Released on May 29, 2005, eighty years after the birthday of the renowned scientist, bibliographer and scholar, Abrar Gibadullovich Karimullin
His works recreated for the first time: the original history of tatar books
Abrar Gibadullovich Karimullin (1925-2000), was a renowned Tatar scientist, bibliographer, doctor of philology (1978), member of the Academy of Sciences for Tatarstan (1992), honored worker in the sciences ТАSSR (1987), and the winner of the state premiere RT with G.Tukaja (1991), and winner of the international premiere with Kul Gali (1995).He participated in the Great Domestic War. He was awarded with one degree and several medals, including two medals for courage.From 1953 to 1964, he was the deputy director for the scientific department of the Scientific Library of Kazan State University. Since 1964, he worked in The Institute of Language, Literature and Art by G. Ibragimov of the Academy of sciences of Tatarstan. The scientific and published works of A. Karimullin include about 700 items. Areas of his scientific research include the history of national books, origins of the Tatar people, Tatar literature and its connections with the literature of the East and Europe, the history of language, ethnography, and toponymy. He is the author of scientific works about the history of Tatarstan, Tatar linguistics, literary criticism, the history of Tatar literature, Tatar stage, personal bibliographies of writers and scientists, and the author of scientific descriptions of eastern manuscripts. Because of his work, the history of the printed word of Tatar was recreated for the first time. New directions in the history of Tatar philology were opened, and the history of the Tatar people were made known.A.G. Karimullin's works are known far outside Tatarstan, Russia, and the CIS. They have received wide popularity in the USA, England, France, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Japan, Canada, Hungary, Poland and other countries. As a well-known scientist, A.G. Karimullin was invited by foreign scientific organizations for participation in international scientific conferences in the USA, Canada, England, and Turkey, at which he presented reports on questions about the history, culture and literature of the Tatar people. Information about his life and his accomplishments as a scientist is included in encyclopedias from the USA and England. In "Who is Who?" he was nominated for:
As an honorary member of various committees, societies, and organizations, A.G. Karimullin accepted active participation in:
The former appropriated to him the honorary title, "Marquis of Turan". A.G. Karimullin's critical works were accepted by the members of the Union of Writers of the USSR. The way of the future scientist was neither easy nor simple. His life was filled with considerable difficulties of which the pages of his rich biography testify. A.G. Karimullin was born on May 29, 1925, in the village Chabja-Churchi, in the territory of Sabinskogo, Tatarstan. His father, Karimullin Gibadulla Karimullovich, peasant and agriculturist, died in 1947 of wounds received at the front. His mother, Ihsanova (Karimullina) Safia Gatovna, a rural teacher, was lost in 1930 during collectivization when Abrar was only 5 years old. His first steps on his way to becoming a future Tatar scholar were made in the elementary school of his native village. He finished his secondary education in 1941 at Sabinskоi High School. A.G. Karimullin dreamed of working in a pedagogical institute and of becoming a teacher of geography. War brought in corrective amendments to his plans. The future scientist worked on a collective farm, and then he was invited to work in the Nirtinska hospital as a bookkeeper. Soon he became the teacher of an elementary school, Loy Orash, in the territory of Sabinsckova. On January 7, 1943, he was called by the Soviet Army. After finishing six months of military school at Zhitomir, has been directed on front in quality a gunner of mortars. He participated in battles on the Kursk, fought for the liberty of Ukraine, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. Then he was led to the Far East with the struggle against the Japanese military. He went through the Valley of Death in China, then Mongolia, then through the mountains of Hingan. He was wounded three times and did not come back to his native village until 1947. After a seven-year break, his thirst for knowledge returned him to Kazan State University. In 1948 he became a student of the Tatar branch of the historical-philological faculty at KSU. A.G. Karimullin studied assiduously. His first session he was granted "excellent" and began to receive an increased grant, and on the fourth rate - the nominal grant. His study was supplemented by work as a loader on the railway, on cargo moorings of the port, cleaning streets, gathering firewood, and in the summer, working cutting timber. In 1953, A.G. Karimullin finished his university with a specialty in philology and was directed to work for the Scientific Library at Kazan State University where he worked until December 15, 1964. First, he was the senior librarian, and then worked in management. The last ten years he worked as a deputy director of the scientific department of the library. His first years working in the Scientific Library were devoted to becoming a librarian/ bibliographer and acquainting himself with the fundamentals of library science. The more he read books concerning Tatar culture, the more he became aware of the mixture of lies and half-truths presented at that time concerning Tatar history, literature, culture and its place in the history of Russian and world culture at large. The belief was popular at that time that Tatar people were completely illiterate and had no printed books except a few editions of religious content. Working in the library, A.G. Karimullin was struck with the riches of old Tatar books. The histories of hundreds of thousands of Tatar books, unknown to the public, were stored in the scientific library of the university.The Tatar collection of books, magazines, and newspapers of the university library were practically inaccessible, even to scientists and teachers. The student could receive periodicals only with a written sanction from the director of the library, after receiving a petition from a teacher. Disclosure of the collection of old Tatar books was also prevented by the absence of catalogues. In 1954, A.G. Karimullin received permission to access the Tatar works on the premise of studying Cyrillics from Tatar books with Arabian font. He himself directed this work. From 1954 to 1960 old Tatar books were available to the reader on the basis of this new description, which opened all the riches of Tatar books to readers and promoted the start of their scientific study. A.G. Karimullin started a scientific branch that created bibliographic indexes about the Tatar language and linguistics. It also covered Tatar literature, history of literature, literary criticism, and folklore. From them a number of indexes have been created in separate books. Among them:
For many students and scholars these indexes became reference books. In addition to that, his bibliographic works about the history of the university and his participation as a composer and editor are popular. Among them is a summary of indexes printed in periodicals, additions since the first years of the existence of KSU, and an index of dissertations kept at the university. He is the author and editor of works from a series called, "A Description of Hand-Written Collections at the Scientific Library at KSU."Due to A.G. Karimullin's diligence, major research and publishing work at the Scientific Library of Kazan University has been initiated. His works have influenced the start of the scientific bibliography of Tatarstan. Work on updating collections at the library of KSU of ancient eastern manuscripts was also initiated. Through A.G. Karimullin's initiative, and with his personal participation, an organization of archaeological expeditions was created. Due to this, thousands of Tatar manuscripts were collected from the Tatar population from different republics and territories for the Scientific Library. The book-exchange with foreign scientific institutes, which was interrupted by war, was renewed also. Due to A.G. Karimullin's initiative, the library has established communication with more than 200 scientific institutions within the countries of Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. Hundreds of thousands of books, magazines, and newspapers have been exchanged. A.G. Karimullin worked for eleven years at the university library as a bibliographer, department head, an organizer of research activity and as an archaeographer. He began with writing scientific articles. Because of his influence, there are hundreds of scientific articles from Tatar philology about the interrelations of Tatar literature with the people of the USSR and the world, literary critiques, reviews, and bibliographic works. (See "Bibliography").A scientist acts as an active propagandist of bibliographic knowledge among students. In these years, he constantly gave lectures and carried out excursions for the library, acquainting them with collections, catalogs, instructions for the use of the library, bases of registration for use of bibliographies within a course, degree, and dissertational works. A.G. Karimullin was engaged in the creation of new bibliographic indexes. He began working with the creation of the bibliography called, "Tatars" which included the description of manuscripts. The scientist was accused in 1963 that his "Bibliography of literary collections and almanacs (1917-1960)" included the analytical description of all literary almanacs of books in the Tatar language, including the collection of verses, "About Lenin and Stalin". He was incriminated as an author under Stalin. The special extraordinary bureau of the public committee the CPSU reprimanded A.G. Karimullin. He was released from his post as a "politically undesirable" employee. Gray clouds condensed over Karimullin for a long time. He was accused many times that he included works of scientists and writers who were subjected to oppression in his bibliographic editions. He was slandered and accused in letters because of his inclusion of pre-revolutionary Tatar books.In December 1964, The Kazan Institute of Language, Literature, and History, invited Karimullin to work as a younger scientific employee in the sector of art and folklore to draw up a bibliographic index of the history of Tatar theatre. In 1968, he published his work, "The complete Tatar Theatre: 1917-1967." The work included more than 8,000 names of documents in Russian and Tatar languages. It included information about all Tatar theatres; state, traveling, state-farm collective, and national, working both in Tatarstan and beyond its borders. It is an encyclopedia of Tatar theatre that has no ties to his domestic bibliographies. In May 1968, Karimullin successfully finished his master's thesis in philology at KSU with the theme, "Tatar Publishing and New Sources of Tatar Philology: XVII - First edition: 19th Century." This first research in histories of the Tatar national book, which studying practically was under an interdiction. His work was executed over and above the plan of the Institute of language, the literature and history of the Academy of sciences of the USSR, without the supervisor of studies, outside of postgraduate study, and outside of normal working hours. In 1971, his dissertation was issued by means of a separate book. It was published under the name, "Sources of the Tatar book: From the Beginning of its Occurrence until 60 years into the 19th Century." The history of Tatar books was traced to a printing house in Astrakhan, in 1722. There, 1000 copies of the Tatar text, "Peter the Great," were printed. (The first book in the Tatar language was printed in Leipzig in 1612).
Under A.G. Karimullin's direction, the difficult and complex development of the book was investigated, its stages of creation were determined, and the maintenance of book production was systematized. The history of the book is not only the history of the creation of the book, but also its manufacturing, distribution, use, and repertoire. It is, simultaneously, the reconstruction and analysis of everything determining its socio-cultural context. Such work has allowed scientists to open new pages in the annals of Tatar culture. It has illuminated the history of the Tatar hand-written book, the development of the printed word, its distribution to the Volga region, Arabian writing, the literary communications of Tatars with other nations of the world, and an understanding of the level of their literacy. The Tatar book, being one of the earliest among all Turkic nations of the world (which was established for the first time by A.G. Karimullin), testifies to the rich literary and hand-written heritage of the Tatar people and its history since early times. In his work, "Sources of the Tatar Book," the first steps of the creation of the Tatar hand-written book are covered. Analysis of the development of Tatar literature, from the 13th century up to the year 1860, is given using the study of hand-written and printed books. Development of Tatar literature and books and their interrelation to other cultures is multilaterally covered. The author covers many monuments of the Tatar literary tradition, which had previously lacked exposure because of censorship.The biographer covers his own powerful contribution and the development of his theory of the national book. For the first time, he developed the concept of "The National Book", accepted nowadays in domestic bibliology. By the analysis of the history of Russian and Tatar books, it has been shown that the language of the book, the nationality of the author, the edition, the originality and translation, should all be considered in connection with the functional purpose of the book. This applies to its service to the culture and education of certain people. Proceeding from these factors, he developed the theory of the national book, as well as an opportunity to transform the national book of one people to the national book of two or more peoples, especially those related by origin, language, and culture. A.G. Karimullin's theses positions have become a theoretical basis for studying the national book and have come into practice when studying the history of other national books. A.G.Karimullina's work "From sources of the Tatar book" has received gratitude not only in native Tatarstan, but also in all corners of our country and far beyond its boundaries.Some statements of readers, writers, and scientists about this work.
"In a small work about the history of the Tatar book, the first attempt of the research devoted to this task is described. Until this time, Europe did not have any solid history of the Tatar book, but it also did not know about the existence of books in the Tatar language. Here, the author traces the history of the Tatar book, from hand-written to finished printed books in the Tatar language, up through the middle of 19th century. This monograph is not only of interest for experts on the history of the book, but it also reflects on the political and colonial history of the Empire".
Professor M. Avriel
Paris) "Bulletin of Library Science", 1971, Vol.19, Part 4. (in French lang.) "The origin of the Tatar printed book speaks about the presence of a broad intellectual tradition. The book of A.G. Karimullin, issued in Kazan, speaks about it, 'as sources of the Tatar book.' The printed word of the Tatars of Russia testifies to a wide circulation of schools and a great demand for knowledge. There is a chapter where the struggle of burgeoning newspapers and magazines speaks about it also. The foreign reader will find that the author is in a good position to present the history of his people, literature, and education".
(Prague) "Archive Orientali", 1977, #45. (in Eng. Lang.) "Actually, Karimullin investigated all manner of complex questions. These include occurrences of the Tatar printed book, the development of Tatar publishing in the first half of the last century, how many pages of a cultural life of a whole society are read for the first time or re-read anew, and how many destinies of humans and books pass before us. In general, a very valuable feature of the monograph of A.G. Karimullin is the steadfast attention to human destinies. The abundance of actual material is combined with the exciting story about those whose own hands created the history of the Tatar book and the Tatar culture."
regional specialist, honored worker of culture for Tatarstan (Kazan)
Owls. (Tatar), 1971, 5 Oct."The printing of the Tatar book came with many difficulties. The imperial autocracy tried to restrain the Tatar book business in every possible way. In separate chapters, the history of the struggle for the creation of the Tatar periodicals during the whole century, and theoretical questions about the definition of the national book are considered. The history and destiny of the Tatar hand-written book, as well as the role of the Tatar book in the development and formation of the Tatars is covered also. Basing this on the richest actual material, A.Karimullin's work on the history of the Tatar book considers this phenomenon in close communion with theoretical questions of culture and what one values in research".
the doctor of historical sciences (Kazan) The Soviet school, 1973, #4.
After securing his master's thesis, A.G. Karimullin, under the plan the Institute of language, the literature and history, wrote the work, "Tatar Folklore: 1612-1880." It is an annotated bibliography of the literature of Tatar, Russian, and West-European languages that have been published for more than three centuries. This work came off the press in 1993. In 1970, A.G. Karimullin finished the thesis for a doctoral degree on the history of the Tatar book of the beginning of 20th century. He executed this over and above the working plan of the Institute of language, the literature and history of the Academy of sciences of the USSR - not during working hours and without doctoral studies. In 1974, the dissertation was printed as a separate edition, "The Tatar Books of the Beginning of the 20th Century". It was well received in both the local press, and in many other regions, and was also recognized abroad in England, America, Germany, France, and in other countries. After securing the thesis for a doctoral degree, A.G. Karimullin was on the Academic council in the Lenin State Library of the USSR in 1978, in the Institute of language, the literature and history, where he included the plan of his scientific work, the study of the history of the Tatar book. As a result, the new monograph, under the name, "The Tatar book In reformed Russia" (Kazan, 1983), appeared. With the publishing of this monograph, the reconstruction of the history of the Tatar book from the pre-revolutionary period was completed. In these three monographs, the history of the Tatar printed word from times of its occurrence in 1917 is investigated for the first time. The trilogy is a new word in the history of study of local lore and bibliology. Multilateral illumination of the spiritual heritage of the Tatar people can be found here in regards to the development of the Tatar literature, public idea, culture and the education of its people. According to A.G. Karimullin, the Tatars were the first among the Turkic nations of the world to use type-setting publishing. The Tatar people had ancient writing, the hand-written book, rich literary traditions, and the works secular and religious schools. They were scientists, writers, and readers, and they had all the necessary elements for the organization of national publishing. With the exception of the Russian editions, the Tatar pre-revolutionary book is exceeded in quantity only by the Latvian book. In circulation, it takes second place after the Russian book. A.G. Karimullin's trilogy has put an end to the myths about the low literacy rate of Tatar people before the revolution, owing to the time when the printed book appeared as well as the quantity and the maintenance of book production. These are documentary certificates of the degree of literacy and the level of the nation's erudition. The Tatar book had the universal maintenance. It has brought in a huge contribution to the business of educating Tatar and many Turkic, Muslim peoples of Russia. It reflects on achievements of the Tatar literature, culture, historical and public idea. It also includes translations of the best products of eastern European and Russian literature. It is enough to say, that till 1917, on pages that held the Tatar seal, about 200 Russian writers and educators had been published. Through the Tatar book readers got acquainted with Shakespeare's products, Farabi, Avicenna, Jules Verne, Al-Kandi, M. Twain, AL-GAZALI, etc. A.G. Karimullin's works are based on training courses on the history of the Tatar book.The following scheduled works of scientists has been devoted to the history of the Tatar book after October, published by the Tatar book publishing house in 1989 ("Creation and Development of the Tatar Book: 1917-1932. Sketches about the Departmental, Special and Cooperative Publishing Houses of the Tatar ASSR"). The scientists also continued sending research messages on the above mentioned directives: histories, the literature, culture, archaeography, a source study on toponymy, questions of improvement schedules of the letter, the bibliography and the scientific research about book and publishing communications of the Tatar, Bashkir, Uzbek, and Kazakh peoples. A.G. Karimullin showed interest in the origin of the Tatar people and the history of his name. In response he wrote a work with the name, "Tatars: Ethnos and ethnonim," published three times, in 1988, 1989, 1991 in the Tatar and Russian languages. It has also been transferred into the Japanese, Turkish, and Arabian languages. It has caused a large amount of interest among a broad audience of readers. For the first time in history, A.G. Karimullin's research about the possible relationship of the Native American languages with Turkic languages has been undertaken. (Ancestors of turkis and Indians of America. On traces of one hypothesis. M. Insan, 1995, p. 80.) The scientist investigated an origin hypothesis of Mayan, Incan, Aztec, Su-Hoka, and the Aimara that traces them to ancient Turkic tribes according to linguistics and proofs of legitimacy. Improbable as this may seem, the hypotheses have been well received. The conclusions following from this research have global character and have drawn attention from researchers in our country and abroad, first of all from the USA. In 1997, A.G. Karimullin's book, "On the Guard of Language" was issued. The book explains the problem of preservation and development of the Tatar language, as well as practical decisions concerning the specified problems.In 1996 and 2000, A.G. Karimullin's two books that are completely devoted to the history of Tatar people were published. The first, "Destiny of My People", includes scientific-journalistic clauses about the destiny of the Tatar people. It states that the Tatars lived in China, Korea, Japan, America, Turkey, Canada, and Poland.Representatives of the Tatar people outside the native land have not lost their language, religion, or customs. Due to diligence, honesty, and decency, they have achieved respect and recognition on the part of the country where they live. Here they even work, build mosques, open schools, and issue newspapers and magazines. Living among them are many statesmen and well-known scientists. In the book, national cultural problems the Tatars living in Tatarstan, Russia, and the CIS are also illuminated. The second book, "We Are Not Dust on the Wind", is devoted to the history and culture of the Tatar people. It is also written in a scientific-journalistic style. Academician A.G. Karimullin, while working on these, was not limited to the framework of academic research. He also had a vibrant and active participation in the political life of the republic. This included his substantial clauses on the pages of republic newspapers and magazines, his performances on radio, TV, before students and scientists, working through the scheduling problems of the Tatar graphics, the destiny of the Tatar book, answering questions in the Tatar language, it's cultural heritage, and the protection of the sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan invariably caused a wide public resonance. Much of his publicistic heritage has not lost its urgency today. An outstanding scientist, a unique person, a unique son of the Tatar people, Abrar Gibadullovich Karimullin, died on September 18, 2000, at the age of 75.*****Since 1991, A.G. Karimullin was the scientific adviser of the National Library of Tatarstan. Under his management a department of manuscripts and rare books was created, the national work on its creation called, "Summary Catalogue of Tatar old printed Books is Created: 1722-1917", having huge scientific and practical value. He Drew up an edition of a kind of inventory of Tatar old printed books kept in libraries of Tatarstan, the largest libraries of Russia, Turkish states, and also Europe and America. This work directs employees of the national libraries' departments of manuscripts and rare books, using a technique and plan made by A.G. Karimullin. The collection of the personal library of A.G. Karimullin is carefully stored in the archives of the National Library also. In it are collected about 4 thousand books and magazines in the Tatar, Russian, Bashkir, English, and Turkish languages, and questions ranging from bibliology, linguistics, literary criticism, history, bibliography, library science, etc. In the collection there are also works of the well-known Tatar educators, S.Mardzhani and K.Nasyri, books of outstanding scientists like, V.Bartolda, I.Krachkovskogo, V.Kljuchevskogo, N.Gumileva, O.Sulejmanova, and editions of the Tatar scientific contemporaries of that time, M.Zakieva, F.Garipovoj, M.Usmanova, etc. Here products of eastern poetry are combined with collections of verses, by Lobster Khayyam, by Bottoms, Navoi and pearls of Tatar literature; authors such as Kul Gali, Muhammadyara, Utiz Imyani, G.Kandalyj, G.Tukaja, G.Ishaki, N.Isanbeta and many others. The most valuable in the collection are the works of academician A.G. Karimullin. Among them his monograph, bibliographic indexes, scientific-journals, proceedings devoted to questions about the history of the printed Tatar book, history, literature and culture of the Tatar people, ethnography, bibliography, toponymics, and lexiconographies. This invaluable treasure had been brought in as a gift to the National Library by the academician. After his death wife the scientist - Kinta Gilemhanovna - collection has been added to with manuscripts, diaries, letters, documentary photographs, audio-video materials and personal things of Abrar Gibadullovich. All documents, materials and personal things are carefully stored in the memorial room of academician A.G. Karimullin. Much work has been done on their account, primarily studying and describing the data. Documents have a huge value for researchers exploring the life and creativity of this scientist and the culture in question, as well as his role and place in the history of the Tatar people. They read these books, studied, used them, supplemented them with reviews, comments, notes, thus expressing their attitudes about the book and the author. In the book collection there are many books with donated inscriptions from their authors. On May 3, 2003, at the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan the first memorial readings of Karimullin were read, in honor of devoted memories of the outstanding scientist and academician, A.G. Karimullin. Readings have been organized by the Ministry of Culture RT, the National Library RT, Institute of Language, and the literature and art of G.Ibragimov of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan. There are reports and explanations of concerns about national books. Memoirs of friends, pupils and employees close to Abrar Gibadullovich are now heard. The National Library RT also founded a grant of the academician, A.G. Karimullin, for students of the daytime branch of the Information-Library faculty at Kazan State University for culture and arts.At the second memorial of Karimullin, the readings were devoted to the memory of the outstanding scientist in connection with his 80th birthday. It was planned to lead from the native land of the academician, and at the regional center of the RT. In the program of readings, the reports will be about the scientific, literary, cultural, and public work of the academician, with performances by the pupils who have master's theses under the management of A.G. Karimullin. His fellow countrymen will discuss the memory of the well-known scientist on the grounds of Sabinskoj. Employees of the National Library will talk about his work on the creation of, "The Summary Catalogue of Tatar Printed Books," and about working with the book collection and A.G. Karimullin's archive at the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Main Librarian of the National Library RT Literary Arts of RT
Last updated: 9 February 2021, 18:12