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EASTERN EUROPEAN
HISTORY

Curated by the MEMSlib team

 

This page is currently under construction, as the MEMSlib team work to bring together a range of resources for understanding, contextualising, and teaching the history of the countries and kingdoms which now fall under the broad reach of 'Eastern Europe'.

 

These resources are being compiled in response to the developing conflict in Ukraine, within a wider concern in the Humanities to archive, and make accessible, the cultural heritage of this country, while also preventing the spread of disinformation.

Please keep checking this page as we add further resources, and if you have an online resource which you would like to see listed, contact us here.

Where to start

MEMSlib is grateful to Dr Suzanna Ivanič at the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Kent, for her work on the Early Modern History of Ukraine. That site brings together a wide range of resources covering the history, material culture, and cartography of Ukraine and the surrounding territories, within the context of early-modern Europe.

 
Further Web Resources for the History of Ukraine

The MAPA Digital Atlas of Ukraine (Harvard University) uses GIS to deepen users’ understanding of historical and contemporary Ukraine through cartographic visualisations of data.

See in particular The Golden Age of Kyivian Rus', a map which focuses on the artistic and literature culture of Kyivan Rus’ during the period 988-1240 CE.
The Rus’ Genealogy web map, meanwhile, visualises the connections between the ruling family of Rus’ and the royalty of medieval Europe, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Lastly, this map of Historic Podillya focuses on the place names of the late-medieval territory of Podillya from the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries.

Mapping Eastern Europe is an interactive online platform from Princeton University which brings together content written by specialists covering the history, art, and culture of Eastern Europe within the period spanning the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries. Content can be browsed by subject area, or using the user-friendly map of Europe which localises specific case studies, and which can be limited to date range, location, or subject.

H-Ukraine is a platform for scholarly and intellectual discussion of the history of Ukraine within humanities subject areas. Sub-pages include resources for teaching Ukrainian history, guidance and CfPs for researchers of Ukraine, digital projects  and reviews of recent publications in the field. H-Ukraine is part of H-net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online).

The Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine (IEU) is an ongoing initiative from the Canadian Institute of Ukraine Studies, which will offer an English-language encyclopaedia of Ukrainian history and cultural heritage. The first stage of this project is to produce a digital edition and database for the 1984-93 Encyclopedia of Ukraine, edited by Volodymyr Kubijovyc Danylo Husar Struk, University of Toronto Press. The edition can be browsed or searched by index, and new entries are being continually added to update the site.

Digital Preservation of
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage

 

Digital collections of cultural heritage institutions in Ukraine are currently being archived as part Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online - a project which is actively recruiting volunteers. To find out more and see how you can contribute to this important, time-sensitive initiative, visit this link.

UKR Manuscript hosts the project “Returning the Cultural Heritage to Ukraine”, first started in 2009. The project seeks to digitise medieval manuscripts which are culturally significant to Ukraine, which were produced during the time of Kievan Rus’ (late 9th to mid- 13th century). The project works to centralise manuscripts from Kievan Rus’ which are now dispersed in libraries worldwide, producing facsimiles which are digitised on this website.

Web resources for Slavic Manuscript Studies

Obshtezhitie seeks to offer the definitive online portal for the study of Cyrilic and Glagolithic manuscripts and early printed books, curated by Ralph Cleminson (International Committee of Slavists). The site contains electronic editions of particular Slavonic texts, links to projects relating to medieval Slavonic studies, collections of digitised manuscripts online, and resources for the text encoding of cyrilic documents, as well as an archive of the activities of the International Commission on Computer Supported Processing of Mediæval Slavonic Manuscripts and Early Printed Books.

The archive for the Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage Newsletter, produced by the University of Ohio’s Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, can be found here. The RCMSS website also offers e-resources and journal recommendations for the study of medieval Slavic manuscripts.

Digitised Slavic Manuscripts
in Eastern European libraries

 

Gramoty hosts a digital repository of the Novgorod Birchbark manuscripts, a collection of documents dating from the ninth to fifteenth centuries. These manuscripts, inscribed onto the inner layer of birch bark, are written in Old Novgorod dialect, a Slavic vernacular which does not show the influence of Church Slavonic which is otherwise common in the literature of the period. Novgorod is one of the oldest known cities in modern Russia, first recorded in 859 AD.

Manuscripts and Early Printed Books of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, an important centre for the Russian orthodox church. This site forms part of a project from the Russian State Library, which digitally preserves manuscripts in Latin, ancient Church Slavonic and Greek languages, with collections dating from the 12th century onwards.

The digital library of the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library of Bulgaria, which holds around 1500 manuscripts in the Slavic languages. Details of the collections can be found here.

The special collections of the Belgrade University Library contain 90 cyrillic manuscripts which date from the 13th to 18th centuries. All are fully digitised and are available at this link.

 

South Slavic manuscripts (Bulgarian, Serbian, and Moldovlachian) which date from the 10th century are also held on the National Library of Russia, alongside Old Russian manuscripts. In particular, the collection of Serbian manuscripts has been fully digitised and is available to browse here.

 

Do you have any questions about Eastern European History?

Would you like help from people with expertise in the field?

Click below to start a discussion in our History, History of Art, or Manuscript Studies forum...

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Last updated by Anna-Nadine Pike - 30/03/2022