UCLA Plans to Digitize Manuscripts from St. Catherine’s Monastery

UCLA Plans to Digitize Manuscripts from St. Catherine’s Monastery


There are some days I just love modern technology! I recently read an article by Michael Kozlowski in Good E Reader, titled “UCLA is Digitizing Ancient Manuscripts from St. Catherine’s Monastery.”

Kozlowski reported that “The UCLA Library has just received a massive grant and they intend on digitizing 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries. The three-year project is being initiated by the fathers of St. Catherine’s Monastery.”

christ st catherinscropped

This Pantocrator icon was also preserved in the monastery during the iconoclast period.

You may know that the St. Catherine’s Monastery is located on Mount Sinai in Egypt, near the location of THE Burning Bush. Protected by the harsh desert climate and generations of Bedouins, it currently houses the oldest continually operating library in the world.

According to Michael Kozlowski, “These remarkable manuscripts, which delve into subjects ranging from history and philosophy to medicine and spirituality, were never easily accessed by scholars and students, who had to travel to this desert region, considered sacred to three world religions — Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Today, access is even more problematic given security concerns in the Middle East.”

According to UCLA University Librarian Ginny Steel. “The Ahmanson Foundation’s visionary support honors the careful stewardship of St. Catherine’s Monastery over the centuries and ensures that these invaluable documents are not only accessible but preserved in digital copies.”

Click here for the full article.



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About author

Presvytera Vassi Haros

Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.