Krystynopol Apostle

Thanks to the Grant of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, presented to Lviv Historical Museum in 2007 for preservation and restoration of a 12th century monument “Krystynopol Apostle”, it was made possible to carry out a series of measures aimed at rescuing and preserving this unique manuscript.

It is a part of the Golden Fund of Ukrainian Culture and Spirituality.

This is the oldest complete serial Apostle remained in ancient Slavonic literary tradition. It contains the Acts of the Apostles, the Ecumenical epistles and the epistles of the apostle Paul. The manuscript dates back to the 12th century, it was written on a parchment in calligraphic handwriting. Total amount of the text is 299 sheets (598 pages), 8 of the pages are stored in the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine.

Time and circumstances caused substantial damage to Krystynopol Apostle: some of the sheets are ragged and have holes, some of them were unskillfully stapled and some were torn.

During the application of the Grant, the work was done in several directions:

Preservation and restoration

Based on the conclusions of leading experts of Ukraine (Research and Restoration Department of National Museum of History of Ukraine, National Scientific Research Centre of Ukraine, renovators of Lviv Historical Museum) on the state of preservation of the parchment. After the dismantling of the manuscript, surface of the sheets was cleaned; the sheets were straightened in a moisturized camera, pressurized under the appropriate pressure. All losses of the original were supplemented with specially chosen parchment, which is an exact replica of the original in texture, color and thickness. In the course of restoration no chemical solvents which could damage the structure of the parchment were used.

For further storage of the manuscript a special hermetic box filled with inert gas to maintain a constant temperature will be produced.

Creation of an electronic copy of the exponent

Prior to restoration and preserving works the initial look of the Apostle was captured. This work was complicated by the fact that the parchment sheets in their original state were convoluted and sewn. Photo fixation of the most damaged pages of the Apostle was carried out separately.

After the end of preservation and restoration work and alignment of pages, electronic copies of 582 pages of the manuscript were produced (file format – .tif; resolution – 600 dpi; color depth – 48 bit).

Creation of a paper version

Paper version of the Krystynopol Apostle was created on the basis of electronic files of restored pages. Actually, a faxed copy of the exhibit was produced.

One o the versions of an electronic copy of the exhibit was prepared, where the text of the manuscript is deciphered and divided into words, that greatly facilitates its study by the researchers. A paper version of the article was produced. A part of the main text of the Krystynopol Apostle (Pauline epistles) has been translated into contemporary Ukrainian.

In order to promote the unique monument of written language in the world community, to broader the acquaintance of history, culture, linguistics, theology and art researchers with it, the text of the Krystynopil Apostle was published in the Internet on our website.

You can read an electronic copy by:

  1. downloading a single file with first 10 pages (PDF format, 1,54 Mb)
  2. downloading a single file with the full copy for acquaintance (DjVu* format, ~ 32 Mb, 100 dpi)
  3. ordering a high-quality copy of the exponent on a CD at (PDF, 163 Mb, 300 dpi).

All of this became possible thanks to the Grant of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on Preservation of Culture of Ukraine presented to the Lviv Historical Museum.

*for viewing this format, use the program WinDjView (508 Kb).