Manuscripts and Archival Documents of Russian Old Believers Escapists (Skrytniks) in the Russian Academy of Sciences Library (EAP1017)

Aims and objectives

The aim of the project is to preserve unique manuscripts and archive documents of the Skrytniks (Escapists). A significant part of them are kept in the Kargopol’s manuscript collection of the Russian Academy of Sciences Library. A lot of the manuscripts are in bad state so it is necessary to create the safe conditions of their storage. The collection does not currently have any description. About 150 of the most significant and important manuscripts and documents of Skrytniks will be digitised.

The Kargopol’s collection contains unique materials about the social group that was in opposition to the great state - first to the Russian Empire, then to the Soviet State. These manuscripts and documents show the structure of Skrytniks, their traditions, faith and intercommunication with other social groups. The most important information about this original social group which has resisted itself to the Russian state beginning from the end of the 18th till the end of the 20th centuries contains in their manuscript heritage. The Russian Academy of Sciences Library keeps the most significant collection of this almost disappeared group of Old Believers.

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