The manuscripts, reflecting all the sides of the life of the town and characterising Irkutsk as an ancient centre of book culture of Russia were includeed into the catalog "Russian and foreign manuscripts of Scientific Library of Irkutsk university" (Novosibirsk, 1995).Love for Irkutsk, its history, culture and its way of life was a main feature of Irkutsk citizens at all times. Irkutsk townspeople intention to fix all sides of Irkutsk life chronicles, diaries, memoirs and literary works is not surprising. Today many of these sources have been published. Nevertheless, their handwritten originals, stored in the Zonal Scientific library of Irkutsk University, represent an interest for specialists.
Specifically, there are 5 handwritten chronicles of Irkutsk in our collection. The Irkutsk townspeople memoirs and diary notes are close to such chronicles by contents.
“The Report about Irkutsk city public administration in 1889” is a valuable source of the city history. It reflects Irkutsk problems and City Duma (Council) efforts to solve them.
There were many handwritten research papers about Irkutsk history. For example, Romanov N.S. “Irkutsk prior to regional (voevodstvo) organization”, Manassein V.S. “Irkutsk (construction history)”, A bibliography “December events in Irkutsk”, composed by a regional historian A. Turunov, and a small article “Irkutsk at the beginning of the October revolution” are interesting for researchers.
The manuscripts, reflecting spiritual, public, political and cultural way of city life at the second half of the XIX century are also interesting. These are magazines, which were issued in Irkutsk educational establishments – “Zabastovka (Strike)” (Spiritual Seminary), “Bratstvo (Fraternity)” (Male gymnasium), “Student” and etc. In 1850-s Spiritual Seminary junior classes pupils prepared 3 issues of a handwritten magazine “Kozulya”. A special place among handwritten periodic issues was taken by “Tatursky collection” (“Elan”), which was published by politically exiled people. These persons lived in Tutura village of Irkutsk “guberniya” (region). Social-democratic representatives in Irkutsk issued “Okraina (Borderlands)”. Librarian historians are interested in a typed magazine “Irkutsk librarian”. There is only a 1925 Second issue of this magazine in our library fund. It is unknown whether there are some other remaining typed magazine issues.
Irkutsk public life was reflected in a lot of poems and stories, which were spread in manuscripts. One of the most popular was “Dumskoe Borodino”, which was placed in "Theatre album" of Irkutsk actor N.Shevelev. The poem reflected the opinion of the citizens to the town administration activities.
Handwritten collections of popular poems give an additional information about Irkutsk townspeople cultural demands. They are mostly extracts from Russian famous poets works, copied sometimes from books, and sometimes from memory. That is why their contents have many distortions and errors. In addition, an author was not even mentioned and in some cases some initials were put down (K.P., H., and etc). Poem collection, as a rule, reflects directions and composer soul contests. Sometimes, it is quite possible to see the works of album owner among alien poems. They are precious for us because such works have Siberian regional descriptions.
The book culture history of Irkutsk citizens was reflected in a handwritten library fund. These are catalog of Book and Written paper shop of P.I.Makushkin and V.M.Posokhin’s Trade House, V.S.Manassein’s research paper “Siberian librarian V.N.Basnin and his library” and etc.
The handwritten collection of Scientific library of Irkutsk State University especially values the Siberian Orthodox Church History documents, church activists contribution in spiritual education of Siberian people, people education organization and development. “Act of Irkutsk Spiritual Seminary opening” (Irkutsk, 1846) is one of the evidences of the Orthodox Church educational activities in Siberia. The library keeps signed papers and orders of Irkutsk bishops, missionaries instructions, collections in the memory of Innokentiya Kulchitskii, the first Irkutsk bishop. A good example of missionary activities and enlightenment among aboriginal population of Siberia is a handwritten “Russian-Mongolian-Buryat Dictionary”, composed by an Irkutsk priest Yakov Rodionov.
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