By choosing this theme, we set out to present the life and cultural activity of Ioan Bianu, a prestigious and complex personality who left his mark on the Romanian cultural and intellectual life, the initiator of a new horizon in the field of librarianship, university professor, researcher and academician. , who through hard work, selflessness and devotion managed to raise some of the Romanian cultural values of his time at European level.
The course of this paper aims to present the main stages that Bianu went through throughout his career in the cultural field, developed in a period of historical clarifications, crowded as if during the life of the academician: Union of Principalities (1859), proclamation of the Kingdom of Romania 1881), the War of Integration (1916-1918) and the Great Union of 1918.
Our paper aims to analyze, in concrete terms, the Old Romanian Bibliography (1508-1830), the most important work, unique in its kind at the time of publication, of the distinguished linguist and professor, director of the Library of the Romanian Academy, rightly considered the founder and the organizer, on a scientific basis, of the library of this institution.
The novelty of our research consists in the personal vision in which we interpreted the most important work of Ioan Bianu, grouping in each century the bibliographic files of the books recorded chronologically according to several criteria: printing center, language in which they were printed, the theme of the volumes ( cult books, school instruction books, treatises on history, medicine, grammar, author's books, books with philosophical and scientific content, translated foreign books), calendars, mines, fiction, brochures, deeds, home education books), common elements of ornamentation and graphics (frames, heraldic elements, engravings, coats of arms, initials and so on). Through this group we followed the evolution of the development of printing, of the diversification of the thematic content of books, of graphic illustration, of the presence in the Bibliography of prefects and predoslovii - in extenso or fragmentary - which illustrates, in turn, the progressive replacement of Slavonic with Romanian. and later the evolution of the Romanian language towards the literary language, therefore the evolution of the Romanian culture illustrated throughout the four centuries.
From a methodological point of view, we approached this topic from two perspectives, appealing to the historical monographic method and to the applicative-comparative method.
In order to make the first two chapters, we resorted to the historical monographic method, synthetically presenting aspects from the life and activity of academician Ioan Bianu and the way in which he was involved in the organization and establishment of the Romanian bibliographic school.
Chapter three has the character of a comparative applicative work, by grouped study of the files of the old book that compose the corpus of the old Romanian Bibliography.
The thesis is structured on four main chapters with the titles: Ioan Bianu and the Library of the Romanian Academy, Ioan Bianu and the evolutionary approach of the Romanian bibliography, Ioan Bianu's bibliographic conception in the elaboration of the old Romanian Bibliography. The old Romanian book (1508-1817) and Ioan Bianu and the echoes of the old Romanian Bibliography in the cultural context of the time.
We approached the biographical aspects regarding Ioan Bianu in the first chapter, entitled Ioan Bianu and the Library of the Romanian Academy, organized on several subchapters that include: biographical landmarks, university life in Bucharest, studies abroad (university centers in Milan and Paris), as well as his activity at the management of the Library of the Romanian Academy.
For the second stage of his life, the one after settling in Bucharest, I had in mind the following moments: student period, occupying the position of "library archivist" of the Romanian Academy, studies abroad, professional promotion after returning to the country , the activities carried out and the functions held in different institutional structures.
Hiring as an employee of these institutions opened new horizons for the academician in the professional hierarchy, thus becoming the first director of the Library of the Romanian Academy, corresponding member and holder of the Romanian Academy, being part of numerous academic commissions, administrative director, secretary of the Literary Section, general secretary and president of the Academy, then vice-president of the academic forum until the end of his life.
Our presentation aims, for this stage, both the activity carried out in the scientific field, and in the field of education, in which Ioan Bianu distinguished himself as a linguist and teacher of Romanian language and literature at the High School "St. Sava ”and, later, professor at the University of Bucharest.
Chapter two, entitled Ioan Bianu and the evolutionary approach of the Romanian bibliography, highlights punctually the contribution of Ioan Bianu to the evolution of the Romanian bibliography, including the stage of elaboration of the Bibliography plan, The appeal and the role of the collaborators at the constitution of the old book fund of the Romanian Academy, and then at the elaboration of the actual work.
Oriented according to norms conceived by foreign specialists in the field of European bibliography, the authors conceive in the original way the Bibliography plan from 1895, Ioan Bianu sharing the Romanian bibliography in three categories of books: the old Romanian book (1507-1830), the modern Romanian book 1831 until today) and the foreign book on the Romans. The first concretization of this bibliographic plan was the elaboration and publication of the Old Romanian Bibliography (1508-1830) made between 1903-1912, in collaboration with Nerva Hodos, assistant librarian (volumes I-II and issues 1-2 of volume III ), completed by Dan Simonescu, who will publish fascicles 3-8 from volume III, published in 1936 after the death of Ioan Bianu.
In the third chapter, entitled Ioan Bianu's Bibliographic Concept in the elaboration of the old Romanian Bibliography. The old book (1508-1817), we set out to establish the place that Ioan Bianu occupies in Romanian culture through the significance of his work and activity in the field of the old Romanian book.
The final chapter, entitled Ioan Bianu and the echoes of the old Romanian Bibliography in the cultural context of the time, is oriented towards the considerable interest of specialists, mainly manifested for the cultural value of the monumental work of Ioan Bianu, the echoes being followed both in the country and and abroad.
The writing of such a work, which also includes some monographic references, required a laborious research of different types of documents: some in the archive, but not valued enough or not at all, others already published, thus incorporating a vast documentary material.
For the first part of his life in Transylvania, the information in the documents is brief and incomplete, compared to the second part of his life, in which the bibliographic sources used are autobiographical or were selected by us from correspondence sent or received. by Ioan Bianu throughout his life. The years of study abroad (1881-1883) were reconstructed from the letters to his professor Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, kept in the National Archives of Romania, based on which I outlined some stages of his life and activity as a fellow of the Romanian state. These letters were published in full, but without interpretation, by Aurelian Sacerdoteanu in Studies and materials on the historical past of Prahova County, Ploiesti.
Marieta and Petre Croicu, in the work Letters to Ioan Bianu, prepared in five volumes, edit a good part of the hitherto unpublished correspondence addressed to Ioan Bianu by the personalities of the century, from the country and abroad. However, many other letters from this fund remained unpublished. I used this information to illustrate different stages of Ioan Bianu's university and academic life.
The thesis concludes with some conclusions from the analysis performed on the life and activity of Ioan Bianu in the field of the old book. I considered it necessary to present the Bibliography of Ioan Bianu's works, organized in four sections, comprising 305 works published throughout his life. Our work concludes with the indication of the bibliography used to carry out this study and some Annexes in which we reproduced representative documents and images.