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The Publishing Program of Ivan Fedorov and Peter Mstislavets: Statement of the Problem – Издательская программа Ивана Федорова и Петра Мстиславца

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К постановке проблемы

image of Canadian-American Slavic Studies

The article analyzes the publishing program and methods of the two greatest figures in early East Slavic printing during the Renaissance period, the printers and publishers Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets. Behind their publishing work was their goal to print books for individual use outside the church both as resources for basic literacy instruction and for more advanced education. This goal was pursued by publishing books that aided in the development of reading skills (primers, Books of Hours, Psalters) and texts for gaining a deeper insight into the church’s teachings (the Acts and Epistles, Gospels, Didactic Gospels, the New Testament, and the Bible). The article focuses on Ivan Fedorov’s and Petr Mstislavets’ goal of printing and distributing books among non-clerical segments of the population, particularly among the middle-class townsmen and, possibly, in the emerging urban fraternities. Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets prepared printed books for use as textbooks in schools and for independent individual reading. The article advances the argument that there were “book fraternities” or reading circles, which have their roots back in the much older European traditions and that often included printers. The article attempts to explain why the publications of Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets became a model for numerous later editions. The article concludes with several suggestions on how this research might be followed up in the future.

Affiliations: 1: Національна бібліотека України імені В.І. Вернадського, Київ


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