The Gospel According to Mark


This version of the Gospel according to Saint Mark is written in a Cyrillicized version of a native Alaskan language. Russian Orthodox missionaries in Alaska often translated religious texts into local languages, using Cyrillic transliterations of those languages. On the last page is a note stating that the text was returned to the library at Unalaska by Jay Ellis Ransom. Ransom was a prolific journalist and anthropologist who worked in Alaska during the mid-20th century. The Russian Orthodox Church established its first mission in North America at Kodiak Island in southeastern Alaska in 1794. Missions were established in the Aleutian Islands as well as on the mainland. The most important mission site was Novoarkhangelsk (present-day Sitka). The papers kept by the missionaries include letters to their superiors, diaries, and dictionaries of local languages written in Cyrillic script.

Last updated: November 29, 2017