Ancient Copy of First Psalter Printed in Slavonic (Old Russian) Discovered in Seminary Library

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

The Novosibirsk Theological Seminary is holding a conference today in honor of an exceedingly rare publication that was discovered in its library in the spring.

In 1570, Ivan Fyodorov, one of the fathers of Eastern Slavonic printing, printed a Slavonic Psalter with the Book of Hours in Zabłudów (in modern Poland). Until this year, there were only four known existing copies.


However, a fifth copy lay unknown for many years in the vast library of the Novosibirsk Seminary, until an archaeographic survey was undertaken in the collection earlier this year. The priceless find was made by Alexei Yudin, an employee of the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts of the State Public Scientific and Technical Library, reports


“At first, he couldn’t believe his eyes. In his hands the scholar held the 1570 Psalter,” the outlet writes. “Until that day, there were only four surviving copies from that small print run were known.”

The other copies are in London in the library of the Lambeth Palace, in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, in the academic library of Saratov State University, and in Lvov, in Ukraine.

Researchers are working to determine how many owners the book has had over the past 400 years and how it came to the Siberian seminary. However, digital photo correction has given one clue: Having deciphered some erased lines, researchers learned that the Psalter was acquired by one owner in Veliky Ustyug (Russia) in 1620.

In the near future, the Psalter will be digitized to preserve it for future generations.

The video report from gives a good look at the Psalter:

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