Kniga Bolshomu Chertezhu

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kniga Bol’shomu Chertezhu


(The Book to the Great Map), a description of the largest map of 17th-century Russia and a compilation of geographic and ethnographic information. It was used as an aid in dispatching military servitors and government officials. In the late 17th century and during the 18th century the book was used in schools and for scientific work.

The Kniga bol’shomu chertezhu, compiled in 1627 in the Razriadnyi Prikaz (War Ministry), has an introduction and a main text consisting of a detailed description of a lost map of the Russian state, including all the map’s inscriptions and illustrative material. Inasmuch as the map of 1627, comprising the Old Map and the Great Map of the Fields has not been preserved, the Kniga bol’shomu chertezhu is an extremely valuable historical source. It has survived in numerous copies made in the 17th through 19th centuries. There are eight principal editions. It was first published in 1775 by N. I. Novikov under the title An Old Russian Hydrography, Containing a Description of the Muscovite State, Its Rivers, Streams, Lakes, Springs, and Wells, With Their Natural Landmarks and the Distances Between Them.


“Kniga Bol’shomu chertezhu. “Prepared for publication and edited by K. N. Serbina. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Serbina, K. N. ”’Kniga Bol’shomu chertezhu’ i ee redaktsii.” In the collection Istoricheskie zapiski, vol. 14. Moscow, 1945.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.