Baku: Typ. of the Administrat. of the province, 1897. Item #407
Second edition, revised and enlarged. 184 pp. 20,5x14 cm. Contemporary brown half leather with the original publisher’s printed wrappers pasted on the boards. Occasional ink notes and pencil markings on the first few leaves. Wrappers soiled, title page with minor staining, paper slightly age toned, otherwise a very good copy.
Rare early Baku imprint and important edition of the first Russian-Azerbaijani dictionary compiled by Soltan Majid Ganizade – a noted Azerbaijani linguist, writer, theatre director, teacher, and founder of several Russian-Muslim schools in Baku. An independent work on its own, the dictionary was published in a four-part series of Ganizade’s ‘‘Self Teacher of the Tatar Language’’ (Tatar or Transcaucasian Tatar was a common name of the Azerbaijani Language in the Russian Empire before the revolution of 1917), which also included tutorials on Azerbaijani grammar, reading and speaking, and a phrasebook. First published in 1890-95, the ‘‘Self Teacher’’ became the first comprehensive tutorial of the Azerbaijani language ever printed. This second edition of the dictionary is significantly enlarged in comparison to the first edition of 1891 (124 pp.), and includes about 8000 words. The book became very popular and had six editions up to 1922.
A graduate of the Alexandrovsky Teacher’s Institute in Tiflis, Soltan Majid Ganizade (1866-1938) became the director of the elementary ‘‘Russian-Muslim’’ school in Baku in 1887, and facilitated opening of nine more by 1901. He was the author of the first tutorial on the Azerbaijani language (1890-95), and of the first textbook on the Russian language addressed to the Azerbaijani people (1895). In 1888 he organized the first permanent theatre company in Baku and wrote several plays for it; among his other works are novellas and children’s books. After the revolution of 1917 Ganizade worked in the Folks Enlightenment Committee, taught in the Transcaucasian military school, was a member of the Azerbaijani Writers’ Society, a professor of the newly organized Institute of Oriental Studies in Baku, a language teacher in the Azerbaijani Industrial Institute. He was arrested during the Great Terror of Stalinist repressions in July 1937, and in March 1938 was executed; posthumously fully rehabilitated in 1956.