Grodno Region, died on April 29, 1931, Saint-Petersburg) is a philologist, specialist in the history and philology of the Slavs, founder of Belarusian scientific linguistics and literary criticism, ethnographer and paleographer. Evfimi Karsky was elected an academician of the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Sciences and a full member of the Institute f Belarusian Culture (Inbelkult) and the Czech Academy of Sciences. He wrote more than 700 scientific papers on Slavonic philology, Belarusian philology and Russian philology including studies on the history of the Belarusian language, dialectology, folklore, ethnography, history of Belarusian literature etc.

Evfimi Karsky’s book “Belarusians” had become an encyclopedia of Belarusian studies and the greatest achievement of European Slavonic studies of the late XIX – early XX centuries.

The exhibition presents books from Evfimi Karsky’s private collection along with archival documents about the academician’s life and career.

The exposition includes unique editions from the academician’s private book collection which has been kept in the National Library of Belarus since 1922. This is a precious historical collection of literature on Slavonic studies comprising around 2,5 thousand books. Most books have Evfimi Karsky’s dedicatory inscriptions and notes.

The academician’s private archive is kept in the Saint-Petersburg Filial of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences which has presented to the exhibition copies of unique documents: photography, biographical materials, the manuscript memoirs of the academician’s wife S.M. Karskaya, notebooks for 1918–1919, pages from the first tome of the book “Belarusians” with the author’s correcting and insertions, and letters of Belarusian scientists and writers.

Besides, there are unknown documents from Belarusian archives including the clergy’s bulletins with data about the academician’s father – priest F. Novitsky, the family of priest M. Stepurzhinsky and his daughter Sofia who would become Evfimi Karsky’s wife, lectures on the Belarusian language and literature in Minsk Pedagogical Institute; documents about foundation of Belarusian State University, an attempt for publication of the scientist’s complete set of works and other documents.

The exhibition organizers: the National Library of Belarus, the Department of Archives and Record Keeping of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, the National Archive of the Republic of Belarus, the Saint-Petersburg Filial of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the National Historical Archive of Belarus, the Belarusian National Archive Museum of Literature and Arts, the State Archive in Grodno Region, the State Archive of Non-Governmental Organizations in Grodno Region and the Belarusian National Archive of Films and Photography.

 

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