The Fifth Zagrebin Readings
12-13 November 2009, Saint Petersburg,
the National Library of Russia

General Information

Dear colleagues,

Since 2005, the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg has held annual international research conferences "Zagrebin Readings", named in honour of an outstanding scholar of Slavonic literatures and paleographer Viacheslav Zagrebin (1942-2004), who was a former head of the NLR's Old Russian Manuscripts Section and Curator of Slavic Manuscripts.

The 2009 conference is devoted to a major international project on the Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving hand-written Greek Bible. The National Library of Russia is one of the project partners, it works in partnership with St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, the British Library, Leipzig University Library.

The project aims to create a facsimile of the mid-fourth century manuscript, and reproduce it in digital form. This will provide a virtual re-unification of the four portions of the manuscript which are now held in England, Germany, Edgipt, and Russia and give world-wide access to one of the most important cultural treasures.

The sessions will discuss a wide range of project-related problems. They primarily include the studying early hand-written Christian scriptures and features of the Sinai manuscript tradition. Proposed topics also cover issues relating to source studies, paleography, codicology, and textual scholarship, as well as the language and decoration of manuscripts produced on Mount Sinai in Greek, Arabic, Georgian and Slavonic (both Glagolitic and Cyrillic). Palimpsests will be considered in terms of computer-aided reading and analysis. The emphasis will be placed on ways in which early manuscript codices appear in the modern information environment.

A discussion of the Codex Sinaiticus Project Website will hopefully encourage an interesting debate about ways of digital representation of manuscripts on the Internet, the safety of digitization, digital archiving, and the social importance of promoting projects on cultural heritage as well as other related topics.

Manuscript curators, specialists on Oriental, Byzantine and Slavic cultures working in such fields as history, philology, art history, the restoration and the digitisation of manuscript collections are invited to this conference.

The exhibition "Codex Sinaiticus fragments in Saint Petersburg" (November 2009) will take place during the conference.

Using various sources, the Library's Manuscripts Department will show the fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus and items, telling the stories of the history of their discovery and acquisition by the Public Library (a former name of our library). The exhibits will include some interesting old manuscripts from the collections gathered by Archbishop Porfiry Uspensky, Constantine Thischendorf, and the Society of Lovers of Ancient Literature in Saint Petersburg (palimpsests, fragments of early Greek and Slavic manuscripts), and relevant biographical material on the collectors.

The Conference Organizing Committee reserves the right to select papers and regrets its inability to cover the travel and accommodation costs for participants as well as the expenses of obtaining official letters of invitation and visas (see Visa support) for participants from countries.(see Visa Support).

All participants from other towns and countries should inform conference organizers in advance if a hotel reservation is required (see Accommodation) and indicate reservation dates.

Chairman of the Organizing Committee,
Director General of the National Library of Russia,
President of the Russian Library Association,
V.N. Zaitsev

Conference Venue

The international conference The Fifth Zagrebin Readings will be held at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg on 12-13 November, 2009 at the Conference Hall of the Main Building. The Main Building is located at the center of the city near the metro station "Gostiny Dvor" (on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Sadovaya Street) at the address: 1/3, Ostrovsky Square (see the Map).

Requirements for Papers/Presentations

Offers of spoken papers (maximum duration of 20 minutes) must be received by 15 June 2009.

The submission should include:

first name, middle name and surname of the author(s)
title of the paper or presentation
postal address, phone/ fax number and email of the author(s)
abstract of no more than 200 words.

Abstracts should be prepared using standard PC-based MS Word software. Abstracts should be submitted in doc (docx) format and cannot exceed 200 words.

Abstracts are submitted electronically via email. Please email the 200 words summary with your full name; and contact details (address, email, telephone) to Ekaterina Krushelnitskaya at (see Contact Information).

We will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application within a week. Notification of acceptance will be made to the author by 1 July 2009.

Titles of abstracts will be available for the participants online on the conference website upon receipt of these documents.

Presentations/ Spoken Papers

You will have only 20 minutes for your presentation/ spoken paper. An additional 10 minutes will be allotted for a question-and-answer period.

Please inform us in advance if you need any equipment for your presentation.

© The National Library of Russia, 2008