On May 24, at the National Library of the Chuvash Republic has opened the documentary and art exhibition “The Long Light of Enlightenment”, dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding figure in the enlightenment of the peoples of the Volga region, the author of the new Chuvash writing system and didactics of bilingualism in primary schools in Russia, the Orthodox missionary Ivan Yakovlevich Yakovlev.

Photo report

Video report in the Chuvash language

Video report in Russian

It is symbolic that the grand opening of the exposition took place on the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture. Ivan Yakovlev was compared with great enlighteners and humanists by his eldest son, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Professor A.I. Yakovlev: “I. Y. Yakovlev was a gift of desiny to the Chuvash people in a dark, dead time. During one human century, he created the literary Chuvash language and gave complete examples of the statement of the most difficult types of literature in it, so he did what Kirill and Methodius did for the Slavic peoples, Luther did for the German, Wycliffe did for the English, and Sasi did for the French.”

The Chuvash enlightener’s whole life’s work was selfless service to his own people. His “Testament to the Chuvash people” is a rich source of spiritual culture, a code of conduct and the essence of the people’s life. In «Testament», he formulated ideas that are relevant today: the approachment and unification of the Chuvash with the Russian people to ensure the unity and integrity of the country, the formation of interethnic harmony, friendship of peoples, fostering love for their native land and Fatherland.

The concept of the new exhibition is built around the “Testament to the Chuvash people”, through the disclosure of its content, the pedagogical, educational and missionary activities of Ivan Yakovlev are shown. Unique documents will be presented to the broad public, including the manuscripts of the “Testament” in Chuvash and Russian from the fund of the Russian State Library. The authentic documents from the fund of the National Library of the Chuvash Republic are of great value: the first book of religious content translated by I. Y. Yakovlev  into Chuvash, «Chan ten keneki», («The Initial teaching of the Orthodox Christian Faith»); the first complete edition of the «New Testament» in the Chuvash language in 1911; numerous versions of Chuvash alphabets prepared and published by I.Y. Yakovlev from 1872 to 1919.

Scientific works of scientists, archival documents, photo and video materials related to the life and work of I.Y. Yakovlev will expand knowledge about the historical figure and will make it possible to comprehend the greatness, talent and uniqueness of the patriarch.

The National Library invites the residents and guests of Cheboksary to visit the documentary and art exhibition “The Long Light of Enlightenment” until January 31, 2024.