Postcards — the road to historical truth

20th Minsk International Book Fair hosts launch of Vladimir Likhodedov’s In Search of the Lost
By Konstantin Ladutko

Mr. Likhodedov is well-known as a postcard collector, in Belarus and abroad. Over the past six years, three Belarusian publishing houses have published 13 of his illustrated albums, under the series title In Search of the Lost. Among the titles have been Minsk: Journey through Time, Stars of the Fatherland, In Search of the Lost, Synagogues, Saint Alexander Nevsky: Orthodox Churches in Old Postcards of the Late 19th — Early 20th Century, and Patriotic War Memorials in Old Postcards... 

Mr. Likhodedov notes that he has endeavoured to create a ‘postcard map’ of Belarus and its neighbours, being convinced that photographs are among the most valuable historical resources. He notes, “Over many years of collecting, I’ve realised that postcards have special energy and allow us to view the past more carefully and objectively. Readers have inspired me to collect reproductions for my albums on particular themes.”

Minsk bookshop managers Olga Glukhovskaya, from Akademkniga, and Alla Zmieva, from Book Saloon, emphasise that the series has sold well since being published. Editions from 2007-2010 and last year actually sold out, so Ms. Zmieva suggests that they be republished, especially considering the number of tourists to Minsk. 

Zvezda Publishing House’s Chief Editor, Ales Karlyukevich, notes that another two books by Vladimir Likhodedov are due for publishing, featuring postcards as yet unseen in the series. At the press launch of In Search of the Lost, several speeches were given: by the author, publishers, museum employees and others interested in history. All agree that postcards are a unique historical resource for Belarus, revealing the character of various regions.

Fans of the series are naturally keen to see their own localities explored by Mr. Likhodedov, so it’s likely that his work will go from strength to strength. Vileika resident Olga Kolosova tells us, “We have been waiting for Vileika in Old Postcards for a long time. Vladimir has twice organised exhibitions of postcards here, which we viewed as the first step in a book being published.

Mr. Likhodedov was born in Polotsk so, unsurprisingly, he owns many postcards from his home town. It cannot be long before we see Polotsk in Old Postcards on sale in our bookshops.
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