Laurentian Codex. 1377

About the Project

The project «Laurentian Codex. 1377. Digital reproduction of the landmark manuscripts» opens up universal access to the unique handwritten book forming part of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia.

The Laurentian Codex was composed in 1377 in North-eastern Russia as an appeal to the nation to join struggle for liberation from the Mongol dependency on the eve of the Battle of Kulikovo. It became an ideological symbol of the rebirth of the Russian state with its center in Moscow. The Laurentian Codex - the oldest surviving dated Russian chronicle - is the main dated landmark of the early Russian statehood. This status was acquired by the Laurentian Codex back in 1862, when the millennium of Russia was celebrated.

The project takes center stage in events honoring Russia's 1150th Anniversary of Statehood in 2012, organized jointly by three organizations: the National Library of Russia, the Presidential Library after Boris Yeltsin and the Center for National Glory.

The project idea is unique on the Russian Internet. This is the first project in the Russian Federation to produce the facsimile digital edition of the landmark manuscript with use of the Information Retrieval System "Depositary", developed by the specialists of the National Library to create an electronic database of the manuscript holdings. This search system makes it possiple to link digital pages of the manuscript with the relevant reference information, stored in the database. As a result, the created online resource gives an opportunity both for researchers and for the most general public to get familiar with such complicated material as the medieval manuscript.

The fundamental idea of the project is an integrated approach to the representation of the ladndmark manuscript in a single entity of its elements. Therefore, the online resource, we presented here, will may become a valuable source for the general public, students and researchers, meeting their information needs and objectives.

The project of facsimile reproduction of the Laurentian Codex in an electronic form, based on the Depositary system, is pilot and is regarded as a universal model for providing access to the unique landmark and preservation of its original. The evaluation of this online resource will led to a series of publications of handwritten rarities and landmark manuscripts held in the collections of the National Library of Russia.