New online Syriac manuscripts, catalogues of Cairo mss

Kristian Heal at BYU has been busy, and is doing some excellent work in making resources available.  The following announcement appeared in Hugoye and in Nascas.

I am pleased to bring to your attention some additional resources now available on our website.

1.       Manuscript catalogues

Almost 20 years ago, Professor Kent Brown from Brigham Young University coordinated an NEH funded project to microfilm and catalogue manuscripts from Cairo and Jerusalem. Our Center is working on a project to improve access to this important collection of manuscripts on microfilm. As a first step to improving access we have digitized the preliminary catalogues of the whole collection that were prepared by the late Dr. William Macomber.

The catalogues are now available for download here:

Over the coming months we will be donating copies of the microfilms to 10 research centers in Europe and the United states in an effort to enable scholars to better work with this important collection.

2.       Syriac and Garshuni Manuscripts from St. Mark’s Convent, Jerusalem

As part of our effort to improve access to Syriac resources in particular, we have prepared PDF copies of the  manuscripts filmed at St. Mark’s Convent, Jerusalem. One of the conditions of usage is that a copy of any publications based on these manuscripts be sent to St. Mark’s convent.

The manuscripts can be freely downloaded here:

The online manuscripts are a wonderful idea, no hesitation.

I have more hesitation about the copies of the microfilms.   Now I have found it very difficult to get copies of material from BYU, so possible alternatives must be a good thing.  But … the libraries that will hold them are bound to be places like the Bodleian, who will certainly see this merely as a chance for profit, and will charge incredible sums if they are allowed to get away with it.  I can’t get material that I need from the Bodleian now. 

I imagine that KH was unable to get clearance to simply digitise the collection and place it online.  But it is a pity that his benevolence will probably be rendered useless by the greed of European library staff.


5 thoughts on “New online Syriac manuscripts, catalogues of Cairo mss

  1. Man, I would love to see a time line with all these documents all over the place…

    It would be a very interesting piece to add references between each of the documents, be it strong, weak, or guess.

    … Yeah… well..

  2. I mean ALL extant documents.

    I never seen something like that. Cross referenced, drawn, colored. Visual representation of data is always more revealing than textual. You know. You program :D.

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