Charitable Initiative of the Clergy of Volyn Province in Establishing and Developing of Religious Antiquariums Activities
The paper describes the prominent role of the church Orthodox brotherhoods of Volyn in the late 19th – early 20th century in establishing and developing activities of religious orientation museums, the so-called antiquariums. It is noted that the difference between antiquariums and museums in the broad sense of the word as scientific, cultural and educational institutions was primarily in the narrow specificity of the selection and presentation of items, depending on their confessional orientation. Though those institutions were under the ideological pressure of the Russian autocracy and the Russian Orthodox Church, they raised the issues of finding, collecting and preserving the antiquities of the region to the state level, which was of great importance not only for the organizing of museum work but also for the development of local lore science in general.
It is emphasized that thanks to the confessional initiative, the first items of the majority of Volyn antiquariums appeared and such a charitable tradition of donating separate items or even the whole collections took place during the whole period of the museum institutions’ activity.
Attention is focused not only on the participation of priests in collecting items and forming funds but also in the formation of antiquariums exposition. It is stated that during the study period the term exposition meant purely external display of relics of the past without any systematization of them. It comprised relics of the past (both displayed and stored) and library collections.
It is noted that many of the items have been preserved to this day thanks to the functioning of the mentioned museum institutions and the charitable initiative of local priests – devotees of the museum matters, who often initiated the founding of those museums and were engaged in charitable activity developing their functioning.
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