On 23 October at 09:oo am, in the presence of the Custos of the Holy Land, the Very Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the inauguration of “MFH Manuscripta Franciscana Hierosolymitana. Selected Exhibition” took place at St. Saviour’s Monastery. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to see 36 precious manuscripts in the Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Ethiopian, Greek, Latin and Syriac alphabets, a number of which are richly illuminated.
The exhibition will also mark the official presentation of the online inventory of the Library of the Custody of the Holy Land in Jerusalem: a cultural and library heritage unique in the world. The inventory of the collection of more than 500 manuscripts, dating from the 11th century to the modern era, was completed over the past few months, and is also available on the web. The creation of an online catalogue has made the works held by the library available to scholars from around the world, assisting mutual exchanges and understanding between the different identities present in the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding territory.
The initiative is a significant step in the project “Books, Bridges of Peace” of the European Research Center on Books, Publishing and Libraries at the Catholic University of Milan, supported by Association pro Terra Sancta. The aim of “Books, Bridges of Peace” is to enhance, and make accessible, this immense library heritage, ensuring that it will continue to represent for future generations a tool for increasing knowledge and understanding of the Christian and Franciscan history, and for fostering and building dialogue among peoples, cultures and religions. In this way books and libraries can truly become real bridges for building peace.
The project, which began in 2011, is structured on several levels and includes the computer cataloguing of ancient collections, the study of a number of these, support for research and publications, and the preservation of literary works.
This important step would not have been possible without the contributions of many friends and supporters. Our projects in the Holy Land are also yours! Please continue to support us.