According to this recent Kyiv Post article, the Princess Ann of Kyvian Rus (Anna Yaroslava) Bible still exists somewhere in France. My understanding was that it had been destroyed during the French Revolution. Does anyone know where the bible is located in France and why it is not made available for viewing in a museum or church ?


KYIV POST - Ukraine’s historic literary jewels to be digitized
11 March, 20:13
A group of enthusiasts is trying to create an on-line library of digitized historical Ukrainian artifacts kept abroad.

When Princess Ann of Kyivan Rus married a French king in 1051, one of the things she allegedly took to her new home was a Cyrillic copy of the Gospels. The book, as legend says, was used in French coronation ceremonies until 1824, and remains in France but has not been publicly accessible. That will soon change if plans pan out to digitize some of Ukraine’s literary and historic masterpieces that reside abroad.

The Committee for Digitalization of Ukrainian Culture of the British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (BUCC) has started high-resolution scanning of such masterpieces, making them available to all on Internet. The recently registered but not yet fully-operational site is

“The real problem is that Ukraine’s heritage is scattered around the world and we need to digitalize things so that Ukrainians see their heritage,” said Bate Toms, a Kyiv-based American lawyer who serves as co-chairman of the committee.

Toms got interested in Ukrainian culture in the late 1960s, while studying at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, France. Over the years, he has been collecting historical Ukrainian documents.

Toms said he started the archiving project in cooperation with the Harvard University library that contains over 95,000 Ukrainian books, manuscripts, archival collections, maps, musical scores and other cultural materials spread through its 52 campus libraries and archives. He said the project plans to digitize 11,000 volumes from the Harvard library. All of them are pre-1927 materials, and free of copyright.

The only hang up, he says, is the estimated $4 million cost, money the committee is currently seeking from charities and philanthropists.

“The biggest problem is to get money,” Toms said adding that the committee is currently negotiating with several of Ukraine’s charity foundations and multinational companies that have expressed interest.

Among Harvard’s materials to be digitalized are the earliest of Ukraine’s known printed works, including the only surviving copy of Ivan Fyodorov’s Bukvar and Apostol, the first books ever printed via press technology in Ukraine, in around 1574. Fyodorov is often credited with inventing Cyrillic book printing in Russia and Ukraine.

Waiting to be digitalized are Fyodorov’s Ostrog Bible, 1581; the edicts of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, famous 17-18th Century Ukrainian ruler; manuscripts of 18th century philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda; and works by Taras Shevchenko. Also planned for scanning is the Constitution of the Ukrainian National Republic that briefly existed in 1918. It is currently kept in Sweden.

Harvard’s collections also include a wide range of historical materials related to the 1917 Soviet revolution, post-WWI period, refugee and émigré life following World War II, and Soviet records.

Toms said it would take several years to put them all out on the Internet. The project’s authors also hope to be able to digitalize some privately-owned historical documents.

The electronic archiving project is being greeted with enthusiasm by historians.

“Free access to sources and literature is important. It facilitates research, saves costs for it and will be useful for students interested in history,” said Kostyantyn Hlomozda, a history professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.