As she tried to remove the priceless Bible from its glass case, Moscow University professor Irina Pozdeyeva could barely lift the almost 2,000-page book.

The gray-haired scholar ran her fingers through the meticulously stitched and restored leaves of the Bible, produced in 1581 by Ivan Fyodorov, father of Russian printing. Pozdeyeva said she never fails to experience a surge of emotion when she handles the book, one of 350 surviving copies of the first Bibles printed in Russia in the old Slavonic language.

“How else can you feel handling this treasure?” she said.

Pozdeyeva’s life this year has been filled with the pleasant anxiety of preparing for a landmark event in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, and a crowning achievement of a career spent searching for what she terms “printed monuments of Russian culture.”

After a history of Christianity in Russia full of victories and failures, devotion and scorn, adoration and neglect, the Museum of the Holy Bible will open this fall at the out-of-the-way St. Joseph of Volokolamsk monastery, about 70 miles northwest of Moscow.

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