In different epochs the land of Belarus had been a part of various sates: the Old Russian State, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Poland, the Russian Empire. These complex historical processes are reflected in the names of Belarusian regions as well: Sarmatia, or the European Sarmatia, Litva, Rus’, Belaja Rus’ etc.
The offered exhibition presents early printed editions, European maps and atlases of the 15th–18th centuries, and also Russian cartographic editions of the 18th century from the stock of the National Library of Belarus.
Among them there are dated cartographic images from the famous Hartmann Schedel’s Book of Chronicles (1493). Images and names of Belarusian cities, villages and rivers are charted in rare text maps from known works on history and geography of the 16th century (G.Y. Salin (1538), J. Stumpf (1548)). The original editions of the first geographic map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Gerhardus Mercator (1595) and the first large-scale “Radzivills’ Map” (reprint of 1640) are on display. European cartographic materials are represented by the atlas of Europe of French royal cartographer Nicolas Sanson d'Abbeville (1640-1660), and the comprehensive map of Poland of Italian cartographer and geographer Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni (1772). Belarus as the Russian Province is reflected in maps of the late 18th – the early 19th centuries from famous Russian atlases of parts of the Earth published in St.-Petersburg.
Along with cartographic editions, the exposition features separate pages from early printed books and tangible monuments of Belarusian heritage of the 15th–18th centuries from the collections of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the private collection of I.V. Sumračeǔski.
The exhibition runs from October 1 to November 30, 2015.
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