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"Books have a destiny" - this epigraph accompanies five issues of the "Catalogue of Old Printed Books", compiled by Evgeny Saminsky, the head of the department of rare books of the scientific library of Dnipro National University. A book is a source of knowledge, human memory and wisdom of thinkers. Among the vast book treasures created by mankind since the beginning of book printing, the ancient ones have a special value - the editions of the 16th - the beginning of the 19th century. The scientific library of our university, having a multimillion collection of multidisciplinary content, preserves unique old printed books published at different times in different countries in different languages. Until recently, this book collection was terra incognita. The work of identifying old printed books, their description and systematization requires broad erudition, deep knowledge in the field of bibliography and related disciplines, scrupulousness and patience from the researcher-bibliographer. Such features were inherent in the bibliographer, and since 1998 the head of the department of rare books, a graduate of the Faculty of Physics, Evgeny Saminsky.
   Working as a bibliographer, Evgeny Matveevich carefully studied the content of rare books to give their full description in catalogues and provide information to users. He did painstaking work on the study of book inscriptions, names of owners, bookplates, seals, stamps, coats of arms and fonts. According to the results of his research, five issues of annotated bibliographic "Catalogue of Old Printed Books" published in the period of the 16th - early 19th century were created and printed. By the way, the collection of old printed books kept in the scientific library of Dnipro National University is the largest in Dnipro region and has 590 copies of Russian language and 800 copies of foreign publications. The first two issues of the Catalogue contain Russian-language editions of 1710-1825, the third issue - books in German, the fourth - in French, the fifth – in Latin published in 1549-1800. Each description contains information about the content, history of writing, information about the author, translator, editor, publisher, owners, prevalence, characteristics of design and physical condition. For each issue, the author provides a preface with details about the contents of the collection, interesting historical events and personalities corresponding to the status of scientific articles. Studying the book collections of the so-called "Schweinitz Earl Library", he applied the methods of probability theory and mathematical modeling. During creating the catalogue, E. Saminsky used the knowledge of bibliography, source studies, paleography, genealogy, numismatics, marginalism and foreign languages. In the process, Evgeny Matviyovych talked with colleagues from university libraries of Odessa, Kazan, Moscow, with employees of archives and museums. He actively corresponded with the heirs of the Schweinitz family and Doctor of Science from Germany A. Eisfeld (Göttingen).
   The high quality of E. Saminsky's research is due to the harmonious combination of the inquisitive mind of a physicist and a lyricist brought up in classical literature. Evgeny 's mother Valeria Ivanivna Saminska is a philologist with 62 years of experience in the library. For a long time she worked as the head of the reference and bibliographic department. The life of a talented researcher and intellectual was cut short while working on the fifth issue of the catalogue, so Valeria Ivanivna prepared it for publication. To the 100th anniversary of Dnipro National University and the scientific library, E. Saminsky's articles and archival documents were published in the collection "The First Books of Katerinoslav" (publishing house "Lira"). It was edited and prepared for publication by V.I. Saminska in 2018. E. Saminsky's thorough study of book collections of Katerinoslav People's College and Classical Gymnasium, which were the basis of the university's fundamental library, reveals unknown pages in the history of our library and the history of the origin of rare editions. E. Saminsky's scientific achievements are of great importance for the library community, local historians, students, library users who study the history of librarianship, publishing and book culture, the history of educational institutions of Katerinoslav-Dnipro and Ukraine. The catalogue is convenient to use. It has auxiliary indexes: name, chronological, geographical, systematic, printing houses, etc.
   Work on cataloguing the book collection continues. The next step is to digitize rare editions in order to preserve the originals, as some copies are more than 400 years old. This will be the embodiment of our colleague's dreams. The scientific library provides visitors and guests with the opportunity to see the oldest books that preserve the memory of people and events of ancient times.

Svitlana Kubishkina, director of the scientific library


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