Wednesday, June 8, 2011

UCLA and manuscripts

Just found out today that my alma mater, UCLA, now holds the largest repository of Ethiopic manuscripts in North America. Some excerpts of this article:

he UCLA Library has acquired the largest private collection of Ethiopic manuscripts and scrolls in the U.S., given by Gerald and Barbara Weiner. Together with the library's existing collections, this gift makes the UCLA Library the leading repository for Ethiopic manuscripts in North America. A classical Semitic language, Ethiopic is used as the liturgical language of the Christian church in Ethiopia. Dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries, the collection of 137 bound manuscripts and 102 scrolls is particularly rich in elaborately illustrated liturgical texts. Highlights include a late 19th/early 20th-century version of the Gospels containing 78 miniatures; a 19th-century "lives of the saints" with 40 miniatures; a 20th-century compilation of a table blessing and miracles performed by Jesus with 37 miniatures; and a 20th-century collection of prayers with an image of John the Evangelist and 26 miniatures.

"Words cannot express our deep thanks to Jerry and Barbara — first, for building this gorgeous collection, then for giving it to us," said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. "These extraordinary items, noteworthy both for their research value and their beauty, will be of great interest to students and scholars, as well as to the extensive Ethiopian community in Southern California." ...

To see more, go to the UCLA newsroom here.


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