Three Belarusian alphabets The Cyrillic alphabet has been in use in Belarus since 10th centrury. It has always been the dominant graphic system of the Belarusian language. The use of a Latin alphabet in the Belarusian language has a long history. Many important works of Belarusian literature appeared first in łacinka. Tatars settled in Belarus in 14-15th cent. They spoke and wrote in a local vernacular and used an Arabic script. Grand Duchy of Lithuania The Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania incorporated both the legal tradition of the Belarusian people and the more recent achievements of European legal thinking. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania had a highly developed economy and trade links with its neighbourgs and the far-away lands, which is reflected in the coins of that time. Słucak sashes National statehood The proclamation of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (BNR, 1918) was an important step for contemporary Belarus to achieve independence. The Belarusian diaspora preserved the idea of Belarusian statehood throughout the 20th century. Łarysa Hienijuš, an outstanding poet, was the Secretary-General of the government in exile. She was arrested, brought to the USSR and imprisoned, but refused to accept Soviet citizenship. Belarusian diaspora One of the first Apple Mac computers with a Belarusian fonts and keyboard. It was used to make many translations and create many original works. The Belarusian church across the road from the library is the first wooden sacral building in London since the Great Fire of 1666. Božym Šlacham was a religious magazine published first in Paris, then – in London in 1946-1981. It of a publication of exceptional quality of texts. Belarusian studies The first anthology of Belarusian poetry in English translation appeared in London in 1971. Since 1960s, Arnold McMillin, a London-based researcher, has produced eight books and dozens of articles about Belarusian literature. The first scholarly journal dedicated to Belarusian Studies appeared in London in 1965. Many researchers used the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum for their study, for writing articles and books.