Collections of books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, engravings, etc. in each library are a unique part of the cultural memory of mankind. The organization of access to them, their introduction into scientific circulation, their study and publicity is the urgent task of the activity of each library.
The funds of the Odessa National Scientific Library contain more than 200 thousand rare documents. In particular, in the department of rare editions and manuscripts a large collection of various domestic and foreign engravings of the XVI-XX centuries is separated. This is more than 600 pieces of original and reproduction engraving in the form of prints on separate sheets, among them such an important part of the collection as the original copies with the views of the old Odessa. The ONSL collection is represented by specimens made in various engraving techniques - chip prints, etching, mezzo-tinto, as well as in lithography.
The attractiveness of engraving as a type of art is precisely that each of the prints is an independent original piece of art.
An attribution of engravings is a complex, tedious and important thing. In libraries and museums, they have been out of sight for many years (and this applies not only to Ukraine). However, in recent decades, interest in the subject has been growing rapidly: scientific catalogs of museum collections of engravings have been published, large collections of large libraries have been introduced to study their collections.
Our library already had the experience of this work: together with the Odessa Historical and Local History Museum in 1995, the catalog of "Old Odessa" in the works of graphics was prepared. During this time, the staff of the library carried out the attribution of many engravings, which had no source data, not only the Odessa subjects, their origin, etc., were revealed.
Against the background of the revival of interest in engraving, the work on the description of the collection becomes of particular relevance, and the publication of images of engravings will contribute to the representation of Ukraine's cultural heritage for the world cultural community, its entry into the European cultural space.
The project "The Old Engraving - Cultural Heritage of Ukraine" is carried out with the assistance of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.