About the Project

The project «400th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. Music Gifts to the Russian Emperors» is one of the stages of a challenging programme of the National Library of Russia, aiming to create digitised versions of manuscripts. The programme gives readers the opportunity to get familiar with original sources, different in form and content, from diverse periods of history and culture.

Music manuscripts, presented to the Russian Emperors as gifts, are reflected a certain stratum of both Russian and foreign music art of the 18th-20th centuries. Not only domestic composers dedicated and donated their works to the Imperial persons. Music scores were brought musicians, visiting Russia, from different countries, and were sent abroad. The title pages of the manuscripts and the words of vocal works are written in various languages of the world, including Russian, French, Italian, German etc. As a result, the music materials had been dispersed within different language holdings of the Manuscripts Department. One of the purpose of the project is to reunite these items as a single whole.

The online resource gives the public the chance to view a hundred pieces of music. The project was carried with use of the information retrieval system «Depositary», which was developed by 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.

This finding aids includes scientific descriptions of each item, information about the author or the giver of a gift, about the history associated with the creation and presentation of a manuscript. A popular science introduction uncovers a little-known page of musical culture.

The project was implemented as part of the federal action programme «Culture of Russia».

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