Eugene Hlebtsevich and the establishment of free public libraries in Belarus in the early twentieth century in the context of socio-political and cultural processes of the time

Дата: 12.01.2016


Hlebtsevich and the establishment of free public libraries in Belarus in the early twentieth century in the context of socio-political and cultural processes of
the time

In the early
twentieth-century in Czarist Russia, as well as on its national border regions,
including in Belarus (the so-called North-West province), there was a series of
democratic processes. There was a massive struggle for social emancipation,
which resulted in the Revolution 1905 — 1907 period, resulting from the tsarist
monarchy was forced to transform itself into a constitutional (launched Duma).
On the outskirts of the national struggle for social emancipation and
reinforced by a battle for national interests. Tsarist government to make
certain concessions. So, December 25, 1904 was repealed a ban on the Belarusian
word in print, which operated since 1867. They began to legally leave their
native language Belarusian books, newspapers and magazines. Intensified
theatrical musical life. Unequivocal national coloring acquired paintings. In
general, this was the period of the Belarusian national revival. On the
cultural-historical arena there are such giants as Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas
in the literature, Ihnat Bujnicki in the theatrical sphere, Euthymios Kars in
philology and bibliography, Eugene Hlebtsevich in Librarianship. In 1902, he
formed the first Belarusian National Party AAH (Belarusian Socialist Gromada) —
Leading party of students, officials and writers. In 1903, delegates of the
Congress I took AAH program aimed at achieving autonomy of Belarus. In 1906 at the II Congress of the AAH thesis autonomy was deepened and assigned,
supplemented by the idea of convening the Diet. The most important centers of
the Belarusian national revival were then Vilna, Minsk, Grodno and Petersburg, which uchilos many young people from Belarus, especially in the Grodno region.

In the wake of
the national liberation movement arose Belarusian scientific-literary circle of
students of St. Petersburg University. Members of the circle, and the first
known later library activist Eugene Hlebtsevich, who initiated the
establishment of free public libraries in Belarus. As the historian of
librarianship MI Bye, «was created 11 public libraries: nine in the Grodno province and two in Minsk. They distributed literature among the residents of more
than 100 villages «[1, pp. 55]. The basis of these libraries were
progressive book publisher FF Pavlenkov. Brother Eugene Hlebtsevicha Vladimir
wrote that «a well-known publisher Pavlenkov donated as a bequest capital
on the device of public libraries» [2, pp. 139]. Active participation in
the selection of literature for public libraries and their supply has
democratic intelligentsia of Belarus. For example, Yanka Kupala, who was at
that time in St. Petersburg, ensure people’s library of publications of
Belarusian publishing house «Look sonce ³ ® our akontsa. Members of
the Belarusian scientific and literary circles of St. Petersburg University
bustled about getting books from publishers «Knowledge»,
«mediator» and others, organized evenings and concerts, part of the
collection of which was to purchase books for public libraries. At the request
of members of the group Petersburg Academy of Sciences as an exception to free
allocated libraries works of Russian classical literature, sent their books
Tolstoy, Gorky, Serafimovich. Due to public libraries Belarusian peasants first
opportunity to get acquainted with the works of their national writers Yanka
Kupala, Yakub Kolas, aunts, F. Bahuševič and others, with the first
Belarusian newspaper «Our share» and «Nasha Niva».

The idea of
free public libraries, the desire to make the book accessible to the masses
organically fit into the socialist ideology, which had been committed and
Eugene Hlebtsevich, an active worker masses. At the invitation of aunts, he
took part in the II Congress of AAH [3, pp. 194, 4, pp. 70, 5, pp. 310, 6, pp.
652]. He was personally acquainted with many members of this party: the same
aunt, K. lanterns, A. Burbisom and others. The idea of socialism in the best
sense of the word is quite close to the Belarusian mentality, our character.
Since ancient times Belarus has its peculiar distribution of popular socialism
— toloka. During the agricultural works provided free collective assistance to
those in need: widows, soldiers’ wives, lonely elderly people. Do not
accidentally press organs of the Belarusian Socialist masses of the newspaper
«Our share» and especially «Nasha Niva» were truly
all-country newspapers. At the Library Science and literary themes in them
actively published Eugene Hlebtsevich.

ideology, in its ideal, in the correct, undistorted form and is close to
universal values, the Christian religion. Father Eugene Hlebtsevicha had direct
relevance to the spiritual service. Ivan Hlebtsevich taught arithmetic, ancient
Greek and Latin languages, geography in Zhirovichi a religious school and also headed
the library Zhirovichi monastery. «In the library very often visited his
son, Eugene. He studied with his father, as one must be able to read the book,
to know it «, — notes the modern ethnographer SN Chigrin [7, pp. 27]. Any
library appears to us as a kind of temple, especially the monastic library —
this is all we can say, a temple in the temple. Thus, since early childhood
Eugene Hlebtsevich had the opportunity to partake of God’s great gift book,
dreaming of making it socially meaningful, accessible to all people. While
studying Zhirovichi boy in a religious school and Vilna Orthodox seminary only
strengthened this desire. Then, when Eugene Hlebtsevich was already a student
at St. Petersburg University, plans to «Library of socialism» were
translated into real life. Connected to this work and father Eugene. In the
village of the district Kleniki Belsky Grodno province, he headed the free
public library, reading room named after FF Pavlenkova, opened in 1907 through
the efforts of his son Eugene. At the same time here in Klenikah, Ivan
Hlebtsevich served in the local church Orthodox priest.

In 1911,
Eugene Hlebtsevich attended the First All-Russia Congress of Librarianship,
where a presentation on «Library Development in Belarus», in which
great attention paid to the activity of free public libraries. In 1912, student’s
circle has issued a pamphlet in Kovno E. Hlebtsevicha “Libraries and
cooperation», one of the first works on the theory and the organization of
library science. Naturally, the basis for the organization of library work by
the author on the principle of the socialist formation and functioning of
national libraries. How researcher of library science he wrote another book
«The mass reader and anti-religious propaganda», «general
reader, and work with the book, the first of which was published in Moscow and Leningrad in 1928, the second — in Moscow in 1936. The works were written in
the spirit of socialism, in the spirit of social justice, equality and
democracy reader. E. Hlebtsevich still very concerned about meeting the reading
needs of the common man, and anti-religious propaganda was to impose the Soviet
socio-political model is a travesty and distorts the true socialism. As
literary critic E. Hlebtsevich published in St. Petersburg in 1914 the book
«Revival of the Belarusian populist literature», reprinted in 1917
under the title «Populist Poetry Belarusians.

cultural studies and literary AM Petkevich with regret that Eugene Hlebtsevich
«in 1930 was forced to flee from the Belarusian intellectuals fleeing
pogroms in Russia» [8, pp. 24]. In general, Eugene Hlebtsevich went down
in history as the famous Belarusian, and then the Russian researcher of library
science as the best man of his time, the initiator of creation in Belarus network of free public libraries. Ideas Hlebtsevicha accessible books, knowledge
and education lives in our country today.


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