History of the museum

The Museum is housed in a former building of the Kyiv Cave Monastery Press that was built in the early XVII century.

It was the first printing house in the entirety of Eastern Ukraine and worked constantly for over 300 years.

A State Museum established in Kyiv in 1972 (UNESCO’s International Year of the Book), as the State Museum of the Book and Book Printing, and opened to the public in 1975.

A precursor to the museum, there was another museum called Museum of Ukrainian Writing and Printing, which was established in 1924, but shut down by the Stalinist authorities in 1934.

The Museum collection contains 58 000 exhibits – manuscripts, old printed books XVI-XVIII, rare books XIX c., engravings, printing presses, first editions of 19th- and 20th-century Ukrainian books and other publications, bookplates, graphic works and paintings.

More than 3000 exhibits in five halls chronicle the development of book writing, printing and book publishing in Ukraine.

We present our unique first Old-printed books – Apostol (Lviv, 1574), Ostrog Bible (Ostrog, 1581), Jus municipale (Magdeburg Law, Lviv, 1581), Kyiv Pechersk Pateryk (Kyiv, 1661) and etc. Rare books printed by the Kyiv Cave Monastery Press, Ostrog Press, Lviv Dormition Brotherhood Press, Chernihiv Press, Striatyn Press, and other presses are on display.

History of the museum