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Slavonic Computing Initiative

The Slavonic Computing Initiative (SCI) is a resource of the Ponomar Project targeted for the development of tools for Church Slavonic software support. The goals of this project are severalfold.

  1. To encode the full repertoire of characters required for work with Church Slavonic texts in the Unicode Standard.
  2. To develop standards for the correct encoding and rendering of texts within the Unicode framework.
  3. To develop fonts for the accurate representation of Church Slavonic texts from a variety of eras in Unicode.
  4. To develop ancillary utilities for working with Church Slavonic texts, including dictionaries, hyphenation patterns, keyboard input methods, etc.

Why Unicode?

Unicode is a universal computing standard for the encoding, representation and handling of texts. The development of a framework for working with Church Slavonic text in Unicode will allow the typesetting or screen display of texts that:

  • are as faithful as possible to the original manuscript or edition
  • present materials as text, not PDF or graphics
  • have a versatile, platform-, OS- and software-independent representation
  • allow for the inclusion of both CS and non-CS materials in the same document

Where do I start?

Users who are new to Church Slavonic typography in Unicode should begin by reading the following PDF document:


These files are in PDF format


One of the purposes of the Slavonic Computing Initiative is the development of Unicode-conformant Church Slavonic fonts for working with texts from a wide variety of eras -- Ustav and Poluustav manuscripts, Poluustav and Incunabula printed editions, Skoropis manuscripts, and Synodal-era printed texts. The following fonts are presently available:


Font Name Download
Hirmos Ponomar Development BETA Version 12.2 Release Candidate 3
Binaries: (Download)

Source code: (Download)

Sample text and Documentation

Previous version BETA 12.1 RC 2: (Download)
Previous non-RC version BETA 11.7: (Download) ONLY for use with old texts, created before the encoding of Cyrillic Extended-C.
Hirmos Ponomar is a font for typesetting Synodal Church Slavonic (that is, Church Slavonic used in modern liturgical texts of the Russian Orthodox Church). It may also be used to typeset Romanian (Moldovan) Cyrillic or Aleut Cyrillic. The original font is based on Hirmos UCS by Vlad Dorosh. Hirmos Ponomar is lincensed under the GNU General Public License (version 3.0 or, at your choosing, any higher version) with the Font Exception or under the SIL Open Font License, version 1.1, at your choosing.
Fedorovsk Unicode BETA Version 2.3
Binaries: (Download)

Source code: (Download)

Sample text and Documentation
Fedorovsk Unicode is designed by Nikita Simmons and reencoded for Unicode by Aleksandr Andreev. Fedorovsk Unicode is designed to mimick the typeface used by Ivan Fedorov, who produced the first printed books in Moscow. It is intended primarily for reproducing publications from that era, either in an academic setting, or as modern Old Rite liturgical texts.
Menaion Unicode BETA Version 1.4
Binaries: (Download)

Source code: (Download)

Sample text and Documentation
Menaion Unicode is based on the Menaion font designed by Victor A. Baranov at the Manuscript Project and reencoded for Unicode by Aleksandr Andreev. Menaion Unicode is intended for representing text from Ustav-era manuscripts (either Cyrillic or Glagolitic), primarily in an academic setting. In addition to Cyrillic and Glagolitic characters, it also contains characters of early Slavic Ecphonetic notation.
List of typographically challenging Church Slavonic words for testing fonts (download [in UTF-8 encoding]) [this file is converted from the HIP file here]
RussianMission ALPHA Version 0.75
Binaries and Source code: (Download)

Documentation: see README file in the archive
RussianMission is a font containing the 20 Han glyphs used in the texts of the Russian Mission in China and the Russian Mission in Japan to transliterate Church Slavonic syllables. The characters have now been accepted for encoding into the CJK Unified Ideographs block of Unicode. See the README file for the codepoints and more information.

Keyboard Drivers

Several different options are available for entering Church Slavonic text on the keyboard.
Keyboard entry may occur either by use of a Church Slavonic (Church Slavic) keyboard, designed for typing only in Church Slavic, or by use of an Extended Russian keyboard, designed for typing mostly in modern Russian and occasionally in Church Slavonic. Power users who type a lot of Slavonic will probably want the first option while users who need to type the occasional Slavonic text but otherwise have no need for learning a new layout will undoubtedly want the second version. There are several alternatives:
  • A Church Slavonic virtual keyboard, which allows you to type in Church Slavonic without installing any software. Both the Church Slavonic keyboard and the Extended Russian are available (click on CU in the lower left-hand corner of the virtual keyboard to switch layouts)
  • Both the Church Slavic (cu-kbd.mim) and Russian Extended (ru-ext.mim) drivers are shipped in our package m17n-cu for typing text on GNU/Linux and Unix systems using the IBUS / m17n input method (download from GitHub).
  • Church Slavonic keyboard drivers for Microsoft Windows (download).
  • Russian Extended keyboard drivers for Microsoft Windows (download).
  • Church Slavonic keyboard drivers for Apple OS X (download)
  • Russian Extended keyboard drivers for Apple OS X (download)


This section contains converters between Unicode and other standards as well as other helpful tools. Take a look also below at our APIs, which contain even more functionality.

Language Standardization

The following papers dealing with Slavonic standardization are available for comment

Please also take a look at the draft Church Slavonic Style Manual.


Lingua::CU is a Perl module for working with Church Slavonic text. Read the Lingua::CU documentation here. Get the code for Lingua::CU from our github repository.

Developers wanted! We are also interested in developing similar APIs for other scripting languages, in particularly for Java and Python.


For an introduction to this topic, you may read the paper: A. Andreev. Thoughts on Church Slavonic Hyphenation [PONOMAR GREEN PAPER]

Warning: Everything in this section should be considered EXPERIMENTAL SOFTWARE. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND!

Material for Computer-aided Church Slavonic Philology