Books, Bridges of Peace in Jerusalem

Our aim is to enhance the cultural heritage preserved in the Franciscan libraries in Jerusalem and the other centers of the Custody of the Holy Land.

The situation in the Holy Land is particularly complex, in terms of politics, religion and culture. In such a context, the presence of the Franciscans has been crucial for the preservation of the Holy Places, for more than eight centuries. As a matter of fact, the ancient libraries of the Custody of the Holy Land are a reference point for dialogue, mutual understanding and preservation of the historical memory of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land. 

The libraries

The project focuses primarily on the following libraries of the Custody of the Holy Land:

  • The library in St. Saviour’s Monastery, the oldest among the libraries of the Custody of the Holy Land, and undoubtedly one of the oldest in Jerusalem. It contains manuscripts and incunables of great value, in addition to rare collections, such as the rich series of itineraries to the Holy Land.
  • The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum maintains a specialist library, which is open to the public, containing approximately 50,000 volumes and 420 journals. The main fields are: archaeology, biblical studies, patristic, Judaism, Ancient East and travels to the Holy Land.
  • The library of the Mouski Convent in Cairo, part of the Franciscan Center for Christian Oriental Studies, is a point of reference for the research on Arab, other Eastern communities and Churches.

Activities

  • Systematical cataloguing of ancient sources, such as manuscripts and ancient volumes.
  • Creation of digtalized catalogues available online.
  • A specific study will be carried out on the Travels and itineraries to the Holy Land from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries, with the creation of a corresponding web page and a traveling library exhibition.
  • Supporting the research and  publications of various studies on the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, carried out at the Mouski Convent library in Cairo.
  • A plan for the preservation of ancient manuscripts and incunables held by the libraries.

This project is related to that of the Terra Sancta Museum, which will expose some of the most precious manuscripts conserved in the libraries of the Holy Land. Some of these, need immediate renovation.

Visit the website of the GENERAL LIBRARY OF THE CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND, where you can find the OPAC Catalog.

Help us support the Franciscan libraries.

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