The Year-in-Hand, Emblemat and Apophegmat...
The Collection of Block Cyrillic Books and Engravings in Russian Manuscripts XVI–XIX Centuries Belonging to the Yaroslavl Museum Complex of History, Architecture and Art.
Media extension for the book of the same name.
V. Potanin charity fund's "First Publication" programme's first media extension is devoted to Russian block books — special historical books, named after being made using different methods of engraving. Their main feature is the fact that both the text and the pictures were cut out on and printed using one block.
During the second half of XVIIth century a custom of adorning manuscripts with woodcuts gained spread in Russia; this tradition has created a new type of a hand-written book with woodcuts in XVII-XVIIIth centuries. Manuscripts with single-leaf woodcuts were the predecessors of block books and have been used as a basis for several publications. For centuries maps, sheet music, ethnographic albums (where illustrations comprised a major part of the publication) were printed as block books. Being on par with movable type books and manuscripts, block books allowed reproduction of the elements that could not be reproduced using traditional movable print publishing and could be produced in much greater quantities compared to manuscripts. Only in the second half of XIXth century did engraving get replaced by lithography and later offset printing.
Being published for the first time is a full catalogue of block books and engravings in manuscripts of XVI-XIXth centuries belonging to the Yaroslavl Museum Complex of History, Architecture and Art, created by a leading researcher of this area of art studies, Oleg Khromov. In its historical, cultural and scientific value this collection has no equal in Provincial Russia and is a part of national and worldwide heritage.