Museum address: 54 Panu Street, 6600 Iassy, phone: 146321
'Dosoftei' House is the museum of the old Romanian literature, being part of the Romanian Literature Museum. It is situated in the old part of the city, near the princely house, found today across the Princely church and the Palace of Culture ( 'Moldova' National Museum Complex) and not far away from 'Three Hierarchs' church - headquarters of the first Moldavian printing house from the age of Vasile Lupu and Varlaam.
The present museum building is considered to be one of the oldest Iasi buildings, attested in documents in the age of Prince Antonie Ruset and of scholar and Metropolitan Bishop Dosoftei between 1673 and 1679. At first the documents mention that the building was part of the princely court annexes, after the capital was moved from Suceava to Iasi.
Until 1686 here functioned the printing house of Metropolitan Bishop Dosoftei. The books printed here fully contributed to extending the use of the Romanian language to religious institutions.
The exhibits are displayed in three rooms: two on the ground floor and one on the first floor. The visitor can see how the exhibits circulated and interfered with the other regions.
Sticking to this line of reasoning it is simpler to pursue the evolution of the old Romanian literature in Iasi which has always been the spiritual core of Moldavia. This is the very explanation of the permanent exhibition including samples of old Romanian language the way it used to be spoken in the territories inhabited by Romanians (irrespective of the place of their printing and copying). Here it is a short presentation of the material on display:
illustrations of old Romanian literature up to 1830, the role of cultural Iasi and its personalities, the beginnings of literature in the Paleoslavonic language and above all the age of penmanship and miniature art;
the beginnings of writing in the Romanian language - 'Neacsu's Letter' (1521) and 'The Apostle' copied in Brasov (1559) - considered to be the oldest exhibit - dated Romanian manuscript;
the beginnings of printing in Iasi - 'Romanian Learning Book' or 'Homiliary' (1643) - the first print of Moldavia;
the history of printing in Iasi, but also in other Romanian provinces from the 17th century - "Romanian Learning Book' or 'Vasile Lupu's Code of Laws' - the first law book of Moldavia;
presentation of the activity of Metropolitan Bishop and scholar Dosoftei (Verse Book, 1673);
prints of other great Romanian scholars from Iasi ('Bucharest Bible', 1688 - one of the translators is Nicolae Milescu);
history of literature from the 18th century and of printing from early 19th century;
the historical literature in Iasi, beginnings of historiography in the Romanian language (the age of the great chroniclers).
The building was restored by the Department of Historic Monuments between 1962 and 1968, and the museum was inaugurated on the 7th of August 1970. After 1968 the building underwent more changes.
The museum staff includes a graduate specialist and two supervisors.