This study explores the full set of handwritten and printed materials associated with the 1869 publication of the first version of Dmitrii Mendeleev’s periodic system of elements: “An Attempt at a System of Elements Based on Their Atomic Weight and Chemical Affinity.” Using innovative historical research methods, the author has been able to refute the publication date traditionally associated with the first version of the periodic table, as well as to establish an accurate chronology of its subsequent publications. This task was made possible through the discovery of previously unknown handwritten materials in Mendeleev’s personal archive and the Russian State Historical Archive. This typographical analysis of the first publication of Mendeleev’s periodic table represents a rare and unusual opportunity in the history of science: it gives us the chance to observe how, in the process of publishing the results of a scientific study, a researcher comes to realize that what he has discovered is, in fact, a major scientific breakthrough and begins to take the necessary steps toward establishing his scientific priority.

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