Library of the Metropolitan Flavian

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Born Nikolai Gorodetsky into an aristocratic family in Orel, Russia in 1840, the future Metropolitan (the 3rd highest class of rank in the Russian Orthodox Church) dropped out of law school at Moscow University in order to become a monk in the Church. He was accepted first to the St. Nicholas-Speshinsky Monastery and then to the St. Simion Stavropighial Monastery, where he mostly did manual labor until becoming the secretary of the Archimandrite Gury, who was in charge of the Russian ambassadorial Church in Rome. After Rome, he quickly rose in the ranks of the church and served in Kazan, Simferopol, and Bakhchysarai before being sent as a missionary to Beijing, China. Over the course of his ten years in China, he learned Chinese and translated prayer-books as well as other religious texts into Chinese. He returned to Russia in 1884 and was a bishop and later archbishop of Warsaw, among many other places throughout the Russian Empire. In 1903 became the Metropolitan of Kiev. He died of asthma in 1915.

This book stamp is from a book looted by the Nazis and sorted by Colonel Seymour Pomrenze, one of “the Monuments Men,” at the Offenbach Archival Depot.

There are two scrapbooks of archival markings from the books sorted at the Offenbach Depot in the Seymour Pomrenze Collection held by the American Jewish Historical Society (Call number P-933) There is a finding aid for the collection here The digitized scrapbooks are available here and here.

For more information on this project check the Center’s blog: 16thstreet.tumblr.com/tagged/Offenbach-Depot

Dr. Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center is working on a similar project for the German book stamps based on NARA microfilm of the volumes the American Jewish Historical Society currently holds. See viewshare.org/views/mfraas/offenbach-bookplates/


The Center for Jewish History would like to acknowledge the following: The American Jewish Historical Society, who graciously allowed the use of their archival materials and digital content; Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center, for his data and technical assistance in this project; David Rosenberg, Senior Manager for Communications, and Melanie Meyers, Senior Reference Services Librarian for Special Collections, for managing and creating the digital map; as well as Reference Services Librarian Zachary Loeb and Reference Services Assistant Ilya Slavutskiy for their work on translating and mapping.

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Owner: Center for Jewish History, NYC
Source: Flickr Commons
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