Medieval Slavic Manuscripts and Culture

Category: MSSI

6th International Hilandar Conference, July 19-21, 2013


The 6th International Hilandar Conference, “Medieval Slavic Text and Image in the Cultures of Orthodoxy,” begins Friday, July 19th, with an opening reception and keynote lecture at the Blackwell Inn on the campus of The Ohio State University at 6pm. Beginning at 6:15pm, welcoming remarks will be made by David C. Manderscheid, Executive Dean and Vice-Provost of the College of Arts and Sciences, Lisa R. Carter, Associate Director for Special Collections and Area Studies of the OSU Libraries, and Predrag Matejic, Curator of the Hilandar Research Library (HRL) and Director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (RCMSS).

Image of Andrei, Fool for Christ, from an original manuscript in the collection of the Hilandar Research Library

Andrei, Fool-for-Christ SPEC.OSU.HRL.SMS.2

Mirjana Živojinović, the President of the Hilandar Committee and a distinguished member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, will present the keynote address, “My Hilandar,” about her life’s work on the history and documents of the Serbian Orthodox Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos.

20 papers will be presented at the 6th International Hilandar Conference in six panels on Saturday, July 20th (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) and July 21 (9:00 am to 12:00 pm) in Thompson Library, Room 165. The panel topics include “Hilandar Monastery,” “Image – Visual Theology,” “Focal Points of Culture,” “Medieval Textual Tradition,” “Liturgical Tradition,” and “Reinterpreting the Textual Tradition.” The presentations will be 20 minutes in length with time for questions at the end of each session.

View the preliminary program.

In conjunction with this summer’s major events sponsored by the RCMSS and the HRL, i.e., the Medieval Slavic Summer Institute and the 6th International Hilandar Conference, the exhibit in the Thompson Library Gallery is “Travelers to and from Mount Athos: The Translation of Culture, Knowledge, and Spirituality.” Summer hours of the Gallery in Thompson Library, 1st floor, are Mondays-Fridays, 10am to 4pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4pm.


7th Biennial Medieval Slavic Summer Institute (MSSI)


Photo of MSSI participants and HRL/RCMSS staff in the Special Collections Reading Room

MSSI 2013 Orientation

The Seventh Biennial Medieval Slavic Summer Institute (MSSI) opened on Monday, June 24, 2013, with 11 of the 12 participants in attendance. The orientation was held in the Conference Room (105C) of the Jack and Jan Creighton Special Collections Reading Room of the Thompson  Library.

Predrag Matejic, Director of the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (RCMSS), welcomed the participants and led the introductions; Rebecca Jewett, Assistant Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and the Reading Room Manager, reviewed the procedures for conducting research, paging books, etc. Helene Senecal, RCMSS Coordinator, addressed the logistics of the housing and university benefits for the non-OSU students; Lyubomira Parpulova Gribble, HRL Assistant Curator, shared her research interests with the group; RCMSS GA Lauren Ressue introduced the participants to the OSU learning management system “Carmen”; and Daniel E. Collins of the OSU Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures said a few words about the “Readings in Church Slavonic” course that he teaches during the MSSI.

Photo of the MSSI participants and HRL/RCMSS staff at a table in the faculty club

MSSI 2013 Luncheon at the OSU Faculty Club

The participants viewed the online video, Preserving and Accessing the Past: The History of the Hilandar Research Library and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, and then toured Thompson Library, where they wound up at a gallery talk about the current exhibit, Travelers to and from Mount Athos: The Translation of Culture, Knowledge, and Spirituality.

Luncheon was held at the OSU Faculty Club, followed by the first session of the MSSI from 2pm to 4pm, where Daniel Collins led the class through a reading of a prayer of St. John Chrysostom in manuscript BAN.13.7.5.


HRL/RCMSS Webpage on OSUL Website


Check out the HRL/RCMSS webpage on the University Libraries’ website for updates on MSSI 2013 and the Sixth International Hilandar Conference (July 19-21, 2013). The website also lists contact information for the faculty and staff of the HRL/RCMSS, publications of the RCMSS, manuscript collection descriptions, how to request copies of materials in the HRL, and provides information on how to donate to the Hilandar Research Library.



Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage 32 (December 2012)


The most recent issue of Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage, the biannual newsletter of the Hilandar Research Library (HRL) and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (RCMSS), is now available. Individuals and institutions on the mailing list in the Western Hemisphere have reported receipt of CMH 32 in the mail this week. Colleagues further abroad should be receiving the newsletter in the next couple of weeks.

Note: If you would like to receive a copy of CMH, please send your mailing address to If you have missed receiving issues of the HRL/RCMSS newsletter, please send us your current address.

Image of the front page of issue 32 of the newsletter Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage

CMH vol. 32 (Dec. 2012)

Volume 32 (December 2012) includes an account by the HRL curator, Predrag Matejic, of his fall trip to Bulgaria and Serbia, as well as a summary of the research visit of Tatiana G. Popova (Severodvinsk, Russia), who spent several months at OSU this summer examining HRL resources on The Ladder of Divine Ascent of John Sinaites. Also featured is an article on the Scete Paterikon by William R. Veder.

Additional information about the 6th International Hilandar Conference (July 19-21, 2013) is also included in this issue of CMH, namely, that Mirjana Živojinović will present the keynote address at the conference.

The four-page article “MSSI Alumni Update: Where Are They Now?” provides a fitting segue to the forthcoming Medieval Slavic Summer Institute (MSSI), which is scheduled for summer 2013 (June 24-July 19). Selected participants from MSSI 1999 (Bojan Belić, Živojin Jakovljević, Georgi Parpulov, Stella Rock, and Vessela Valiavitcharska), MSSI 2001 (Natasha Ermolaev, Ariann Stern-Gottschalk, and Monica White), MSSI 2003 (Wojciech Beltkiewicz and Inés García de la Puente), and MSSI 2006 (Alexander Angelov and Yulia Mikhailova) describe what they are currently doing. NB: Lauren Ressue, MSSI 2008, is featured on page 8 of CMH 32 as this year’s RCMSS Graduate Associate. We welcome updates from any other past participants of the MSSI for future issues of CMH !

The contributors to the endowment funds that benefit the HRL/RCMSS are listed, as are the generous donors of books and materials (CMH 32: 11). And the perennial features, “Director’s Desk” and “News Notes,” describe the highlights of activities and events as well as visitors to the HRL/RCMSS since June 2012.

Abstracts to present at the Sixth International Hilandar Conference must be submitted by February 1, 2013.

Application deadline for the next MSSI is February 22, 2013.


Between Sessions at ASEEES 2012: the People


At this year’s Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) conference in New Orleans there were many people to talk to outside of the panel presentations and organizational meetings.

Image of the front cover of Dinissa Duvanova's bookFormer Graduate Research Associate of the RCMSS/HRL Dinissa Duvanova (Department of Political Science, State University of New York at Buffalo) has a book, Building Business in Post-Communist Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia: Collective Goods, Selective Incentives, and Predatory States, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (December 2012).

A number of alumni from the RCMSS/HRL Medieval Slavic Summer Institute (MSSI) were in attendance: Natasha Ermolaev (MSSI 2001) manages the digital Blue Mountain Project at Princeton University; Ariann Stern-Gottschalk (MSSI 2001) is in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Indiana UniversityInés García de la Puente (MSSI 2003) teaches at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland); Yulia Mikhailova (MSSI 2006) is a doctoral candidate in History at the University of New Mexico; Quinn Carey Dombrowski (MSSI 2006) will soon be working at the University of California, Berkeley; and Andrew Dombrowski (MSSI 2006) is finishing up his dissertation in the Slavic Department of the University of Chicago.

Image of the front cover of the book The Russian's WorldAlumni of the OSU Slavic Department on hand at ASEEES included Todd Armstrong (Chair, Russian Department) and Raquel Greene (Associate Professor of Russian), who both teach Russian literature at Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa);  Eloise Boyle, co-author with Genevra Gerhart of The Russian’s World: Life and Language (Slavica Publishers, 4th ed., 2012); Valentina Izmirlieva, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University (New York); David Patton, President of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), and Vice President of the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS); and Frederick H. White, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Utah Valley University (Orem, Utah).

OSU History Department alumni present at the conference included Aaron B. Retish (Associate Professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan) and Matthew P. Romaniello (Associate Professor, University of Hawai’i at Manoa).


Medieval Slavic Summer Institute 2013


The Hilandar Research Library (HRL), the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies (RCMSS), and the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures (DSEELC) at The Ohio State University will host a four-week intensive Summer Institute for qualified graduate students in Columbus, Ohio, June 24 July 19, 2013. The Medieval Slavic Summer Institute (MSSI) will offer: Practical Slavic Palaeography (Slavic 814) and Readings in Church Slavonic (Slavic 812). All lectures will be in English.

Photo of MSSI 2011 class with manuscripts and gloves

MSSI 2011

Manuscript material on microform from the HRL’s extensive holdings forms a large part of the lectures and exercises. There is also a program of lectures on related topics, and other activities. Time permitting, participants may have the opportunity to work with original manuscripts and to conduct their own individualized research on manuscript collections/materials found in the HRL.

The Sixth Annual Hilandar Conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio, immediately following the end of the MSSI 2013.

Photo of 4 MSSI participants working at a table in the Special Collections Reading Room

MSSI 2011

Applicants must be graduate students with a BA degree and with a reading knowledge of Cyrillic and of at least one Slavic language. Preference will be given to applicants with reading knowledge of Old Church Slavonic or some other pre-modern Slavic language.

Photo of a student at the MSSI 2011 looking at a manuscript

MSSI 2011

The HRL, the largest repository of medieval Slavic Cyrillic texts on microform in the world, includes the holdings from over 100 monastic, private, museum, and library collections of twenty-three countries. There are over 5,000 Cyrillic manuscripts on microform in the HRL, as well as over 700 Cyrillic early pre-1800 printed books on microform. The holdings range from the eleventh to twentieth centuries, with a particularly strong collection of manuscripts from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. About half of the manuscripts are East Slavic, with much of the remainder South Slavic in provenience.

For further information about the HRL and RCMSS, see their websites and See issues of Cyrillic Manuscript Heritage, for accounts of MSSI 1999 (CMH 6), MSSI 2001 (CMH 10), MSSI 2003 (CMH 14), MSSI 2006 (CMH 20), MSSI 2008 (CMH 24), and MSSI 2011 (CMH 30). The DSEELC website address is

For further information on eligibility, credit, housing, financial aid, and to obtain an application to the MSSI, please contact the HRL and RCMSS either by email or by regular post: The Hilandar Research Library and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, The Ohio State University, 119 Thompson Library, 1858 Neil Avenue Mall, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1286.

Image source: Photos by Daria Safronova, CMH 30 (2011): 10.