V.S. Kusov

Moscow State University, Russia


The results of the last 30 years of search, finds and researches of the most ancient body of domestic cartography monuments namely Russian geographical drawings of XVI-XVII centuries are stated. In 1976 - in the report of the author at ICA VIII Conference the data on finds of several unique cartographical documents (the first domestic printed map in the Russian language (1661) and the first subject drawings) have been presented. In 1993 it was possible for the author to publish the first catalogue directory of Russian geographical drawings contained the descriptions of 1013 monuments. In the present report the total monograph which just has issued (Moscow, 2007). It is the joint catalogue of Russian geographical drawings with descriptions of 1276 found out and studied cartographical products of XVI-XVII centuries which have been discovered studied.

Within many decades stored in various archives and libraries of the several countries the handwritten originals of our most ancient cartographical monuments were rather remote to explorers. So, an outstanding historian of cartography L.S. Bagrov mentions only 14 Russian geographical drawings in his fundamental monograph History of Russian Cartography (the two-volume book, published in 1975 in Canada; in 2005 was published in Moscow in Russian translation with exception of the scientifically-help instrument and with huge number of annoying errors).

Not enough popularity of the most ancient monuments of domestic cartography is brightly illustrated by the following fact: in the high school many times published textbooks on cartography for the future teachers of geography the opinion on Russian drawings is stated, as about maps only once existed, but subsequently completely lost. Our activities eliminate these errors.

Just now published joint catalog except for the organized descriptions of drawings contains also volumetric enough scientifically-help method: the index of terms, indexes of names, literatures, stowage, reproductions. The extensive introductory article contains data on history of finds and the executed researches, exact data about number and an occurrence of collections, all-round analysis of the saved heritage.

The observation which have become possible after dating of a significant part of drawings, have indicated presence of peculiar growth and decay periods during drawings occurrence in the Muscovy state of XVII century. It was possible to ascertain also, that this developmental character of cartographic business in the country has appreciable correlative link with development of domestic book publishing and stone construction.

At the research of the saved collection of 7 drawings with units of linear scale - "measures" in terms of that epoch are revealed. The revealed 7 drawings are also compiled stringently on scale unlike other overwhelming majority of "schematical" cartographic products. This observation speaks not about insufficient mathematical preparation of the authors majority (Old Russian cartographers), but about absence of public need on building of stringently scale documents in XVI-XVII centuries.

On the other hand, topographical entirety of Russian geographical drawings, is practically not inferior to similar parameter of the future epoch topographical maps, and sometimes even surpasses them. So, presence on geographical drawings more than 500 units of topographical nomenclatures (from them 191 with toponims) is ascertained. A number of settlements types among them is most advanced : city, large village, outskirts of town, village, small village, country, paroecia, oselok, ryadki, pochinok, jail settlement, stockaded town, mestechko, etc. It is to underline the fact of inscriptions rather high culture on Russian drawings: strictness of toponims, sometimes their versions-forms, obligatory presence of data in case of their change, at practical absence of spelling errors, that is non-comparable to products of the following XVIII century, when even on printed maps one can meet the inscription like: "gorat" instead of "gorod (city)".

Proposed to attention The Joint Catalogue contains also about 200 illustrations - photo reproductions of Russian geographical drawings one third part of which is presented in colour. Entirety and versatile character of the shown information allows accepting offered research not as simply new catalog, but as some kind of the most ancient stage of illustrated domestic cartography encyclopedia.