Collection type: specific.
Volume: about 1000 copies.
Chronological framework: late 18th – early 21st century.
Language of documents: Belarusian, Russian, Polish, French, German.
Additional information about the collection: the collection of sheets of the Bibliology Research Department is diverse in content and chronological coverage.
Leaflets as a mass phenomenon appeared soon after the invention of book-printing as the population grew in literacy. Initially government orders used to be issued in this form. The propaganda leaflets had been distributed as early as during the German Peasants’ war in 1524–1526.
In the 18th – 20th centuries, the leaflet became one of the permanent forms of mass revolutionary propaganda and was also widely used in the election campaign. In wartime, especially during the First and Second World Wars, leaflets were issued by governments and military commands. In Russia, in the form of leaflets (the terms “flying publications” and “sheets” were also used) the government issued manifestos, decrees and appeals to the population in the 18th – 19th centuries (for example, during the Patriotic war of 1812). In times of low literacy, leaflets were sometimes issued without text (for example, in the form of cartoons). For example, these are anti-French leaflets published in Russia that were distributed during the Napoleonic wars.
In Belarus, handwritten leaflets have been known since the 17th century. In the form of sheets, appeals were made to Orthodox residents of Mogilev, Orsha and Vitebsk; they were directed against the Uniate Archbishop I. Kuntsevich. Leaflets were widely used by participants of the revolutionary social-democratic movement of the late 19th – early 20th centuries. In 1904 social-democrats of Belarus published about 150 thousand leaflets. During the revolution of 1905–1907 more than 350 thousand leaflets were published. In times of the February and October revolutions of 1917, as well as the German and Polish occupation in 1918–1920, more than 3 million copies were published in Belarus. During the great Patriotic war, in the territory of Belarus leaflets were published and distributed by partisans, underground workers, party and state structures, etc. About 11 thousand titles of leaflets with a circulation of more than 28,5 billion copies are known. In Belarus, the German occupation authorities and representatives of the collaboration published anti-Soviet leaflets with a total circulation of more than 3 million copies. In addition to Soviet and German publications, during the great Patriotic war, in the territory of Belarus the Polish underground (the Regional Army) used to publish anti-Soviet and anti-fascist leaflets. Nowadays leaflets remain an important mass medium. They are widely used by all political parties and movements in Belarus during elections, referendums, and other political events.
The publications of this collection refer to the end of the 18th – beginning of the 21st centuries. One of the oldest sheets identified at the moment is a leaflet ad (about the bread trade) from the Lithuanian Governor-General Prince Repnin dated back to March 30 / April 10, 1795, published in Grodno. The text of the leaflet is printed both in Russian and Polish.
Among the leaflets of the First Russian Revolution, as well as the February and October revolutions in Russia, there are numerous decrees, manifestos of Nicholas II, orders, draft programs, appeals, announcements of various political parties and unions: The establishment of the State Duma, the Highest Manifesto: [on the dissolution of the State Duma], the Order for the army and Navy. March 9, 1917, the Voice of the Belarusian people (1918), etc.
The most numerous are leaflets from the period of the great Patriotic War. The NIOC Foundation has about 300 names of leaflets from the period 1941–1945.
Possessory marks: some leaflets have possessory marks, stamps.
Entry time: 1945 – present.
Source: Листовка // Большая советская энциклопедия : [в 30 т.]. – [Т.] 14 : Куна – Ломами. – Москва. – 1973. – С. 501.
Ерамаловіч, В. Лістоўка / В. Ермаловіч // Энцыклапедыя гісторыі Беларусі : у 6 т. – Т. 4 : Кадэты – Ляшчэня. – Мінск, 1997. – С. 374–375.
Registration number: K-000000010