The Franciscan library in Jerusalem: the works continue to catalogue the collection of old sources

Giacomo Pizzi17 November 2011

The library of the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land is located within St. Saviour’s Monastery, in the heart of the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Here, among precious manuscripts and stunningly beautiful collections of ancient volumes, work is advancing to catalogue those works that were printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The aim of the project, which began some months ago, is to create a detailed catalogue with information about each individual volume, including its state of preservation and origin, so as to be able to more accurately reconstruct, through the history of the books, the history of the library itself.

The project was made possible through the support of ATS pro Terra Sancta – as part of the larger project “Telling the Story of the Holy Land” being carried out by the Custody of the Holy Land and the Centro di Ricerca Europeo Libro Editoria Biblioteca of the Catholic University of Milan. In addition to the library at St. Saviour’s the project also involves the library of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.

The catologue, which will be published next year, will serve as an important tool for scholars and researchers from not only Jerusalem but throughout the world, as it will provide a detailed overview of the volumes that can be consulted in this library. Of great interest, for example, are a number of the rare book collections, notably those dedicated to the accounts of travelers to the Holy Land from the fifteenth century to the present time.