Throughout history, Serbs have inhabited wide spaces in the Balkans and Central Europe and their manuscripts have shared the destiny of the nation. Unfortunately, the preserved corpus represents only a small portion of the manuscript heritage which was rich both in terms of content and artistic achievements. Many Serbian manuscripts are now far beyond the borders of the Serbian state or the territories where Serbian ethnic groups live. They can be found in the manuscript collections throughout and the rest of the world, which were their final destination due to various circumstances. Consequently, a closer study of these manuscripts is not only a scientific task, but also, and even more importantly, a national task and duty. However, with the exception of sporadic, individual endeavours, a systematic cataloguing of Serbian manuscript legacy in foreign collections has never been undertaken. Therefore, these publications should be viewed as an attempt to perceive the whole – from what is left and what has been lost forever – and, at least to some extent, to put together the pieces of the fragmented manuscripts that are often scattered in several collections across the world.
February 5, 2009
On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church and His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral received today at the Patriarchate Court members of the Commission for research and collecting Serbian manuscripts in foreign libraries, monasteries, collections. The members of the Commissions are Dr Zoran Nedeljkovic, the President of the Commission, Dr Branislav Todic, Dr Zoran Rankovic, Dr Zoran Rakic, Dr Zorana Spadijer and Dr Vladan Trijic.