By Yevgenia Yulianova
Rarities and book treasures of Belarus, prepared by the Petrus Brovka Belarusian Encyclopaedia Publishing House, are to promote the revival of our historical memory, explains Director Tatiana Belova. This year, the publishing house has been honoured with the Presidential ‘For Spiritual Revival’ Award. Ms. Belova sees the revival of artistic and moral traditions and the preservation of our national cultural legacy as the ultimate goals of her publishing house. Encyclopaedias, elite editions and photographic collections also allow foreigners and Belarusians alike to learn more about Belarus, helping promote tourism.
The creative team of the publishing house has won ‘For Spiritual Revival’ Award for creating Land of Power: Belovezhskaya Pushcha and The Radziwills: 18th-19th Century Album of Portraits. The former is an encyclopaedia of Europe’s largest forest, the most titled reserve in the world. It covers the history of the site, from the first days that people appeared on its territory to modern times. The unique edition is full of original photos, published for the first time; these are supplemented with calligraphic texts from Carmen de Statura Feritate ac Venatione Bisontis (The Song about the Bison, Its Stature, Ferocity and Hunt) — a poem by Mikola Gusovsky, written according to 16th century traditions. The book also contains 12 legends of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
The Radziwills: 18th-19th Century Album of Portraits is the first edition of a new series entitled Encyclopaedia of Rarities. Representatives of the Radziwill family — Maciej and Konstanty Mikolaj Radziwill — helped with the book, while the Royal Castle of Warsaw, the National Museum of Krakow, the National Art Museum of Lithuania, Vilnius University Library, Volyn Local History Museum (Ukraine) and the State Hermitage Museum (Russia) all donated materials.
Ms. Belova notes that the theme of Belarusian history and the preservation of our cultural heritage is a priority for the publishing house. The second volume of the Culture of Belarus encyclopaedia is scheduled for release in 2011, in addition to photographic albums entitled Contemporary Belarusian Sculpture: 21st Century and Contemporary Belarusian Graphics: 21st Century. The Encyclopaedia of Rarities series is to be supplemented in the first three months of this year with Live Faith — Vetka (a photo album dedicated to the Vetka old believer icon). Such books as the Military Encyclopaedia of Belarus and the third volume of the Encyclopaedia for Schoolchildren and Students, entitled The Earth: The Universe, are also to appear.