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400-year-old Primer goes on show at Minsk Book Fair

Society 06.02.2019 | 18:01

MINSK, 6 February (BelTA) – The exposition “Belarusian Primer: Four Centuries of History” was launched at the 26th Minsk International Book Fair on 6 February. On the opening day of the book forum the facsimile editions of the Primer were gifted to the best teachers of Belarus and authors of modern primers, BelTA has learned.

The exposition “Belarusian Primer: Four Centuries of History” features primers from different epochs, starting from the 16th century and up to the present day, including the primer of Spiridon Sobol (Kuteino, 1631), Primer of the Slavic Language (Vilna, 1767), primers of Tsyotka, Yakub Kolas, Karus Kaganets, Stepan Nekrashevich, Western Belarusian primers, as well as modern ABC books.

“The exhibition is a true book festival. This year we have showcased all the significant book projects and publications of the previous year, including the Primer facsimile edition. It was also important for us to mark the 50th anniversary of Anatoly Klyshka's ABC book which is used in Belarusian schools today. The National Library of Belarus organized an exhibition to display all four centuries of the history of ABC books. We did our best to gather under one roof authors of modern ABC books, school teachers and students,” Deputy Director of the National Library of Belarus Alexander Susha said.

During the presentation of the exposition Belarusian Primer: Four Centuries of History the facsimile edition of the first Primer was gifted to the authors of modern ABC books Olga Tirinova and Anatoly Klyshko, the primary education department of Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Minsk gymnasium No.4, and the best teachers of Belarus: Yulia Belova, deputy director and teacher of primary classes of secondary school No.16 of Minsk, Elena Pikuz, teacher of Mozyr secondary school No.11, Oksana Tsybalenko, director of secondary school No.198 of Minsk, and others.

"There are not many teachers-methodologists in our country. They are the people who can create and lead other teachers. We have not met yet in such format, and it is a really interesting format. In the Year of Native Land, the restoration of this book has become a truly symbolic event. The Primer is a unique monument of Belarusian enlightenment. I am sure that Belarusian primer development has a great future. The traditions of our ancestors will live in new primer publications, educational institutions and minds of students," Alexander Susha said.

The international scientific and publishing project to restore the world's first Primer was implemented in 2015-2018. The Primer was developed in the Vilno Orthodox Holy Spirit Monastery 400 years ago. The book was found and digitized in London. The facsimile edition has been published thanks to the join work of the National Library of Belarus, Honorable Society of the Middle Temple Library in London, the Belarusian Embassy in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the International Association of Belarusian Studies, Belarusian State University, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Belinvestbank.

The 26th Minsk International Book Fair will be held under the slogan "More Than Books" from 6 to 10 February. Some 60,000 people are expected to visit the fair. The organizers of the Minsk International Book Fair are the Information Ministry, the Minsk City Hall and the Belarusian Union of Writers. Co-organizers are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Education Ministry, the Culture Ministry, Belkniga and Makbel book selling companies.

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