Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh - Pachomius the Serb's  autograph

About the Project

The project "«Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh» – Pachomius the Serb's autograph" continues a challenging programme of the National Library of Russia, aiming to create digitised versions of several landmark manuscripts. The programme begun in 2013 with the online resource «Laurentian Codex. 1377» was designed to open up universal access to the unique handwritten landmarks forming part of the cultural and historical heritage of Russia.

This project - the fifth in the series - is intended to commemorates 700 years to the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1314–1392). By honoring the memory of the saint, many generations of the Russian people are united, and universal cultural and moral values are saved. High ideals of Christianity are reflected in the writings dedicated to Sergius of Radonezh. The outstanding work compiled by the famous Serbian hagiographer Pachomius Logothetes in the second quarter of the 15th century is considered to be most impressive and authoritative of the extant "Lives".

The project presented the earliest copy of the «Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh» inscribed by the own hand of Pachomius the Serb. This valuable document is a part of a miscellany from the library of the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (St. Cyril of Beloozero's Monastery), which was transferred in the National Library of Russia (then the State Public Library) in 1918. Now the book is housed in the Sophia collection of the Manuscripts Department of our Library under the shelfmark: OR RNB. Soph.

The publication of the manuscript is accompanied by articles narrating about St. Sergius of Radonezh, about the remarkable "master of words" Pachomius the Serb, and the wonderful fifteenth century manuscript miscellany which has preserved autographs of the whole galaxy of scribes from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery for us and is connected with curious facts from the history of the monastery library.

The digitalisation project aims to prevent damage to the originals by creating their digital facsimiles. It is part of a series of activities for preservation of the most important handritten landmarks and bringing them to unlimited audiences through our site.

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. 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.