Currently, this copy is on tour to Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Italy - countries where Skaryna lived - before returning in September 2017 to Minsk for a grand exhibition, ‘Francis Skaryna and his epoch’.The first 17 volumes of the facsimile edition of Skaryna's books (Minsk, 2013- ) donated to the British Library by the National Library of Belarus. ZF.9.a.11377o complete a multi-volume facsimile reproduction of all Skaryna’s books (picture above).The population of Belarus suffered terribly during the Second World War, but the biggest losses occurred among the country’s Jewish communities.
Skaryna was born in the oldest Belarusian city, Polatsk.
He was educated in universities in Kraków and Padua, and started his publishing endeavours in Prague – then one of the main centres of printing – and continued in Vilnius, which remained the most important centre of Belarusian culture and history from medieval times until the 1920s.
A significant number of Skaryna’s publications are found in Ukraine.
Skaryna’s books were well known in Ukraine and influenced Ukrainian Biblical translation and printing traditions.
In the Belarusian cultural pantheon, Francysk Skaryna has a very special place.