Cyrillic Books Printed Before 1701 in British and Irish Collections: A Union Catalogue
It has been calculated that not more than 1500 Cyrillic books were printed before the year 1701, and the aim of this catalogue is to give particulars and locations of over 200 copies of some 160 works which are preserved in British and Irish collections. The books come from presses that were sited in present-day Montenegro, Italy, Romania, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Serbia, Germany, England, Sweden, The Netherlands, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Almost all of the books are rare (the 13 copies of the Ostrih Bible being a notable exception); many of them are the only, or the least imperfect, copies known. England's early contacts with Muscovy meant that books were acquired by English merchants and brought home as curiosities. Their trophies survived undisturbed in libraries, rather than suffering the fate of being handled to destruction in their native lands. The same phenomenon applies to the bindings. Early preservation in libraries also means that a large number of interesting contemporary manuscript annotations have also survived in these copies. Such individual features (bindings and inscriptions) have been carefully noted in the catalogue. Full and detailed bibliographic descriptions have been given for works not adequately described elsewhere in the published literature.