July 15, 2011

Pskov Province

This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts Pskov Province, located in the northwestern part of the empire. Pskov, situated on the Velikaia River, was the administrative center of the province and is one of the oldest Russian cities. In the mid-14th century Pskov was an independent city-state and a thriving commercial center that traded with the Hanseatic League. The card indicates that the distance from Pskov to St. Petersburg was 331 versts, and from Pskov to Moscow, 740½ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Novgorod Province

This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts Novgorod Province, located in the western part of the empire. Novgorod, situated on the Volkhov River, north of Lake Il’men’, was the administrative center of the province. Although Novgorod means "new city" in Russian, it is one of the oldest Russian cities, and was founded in the ninth century. The card indicates that the distance from Novgorod to St. Petersburg was 184½ versts, and from Novgorod to Moscow, 535¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Saint Petersburg Province

This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts St. Petersburg Province, located in the northwestern part of the empire. The province borders lakes Ladoga and Onega to the northeast, Lake Chudskoe and the Gulf of Finland to the west, and the Grand Duchy of Finland to the north (part of present-day Finland). St. Petersburg, the administrative center of the province, was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The card indicates that the distance from St. Petersburg to Moscow was 719¾ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Olonetsk Province

This early-19th century playing card is from a set of 60 such cards, each devoted to a different province or territory of the Russian Empire, which at the time included the Grand Duchy of Finland, Congress Poland, and Russian America. One side of each card shows the local costume and the provincial coat of arms; the other side contains a map. This card depicts Olonetsk Province, located in the northwestern part of the empire. The province borders Finland across Lake Ladoga in the west, and also contains many other lakes. Petrozavodsk, situated on the western shore of Lake Onega, was the administrative center of the province. The name of the city, meaning “Peter's factory” in Russian, derives from the iron foundry built for manufacturing cannons and anchors for the Baltic Fleet during the rule of Peter the Great. The card indicates that the distance from Petrozavodsk to St. Petersburg was 359 versts, and from Petrozavodsk to Moscow, 1,135¼ versts. A verst is a Russian measurement of distance, no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers.

Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine

Donguibogam (Principles and practice of Eastern medicine) is an encyclopedia of medical knowledge and treatment techniques compiled and edited by Heo Jun, with the collective support of other medical experts in Korea. Heo Jun, a court physician, received a royal command to write a medical book to assist people suffering from famine brought about by war and drought during the rule of King Seonjo (1552–1608, reigned, 1567–1608). Heo Jun himself picked the proper medicinal herbs, which were native to the Korean Peninsula. He conducted human clinical trials to test the efficacy of the medicines, and he wrote the names of the herbs in Korean so that the common people could learn them. For ease of use, the contents of the encyclopedia were divided into five categories: Naegyeong (Internals), Oehyeong (Externals), Japbyeong (Various diseases), Tangaek (Herbal juices), and Chimgu (Acupuncture). Donguibogam was disseminated as far as Japan and China and informed the evolution of medicine in East Asia and beyond. In terms of health care systems, it promoted preventive medicine and public health care by the state, which were ideas virtually unknown until the 19th century. Donguibogam was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2009.

Encyclopedia of Women's Life

Gyuhapchongseo (Encyclopedia of women’s life) is an indispensable manual filled with advice for the female homemaker, written by Lady Bingheogak Yi in 1809, the ninth year of the rule of King Sunjo (reigned 1800–34) during the Joseon Dynasty. It covers five topics: Jusaui—making soy sauce and soybean paste, domestic alcoholic beverages, bap (cooked rice), rice cakes, and side dishes served alongside bap; Bongimchik—making clothes, dyeing, weaving by hand, embroidery, silkworm breeding, soldering cooking pots and kettles, and how to make fire; Sangarak—how to plow a field and how to raise livestock (horses, cows, and chickens); Cheongnanggyeol—prenatal training, methods of childrearing, methods of first aid, medicines to be avoided, and ways of cleaning dwelling places; and Sulsuryak—folkloric ways of driving away evil spirits and devils through talismans and incantation. The book was a must for aristocratic ladies to own.