Pechatnyi Dvor

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pechatnyi Dvor


(State Printing Office), the first Russian state printing house, founded in Moscow circa 1563 with the support of Ivan IV and Metropolitan Makarii.

The Pechatnyi Dvor was located in Kitai-Gorod, in the vicinity of what is now the 25th of October Street. In 1564, Ivan Fedorov and Petr Mstislavets printed the Apostol (the Acts of the Apostles and epistles) at the Pechatnyi Dvor, and in 1565 a Breviary. After Fedorov and Mstislavets left Moscow, their work was continued by Andronik Timofeev Nevezha and Niki-for Tarasiev, who published a Psalter in 1568. From 1568 to 1587 books were printed in the Aleksandrov settlement; the Pechatnyi Dvor resumed printing in 1587. After the Moscow fire of 1611, a new printing house, built on the site of the original one, began functioning in 1614.

The Pechatnyi Dvor was rebuilt in 1645 and 1679. By the late 17th century more than 500 books, not including official documents, had been published by the printing office, with an average printing of about 1,200 copies. They included only a small number of secular works, among them V. F. Burtsov-Protopopov’s Primer (1634), the translated The Exercise and Craft of Infantry Drilling by Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen (1647), Meletii Smo-tritskii’s Grammar (1648), and the Code (1649).

The first privately commissioned work, the Geometry, was published there in 1708. In 1712 some of the Pechatnyi Dvor’s printing presses were transferred to St. Petersburg. The Synod press was housed in the Pechatnyi Dvor’s buildings from 1721 to 1917.


U istokov russkogo knigopechataniia. Moscow, 1959.
Nemirovskii, E. L. Vozniknovenie knigopechataniia v Moskve. Moscow, 1964.


Pechatnyi Dvor


(Printing House; full name, A. M. Gorky Pechatnyi Dvor), a publishing establishment in Leningrad specializing in printing mass editions of fiction and political, educational, and technical literature.

The Pechatnyi Dvor was founded in 1827 in St. Petersburg as the State Printing House, whose function was to print government decrees, communications, reports, and official publications. The workers there took part in the revolutionary movement— they went out on strike in January and September 1905, and in February 1917 they took over the printing house. After the victory of the October Revolution of 1917, the house published popular books. In 1919 it fulfilled the honorable assignment of printing in many European languages materials for the delegates to the First Congress of the Comintern. Joining in the campaign to eliminate illiteracy, the house issued primers and readers in printings of more than 3 million copies.

In 1922 the house was given the name Pechatnyi Dvor, and in 1936 it was named after A. M. Gorky. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 the majority of the staff was evacuated to Perm’. The Pechatnyi Dvor resumed activity in 1944, and by 1947 its prewar production had been exceeded by 45 million printer’s sheets. In the process of reestablishment, the equipment of the printing shop and bindery was almost completely replaced. The Pechatnyi Dvor uses only letterpress. In 1968 the overall mechanization of basic production was completed.

Production output in 1973 amounted to 1.277 billion printer’s sheets, 3.3 times more than in 1940. During the postwar period, multivolume publications issued in mass editions include the second edition of the Works of Marx and Engels, Lenin’s Collected Works (4th ed.) and Complete Collected Works (5th ed.), and the Collected Works of A. M. Gorky. The Pechatnyi Dvor has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1966).


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