Anna Vlasova, London Library Retrospective Cataloguer, this month presents an adaptation of an article recently featured in Solanus, the international journal for the study of the printed and written word in Russia and East-Central Europe, revealing twenty-six fascinating and significant 18th century publications in the Märit and Hans Rausing Russian collections of the London Library. (click on each image for large version).  Explore more on the Märit and Hans Rausing Russian collections on the London Library website http://www.londonlibrary.co.uk/

I would like to review some of the most revealing provenances of these publications. Rodoslovnaia kniga kniazei i dvorian rossiiskikh i vyiezzhikh (1787), V. Tatishchev’s Istoriia rossiiskaia (1768-1848) and A. Bogdanov’s Istoricheskoe, geograficheskoe i topograficheskoe opisanie Sanktpeterburga (1779) were owned by count Sergei Sobolevskii and the Lindsay family before being purchased by the London Library at Hodgson auctions in 1930. Sergei Sobolevskii was a 19th century Russian bibliophile and poet, whom Alexander Pushkin considered a close friend. After Sobolevskii’s death, his 25,000-volume collection was sold to Leipzig bookdealer List&Francke (it was Sobolevskii’s worst nightmare – he dreaded the dispersion of his collection and, in fact, refused several lucrative offers from bookselling firms during his lifetime). There is reason to believe that after Sobolewskii’s auction these three books came into the famousBibliotheca Lindesiana, most of which was eventually dispersed among national and university libraries.

John Frederick Baddeley’s ownership marks can be found on J. Fischer’s Sibirskaia istoriia (1774), G.F. Müller’s Sammlung russischer Geschichte (1732-1764) and P. Pallas’s Tagebuch einer Reise die im Jahr 1781 (1797). John Frederick Baddeley (1854-1940), a British traveller, scholar, correspondent for the Standard and an acquaintance of Hagberg Wright, lived in Russia for a number of years and made donations of Russian books on anthropology, history and topography to the London Library throughout the early 20th century. John Baddeley was a prolific annotator and extensive marginalia can be found in many books that he donated. Before being purchased by Baddeley, Fischer’sSibirskaia istoriia belonged to the Kusheleff-Bezborodko family, which came to an end with the death of Grigorii Aleksandrovich Kushelev-Bezborodko in 1870, when their library came into the possession of a family friend, count Alexei Ivanovich Musin-Pushkin. Eventually, in 1912, the Kushelev-Bezborodko library was bought by a St. Petersburg bookseller Nikolai Solov’ev from whom Sibirskaia istoriia may have been acquired by Baddeley, as we find a pencil inscription ‘St.Petersburg, 1913’ in his hand inside this book’s left board.

The twenty-volume Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliofika (1788-1791) and its eleven volume continuation Prodolzhenie drevnei rossiiskoĭ vivliofiki(1786-1801) were purchased by the London Library in 1931 following its practice of filling gaps in the collections of older books. Although it is not known who the Library purchased these volumes from, there is some evidence relating to their previous whereabouts. Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliofika was part of the Library of the Central Pedagogical Museum established in 1864 as the Pedagogical Museum and renamed the Central Pedagogical Museum in 1918. The ink stamp on the flyleaf indicates that these volumes also passed through the Russian State Book Fund. Ex-libris found in Prodolzhenie drevnei rossiiskoĭ vivliofiki indicates that these volumes once belonged to professor of law Fedor Nikolaevich Panov (1834 – 1915) and a pink label of a Russian bookseller Vasilii Klochkov (1861 – 1915) suggests that they was once sold in his shop in St. Petersburg.

Provenance evidence found in some of the remaining books provides fascinating insights into their previous whereabouts, but does not uncover how they came into the London Library. Some noteworthy examples are: F. Soimonov’s Opisanie Kaspiiskago moria (1763), F. Efremov’s Stranstvovanie nadvornago sovietnika Efremova (1794) and P. Rychkov’s Vvedenie k Astrakhanskoi topografii (1774) that seem to have belonged to Robert Michell (1837-1911?), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; Tsarstvennoi lietopisets (1772) that was at some time part of the collections of the Royal Asiatic Society and P. Pallas’sSamlungen historischer nachrichten uber die mongolishen volkerschaften (1776-1801) that was once part of what now is State and University Library Bremen.

Full image details:

1. Sobolevski’s notes in Vasilii Tatishchev’s Istoriia rossiiskaia, (Napechatana pri Imperatorskom Moskovskom universitetie: Moskva, 1768) reveal the previous owner of this work – German historian August Schlözer
2. Sobolevskii and Bibliotheca Lindesiana ex-libris inside the left board of Andrei Bogdanov’s Istoricheskoe, geograficheskoe i topograficheskoe opisanie Sanktpeterburga ([Vasiliĭ Ruban]: Sanktpeterburg, 1779)
3. Title page of Johann Eberhard Fischer‘s Sibirskaia istoriia (pri Imperatorskoĭ Akademīi nauk: V Sanktpeterburgie, 1774) with Alexander Kusheleff-Bezborodko library stamp
4. Kusheleff-Bezborodko bookplate and John F. Baddeley inscription in Fischer’s Sibirskaia istoriia
5. John Baddeley’s inscription in Peter Pallas’s Tagebuch einer Reise die im Jahr 1781 von der Granzfestung Mosdok nach dem Caucasus (Johann Zacharias Logan: St.Petersburg, 1797) and Hiersemann note, indicating the volume was acquired from a Leipzig bookseller Karl Hiersemann
6. Library of the Central Pedagogical Museum bookplate inside the left board of the 2nd edition of Nikolai Novikov’s Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliofika (V tipografīi Kompanīi Tipograficheskoĭ: Moskva, 1788-1791)
7. Russian State Book Fund stamp on the flyleaf of Drevniaia rossiiskaia vivliofika
8. Boobplate of F. N. Panov inside the left board of Nikolai Novikov’s Prodolzhenie drevnei rossiiskoĭ vivliofiki (pri Imperatorskoĭ Akademīi nauk: V Sanktpeterburgie, 1786-1801)
9. Pink label of a St. Petersburg bookseller Vasilii Klochkov inside the right board of Prodolzhenie drevnei rossiiskoĭ vivliofiki
10. Robert Michell’s bookplate inside the left board of Fedor Soimonov’s Opisanīe Kaspiiskago moria i chinennykh na onom rossiiskikh zavoevanii, iako chastʹ istorīi Gosudaria Imperatora Petra Velikago (Pri Imperatorskoĭ Akademii nauk: V Sanktpeterburgie, 1763)
11. Filipp Sergeevich Efremov. Stranstvovanie nadvornago sovietnika Efremova v Bukharii, Khivie, Persii i Indii, i vozvrashchenie ottuda chrez Angliiu v Rossiiu (Pech. na izhd. P.B. i prod. po Nevsk. perspektivie u Anichk. mostu v domie Grafa D.A. Zubova: V Sanktpeterburgie, 1794) with Robert Michell’s inscription above the title
12. Petr Ivanovich Rychkov. Vvedenie k Astrakhanskoi topografii (Napechatana pri Imperatorskom Moskovskom universitetie: Moskva, 1774) with Robert Michell’s inscription above the title
13. Royal Asiatic Society stamp on title page verso of Tsarstvennoĭ lietopisets soderzhashchei Rossiiskuiu istoriiu ot 6622/1114 godu … do 6980/1472 godu (Pri Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk: V Sanktpeterburgie 1772)
14. Bremisches museum stamp and the London Library accession stamp on the title page verso of Peter Pallas’s Samlungen historischer nachrichten uber die mongolishen volkerschaften (Kaiserl. Akademie die Wissenschaften: St.Petersburg, 1776-1801)

 

1. Vasilii Tatishchev’s Istoriia rossiiskaia

2. Sobolevskii and Bibliotheca Lindesiana ex-libris

3. Kusheleff-Bezborodko bookplate

4.Kusheleff-Bezborodko bookplate

5. Baddeley Inscription

6.Library of the Central Pedagogical Museum

7. Central book fund stamp

Panov bookplate

8. Panov bookplate

9 Klochkov label

9 Klochkov label

 Opisanie Kaspiiskago moria

10.Opisanie Kaspiiskago moria

 Stranstvovanie nadvornago sovietnika Efremova

11.Stranstvovanie nadvornago sovietnika Efremova

Vvedenie k Astrakhanskoi topografii

12. Vvedenie k Astrakhanskoi topografii

13 Royal Asiatic Society stamp

13. Royal Asiatic Society stamp

Bremisches museum

14.Bremisches museum stamp

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Claudia Ricci offers an update from the Bibliographic Services team, demonstrating how geopolitics have a direct bearing on where books in our collections are shelved…

“Kingdoms rise and fall, nations come and go”, according to the Confucian precept, but in the stacks of The London Library, and particularly in the History section, shelfmarks have traditionally been immune to change. Actually, this may have been the case for many decades, but lately things have started to change, as even we have had to accept that some “new” countries are here to stay. Therefore you will notice that a handful of new shelfmarks have appeared in the History stacks: we have created new sub-sections for H. BelarusH. KazakhstanH. Moldova and H. Ukraine.

Thanks to its policy of “preserving the original name of countries” the library had never adopted the heading “Soviet Union”, (after all this country only existed for a mere 70 years!), which makes our job easier today. Under  H. Russia you will still find many works that cover the past history of Ukraine or Belarus, as in the old medieval Chronicles, when the histories of the three countries were closely intertwined, or as in Soviet times, when all the socialist republics were treated as one country. But at least we no longer have to shelf Kuchma’s book “Ukraine is not Russia” in the section H. Russia…

Note: Eagle-eyed Library members will see a reference to the Library’s lack of an H. Ukraine shelfmark in the forthcoming issue of The London Library Magazine. This error should have been corrected before it went to print — our H. Ukraine shelfmark is alive and well! We hope you enjoy the books to be found there, along with the Magazine’s Hidden Corners piece on our Russian collections.

H.Belarus

The new H. Belarus shelfmark sits proudly in our History stacks

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