„Description and Digitalization of Manuscripts in the Museum of Literature”
The collection of manuscripts of the LEPL Giorgi Leonidze State Museum of Georgian Literature is of utmost importance with its diversity and abundance. The museum preserves philosophical-religious manuscript books, charters, historical documents, works of art, samples of orally transmitted folklore, personal correspondence and memoirs, which represent highly necessary resources in both research and educational processes. The availability of authentic documents is an acute problem for the researchers today. Therefore, the project implemented by the Museum is of great significance. As a result, two products have been created – a book and an electronic database. This allows scientists working in various fields to use materials necessary and required for teaching-research at any time and in any environment.
Within the framework of the project, 2636 manuscripts, which will be entered into the museum website, have been enumerated and scanned (approximately 5% of the total foundation) and the digital versions have been created. As a result, four books containing the descriptions of manuscripts have been prepared step-by-step, where manuscripts have been placed in chronological order.
The first book presents the Gospel of XII-XIX centuries, theological collections, charters, manuscripts containing different editions of the “Knight in the Partner’s Skin”, Law books, Medieval medical books, pedigrees, regulations, letters; The second book presents descriptions of the manuscripts by Nikoloz Baratashvili, Tekla Batonishvili, Alexander, Vakhtang, Dimitry, Mariam and Grigol Orbeliani, Dimitry, Nikoloz, Konstantine, Elene and Nino Kipianidze; The third book presents descriptions of the archives of Giorgi, Davit, Rafiel and Elizbar Eristavi, Alexander, Ekaterine and Davit Chavchavadze, Alexander Nikolai and Ilia Chavchavadze; and the fourth book presents works of Akaki and Giorgi Tsereteli, Iakob Gogebashvili and Ivane Kereselidze, personal and official correspondence, translations, memories and other different types of documents.
Each manuscript of the book possesses individual and geographical search engines in order to provide the user with the necessary materials in a quick and easy way. A description of chronologically arranged manuscripts creates a unified time frame, which allows to see clearly the distinctive political, social and cultural landmarks in a given epoch. In addition, while in the process of description, the implemented ascription and dating revealed the necessity for a new research in literary studies. In this regard, personal letters and memories are worth noting, in which the information is actually unknown for the researchers, and only due to this project, the information has come to light.
The electronic database of manuscripts created with the search engines is located on the website of the museum. Since the collection of Literature Museum is growing each year, it is possible to update the base for each new product. The electronic database of manuscripts is also the best source for foreign scientists, for whom the printed products in Georgia are unknown and inaccessible in most cases.
Description of manuscripts preserved in the Literature Museum (as a book and electronic database) allows the researcher, teacher or any other person concerned, both in Georgia and abroad, to use the unique collection, which has been growing rich during the tens of years, easily, without any obstacles and very quickly. Accordingly, it represents the best source of literature, history of translation, history of law, Medieval Studies, Linguistics and Georgian-foreign relations for the researchers/scholars.