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Author Topic: Ancient Russian Birchbark Manuscripts Now on the Web!  (Read 112 times)
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« on: October 17, 2007, 02:22:37 AM »

Ancient Russian Birchbark Manuscripts Now on the Web!


   Russian scholars have set about translating relic birchbark manuscripts into English, the Novgorod Museum Reserve informs. The translated texts will be posted on the already existing web site www.gramoty.ru.
      The project on translating texts of birchbark manuscripts and placing them on the internet is realized for the first time ever � a representative of the Novgorod Museum Reserve added.
      The unique site already presents 1049 manuscripts of the 11th � 15th centuries, discovered during archeological excavations in Veliki Novgorod, Vitebsk, Zvenigorod, Tver, Torzhok, Pskov, Staraya Russa and Rurik site. On www.gramoty.ru you will find photos of the burchbark manuscripts (gramoty in Russian) and their text copies in the Old Slavonic language and translations into the modern Russian, as well as basic information about the archeological rarities.
      The majority of the texts have already been translated into English; the work is expected to be completed in the beginning of the next year.
      The project on presenting the peculiar collection of Old Russian manuscripts on the internet aims at making these messages from the past accessible to people all over the world.


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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 11:46:58 AM »

INTAS-Project "Birchbark Literacy from Medieval Rus: Contents and Contexts"

Project Teams

Team 1: Leiden University. Team Leader: J. Schaeken (coordination)
Team 2: University of Cambridge. Team Leader: S. Franklin
Team 3: University of Helsinki. Team Leader: J. Nuorluoto
Team 4: Moscow State University 'M.V. Lomonosov'. Team Leader: V.L. Janin
Team 5: RAN, Institute of Slavic Studies, Moscow. Team Leader: A.A. Zaliznjak
Team 6: RAN, Institute of the Russian Language, Moscow. Team Leader: A.M. Moldovan
Team 7: Novgorod State United Museum. Team Leader: N.N. Grinev

Other senior scientists: P.G. Gajdukov, E.A. Rybina (team 4), A.A. Gippius, M.N. Tolstaja (team 5), S.V. Trojanovskij (team 7).


It is the purpose of the project to continue the ongoing interdisciplinary research into the Medieval Russian birchbark documents dating from the eleventh to the fifteenth century, which constitute a most valuable source for the history, culture and language of the East Slavic peoples, and to develop a system of electronic resources for their study and conservation. In the course of the execution of the project the following tasks will be addressed: publication and overall analysis of the birchbark documents unearthed and to be unearthed at the ongoing excavations in Novgorod (2002 and following years); supplementary research, intended to refine datings, readings, translations, and interpretations of birchbark documents from past excavations; research into various aspects of birchbark literacy on the basis of the entire corpus of birchbark documents. An important part of the project is the construction of a system of electronic resources "Medieval Russian Documents on Birchbark". The results of the project, comprising a complete collection of photographs, a data base and a series of articles, will be represented as a website and as a CD-ROM. The realization of the project will constitute a qualitative leap forward in the development of the study of birchbark documents by laying a reliable foundation for the further research into the texts and rendering the material accessible to an international medievalist audience of different backgrounds.

Multidisciplinary research project, funded within the
research programme �Russia in Flux� by
the Academy of Finland in 2004-2007

The ethnic, linguistic and cultural situation of Northern and, especially, Northwestern Russia was stabilised no earlier than at the beginning of the Middle Ages along with the Slavicisation of the area. Prior to that time, the northern part of Russia was populated by Finno-Ugrian and Baltic peoples, their settlements comprising large areas in the central part of Russia, too. The Scandinavians, in turn, contributed to a drastic change of social structure by setting up trade colonies which later became urban centres. Among the early cities, Novgorod has a special status.

Research into the ancient ethnic, linguistic and cultural circumstances in the area covered by the present project, and into the mechanisms of that area�s settlement history, requires a multidisciplinary approach. The project has been constructed to enable linguists, historians and archaeologists to meet in order to utilise each other�s expertise and up-to-date results. The general objectives of the study are

    * to investigate the linguistic and ethnic situation of Northern Russia from prehistorical times up to the present-day;
    * to examine the mechanisms and dynamics of the Slavs� settlement history and of Slavicisation, as well as the linguistic and cultural consequences resulting from the intercourse between the �old� and the �new� population to the linguistic and cultural making of the area;
    * to shed light on the societies that emerged at the beginning of the historical era (especially on the rise of Novgorod and other Northern Russian centres) and their linguistic situation.

The research is carried out by scholars in the fields of Slavonic Studies, Finno-Ugrian Studies, Baltic Studies, Scandinavian Studies and Archaeology at the University of Helsinki, the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Petrozavodsk), the University of Latvia (Riga), the University of Leiden, the University of Oslo, the University of Tartu, and the University of Vienna.

Project "The Ethnic, Linguistic and Cultural Making of Northern Russia"
Researcher in Charge: Juhani Nuorluoto, PhD, Reader, Academy Research Fellow
Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40B), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Tel. +358 (0)9 191 22010 / +358 (0)50 520 35 43;

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