Georgian Manuscript Fund

The fund of Georgian manuscripts holds thousands of manuscripts, including palimpsestic folios. The manuscripts date from 5th to 19th centuries.

The fund displays ecclesiastical pieces – original and translated works. The most significant pieces from the original are ancient Georgian martyrological stories: “Martyrdom of Shushaniki”, “Martyrdom of Evstate Mtskheteli”, “Martyrdom of Abo Tbileli” etc.; As for the translated works,  the great Byzantian theologians captivate our attentions: Grigol Nazianeli, Basil the Great, John Okropiri, John Sineli, Grigol Noseli, Maxime the Confessor etc.; It should noted, that the brilliant translation were made by Georgian bibliophiles Ekvtime Mtatsmindeli, George Mtatsmindeli, Eprem Mtsire, Arseni Ikaltoeli and others.

Apart from the ecclesiastical works, the fund stores secular literature, such as Georgian poet – Shota Rustaveli’s famous works’- “Knight in the Panther skin”- unique inventory.

Also, the fund holds astrological, geographical, medical, mathematical, military and other manuscripts.

The fund of Georgian manuscripts is divided in four separate funds – A, H, Q and S funds.

Fund A – Collection of Georgian manuscripts from Ecclesiastical museum. The museum was founded 1889, in Tbilisi. With the initiative of Dimitri Bakradze (Georgian historian, archeologist and ethnographer) museums’ fund of manuscripts would be supplied by inside purchases and donations.

In A fund, the most notable works are: Zatiki, Svan Miscellany, The Four Gospels of Alaverdi, The Four Gospels of Vani, synaxarion of Ekvtime Mtatsmindeli, Astronomical Treaty, the Work of Grigol the Theologian.

Fund H – Former collection of historical and ethnographical society of Georgia. Historical and ethnographical society of Georgia was founded in 1907, in Tbilisi. With the initiative of Ekvtime Takaishvili, well-known Georgian historian, the fund would be supplied with inside purchases and donations.

Fund Q – This new collection is the only growing collection in the manuscripts centre. It was founded in 1919, in Tbilisi, within State museum of Georgia. The fund is also supplied with inside purchasing, donations and nationalizing manuscripts found in different regions by famous Georgian scientists.

Fund Q holds these notable manuscripts: Mokvi Gospels, The four Gospels of Tbeti, Gospels of Tskarostavi and Berti.

Fund S – Collection of former Society for spreading literacy among Georgians, which was founded in 1879, in Tbilisi by famous political figures such as Ilia Chavchavadze, Dimitri Kipiani, Iakob Gogebashvili and others. From 1888, with the proposal from Georgian publicist Iona Meonargia, society started searching and collection manuscripts. At first, the manuscripts fund was supplied with donations, but later started purchasing them as well.

The most notable manuscript stored in the S fund is so-called “Visramiani”.