Georgia’s first Museum of Books to open in Tbilisi

The Museum of Books will open in the National Library of Parliament of Georgia. Screenshot from video by the National Library., 04 Apr 2016 - 16:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

The country’s first Museum of Books is set to open in capital Tbilisi and hose some of the rarest and earliest printed Georgian books.

Editions including the first Georgian book printed in Rome, Italy in the 17th Century and the 18th Century Book of Psalms published by Georgia's first printing house will be open for public viewing at the new museum.

Expected to open in late summer at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, the Museum of Books will feature about 10,000 books from the library's archive of rare editions.

Plans to open the new museum were announced yesterday, April 3. Those behind the project said the National Library would become the first Museum of Books in Georgia, and the largest in the Caucasus region.

A three-dimensional rendering of the Museum of Books space. Screenshot from video by the National Library.

The new museum is expected to host permanent exhibitions and thematic displays. Project insiders said the museum would feature thousands of old and rare publications. In addition to this, the museum will also present the largest and smallest examples of printing from their archives.

Guests will be able to see hard copies of the ancient texts or explore digital versions of the writings on a touchscreen display.

The first book printed in Georgian was the 1629 Georgian-Italian Dictionary, published in Italy's capital.

The earliest book printed by a Georgian printing house was the 1709 edition of the Book of Psalms. The book is known in Georgian as 'Davitni' after the 10th Century BC King David of the United Kingdom of Israel to whom the psalms have been credited.

The Book of Psalms was printed at the first printing house established in Tbilisi by Georgia's King Vakhtang VI.

The establishment of the Museum of Books was supported by the David Bezhuashvili Education Foundation, which recently co-organised events supporting student researchers in publicising their works.

The museum is expected to open in several months.