The online project continues a programme of the National Library of Russia to make our important manuscripts freely available to anyone with an internet. The resource will be updated as new comments are added to the documents.
The Voltaire Library in the National Library of Russia preserves five volumes containing 1800 leaves, 167 documents under a common shelfmark РНБ. БВ. 5–242. Most of documents were sent to Voltaire from the St. Petersburg Academy of Science at the end of 1750s to work on The History of the Russian Empire under Peter the Great (Histoire de l’empire de Russie, t. 1–2, Genève, 1759–1763).
These documents are translations into French of historical sources, statistical reports and essays prepared specifically for Voltaire. Here is collected information about the activities and personality of Peter the Great — chronological lists of his most important achievements, information about international negotiations of Peter and his ambassadors, letters from Peter and other persons. There are economic, geographical, statistical, historical, ethnographic materials; descriptions of cities, manufactories, rivers and canals, reports on state trade with different countries, descriptions of Siberian peoples.
The online presentation of the manuscripts was created with use of the Depositary Information Retrieval System, developed by the Library's specialists to form a database of the manuscripts. This search system makes it possiple to link digital pages of the manuscript with the relevant reference information from the database. This tool allows you to link a digital copy of the manuscript with an analytical description, transliteration of the source text, translation and description of quotations, and the necessary comments, as well as provide it with a search engine.
The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.