The Presidential Library has introduced an electronic version of the Laurentian Codex as part of the celebrations of the events dedicated to the 1150th Anniversary of Russian statehood.
The Laurentian Codex is one of the oldest monuments of book art. A parchment manuscript from 1377, housed at the National Library, it is the oldest surviving list of records that tells of the arrival in Russia of Rurik in 862. It contains the oldest list of the "Tale of Bygone Years", also known as the “Primary Chronicle”
The Codex is named after a monk named Lawrence, who did major work on the annotations in the text. According to Likhomanov Anton, Managing Director of the National Library, the manuscript itself is in special storage at the Library and is removed from there a few times a year. He emphasised that the ancient document in good condition, and indeed has recently been restored, but a limited circle of people have access to the document because its pages are very vulnerable to any attack.
In digital format the Laurentian Codex will be available to a wide range of users through the websites of the National Library and the Presidential Library.
During the presentation of digitized records an historical and educational conference took place with the participation of specialists from the State Hermitage, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow and St. Petersburg State Universities, heads of libraries, and figures from the arts and sciences.
The electronic version of the Codex can be accessed here.