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Thursday, February 04, 2016

New Manuscripts from the National Library of Greece

 

New manuscripts digitized by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have just been added to our searchable collection. These include 10 manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16.

Icon of John

  • GA 075: 10th century majuscule of Paul with commentary. The text is in a petite majuscule hand, whereas the commentary is written in minuscule script. The manuscript has three segments of replacement leaves (62–66, 154–158, 367–370), which all come from the same secondary hand.
  • GA 1828: 11th century minuscule of the Apostolos, Paul, and Revelation. This manuscript has some of the most extensive and comprehensive headings and hypotheses of any NT manuscript extant. It is also an important witness to the Euthalian apparatus.
  • GA Lect 426: 15th century lectionary of the Gospels, Apostolos, and Paul. The first half of this codex contains non-NT ecclesiastical texts, including material from Chrysostom.
  • GA Lect 439: 14th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos.
  • GA Lect 445: 14th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 446: 14th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos.
  • GA Lect 1507: 17th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos, with patristic and litrugical text interspersed throughout the manuscript.
  • GA Lect 1509: 17th century lectionary of the Apostolos.
  • GA Lect 1511: 17th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos.
  • GA Lect 1513: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos.

In addition to the manuscripts from the NLG, we have also uploaded and tagged additional manuscripts from our archives.

These images have now become part of our growing searchable library, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

Monday, February 01, 2016

What About White Gloves?

By: Andrew J. Patton

As the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts shares images and videos of its digitization teams working with manuscripts, we consistently receive questions about the use of white gloves. These are excellent questions because it is imperative to properly care for and handle valuable objects like manuscripts. We share a commitment to preserve NT manuscripts with the organizations that own them. Thus, the staff at CSNTM follow the protocols established by the institution whose manuscripts we are digitizing. In some cases, that requires Center staff to wear white cotton gloves, and in other cases it does not.

Since the popular perception of a museum or library conservator is a person wearing white gloves, let us explain why some archivists prefer to handle them with bare hands. In an article for International Preservation News, Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman concluded that using gloves to handle manuscripts and other books is a recent phenomenon—possibly developing in the last twenty years. Many archival organizations have recognized that there are some disadvantages to wearing gloves while handling books. These include that gloves limit tactile perception, do not eliminate the chance of transferring dirt, ointment, and other chemicals to the pages, and make turning fragile or fragmentary pages more difficult.

Rather than wearing gloves, the American Institute for Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works instructs conservators to “handle books only with freshly washed hands.” Then they recognize that “wearing white cotton gloves for handling rare bindings is a good preventive measure, but turning fragile or brittle pages with gloves may cause damage and is not advised.” Thoroughly washing hands with lotion-free soap will remove most of the dirt, grease, and oils that may be left on pages. When CSNTM’s digitizers handle any manuscript—whether or not they are wearing gloves—they wash their hands and then periodically wash again as needed.

Links to Other Resources:

Misperceptions About White Gloves” by Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman in International Preservation News, No. 37 (Dec. 2005).

The Use of White Cotton Gloves for Handling Collection Items” by Jane Pimlott, Preservation Coordinator at the British Library.

Caring for Your Treasures,” American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Manuscripts from the National Library of Greece

New manuscripts digitized by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have just been added to our searchable collection. These include 10 manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16.

Studying a NLG MS

  • GA 776: 11th or 12th century minuscule of the Gospels. Has the pericope adulterae written in a smaller font on the outside margins surrounding the main text, seemingly by a later hand.
  • GA 788: 11th century minuscule of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 431: 15th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 434: 12th century lectionary of the Gospels, with magnificent headpieces and icons.
  • GA Lect 436: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 441: 11th century lectionary of the Gospels, which seems to have been used rather infrequently.
  • GA Lect 1514: 17th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos. The manuscript’s text appears to have been hardly touched, perhaps indicating that this was a privately owned liturgical text.
  • GA Lect 1521: 15th century lectionary of the Gospels. This codex also contains GA Lect 2006.
  • GA Lect 1533: 9th century majuscule lectionary. The manuscript is written with very large letters, indicating that it was intended to be read in the divine services.
  • GA Lect 2006: 14th century lectionary, consisting of four leaves at the front and back of the same codex as GA Lect 1521. 

These images have now become part of our growing searchable library, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Manuscript Discoveries in Athens!

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscript's (CSNTM) staff have discovered as many as seventeen New Testament manuscripts at the National Library of Greece in the past 12 months. By ‘discovery’ we mean that, in the least, they have not been officially catalogued yet by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF) in Muenster, Germany. The INTF is the official cataloging house of all Greek New Testament manuscripts. Generally speaking, if INTF doesn’t know about a manuscript, New Testament scholars don’t know about it either.

 

Ten of these manuscripts have been internally catalogued by the National Library of Greece. Thus, they know about them and have properly described their contents. But the INTF has no record of them yet. One of CSNTM’s major objectives is to search for uncatalogued manuscripts wherever they go, so that they can digitize them and get the data to Muenster. INTF then goes through a laborious process of checking each manuscript against known manuscripts. Occasionally, they determine that what has been ‘discovered’ is a formerly lost portion of a known manuscript. CSNTM has virtually reunited different portions of manuscripts by working in collaboration with INTF. It is always exciting to discover lost portions of a known manuscript, making it fuller than was previously known. 

Many of CSNTM’s discoveries, however, are of manuscripts completely unknown to Muenster and the world of New Testament scholarship. Several of these, as noted, are known to the library that houses the manuscripts, but not to the outside world. But several are discoveries that CSNTM has made—discoveries of manuscripts unknown even to the library in possession of them.

Most of these latter kinds of discoveries fall into one of three groups: (1) Inside-cover leaves used to bind the covers to the manuscript. These consist of one leaf, usually with one side glued to the inside cover and thus unrecoverable. But what can be seen is often older than the known manuscript between the covers. (2) Small reinforcement strips, cut out from other, worn-out manuscripts, that are glued in the margins of pages. (3) Palimpsested leaves—that is, parchment leaves that were reused centuries later by a scribe erasing the text then writing on top of it. The oldest manuscript discovered by CSNTM (from c. the seventh century) is one of these—two leaves at the back of a late medieval manuscript, whose text had been scraped off so that the medieval scribe could reuse them for his own purposes. Five of the New Testament manuscripts discovered this year in Athens fit one of these three categories.

Altogether, the manuscripts discovered this year alone amount to hundreds of pages of text—unique, handwritten copies of the Christian scriptures. Since its inception in 2002, CSNTM staff have discovered more than 90 New Testament manuscripts with more than 20,000 pages of text.

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

New Manuscripts from the National Library of Greece and Website Updates!

New manuscripts digitized by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have just been added to our searchable collection. These include 10 manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16.

Prepping

  • GA 774: 11th century minuscule of the Gospels on a high-quality vellum, with beautiful icons and gold lettering for ekthesis and special notations. The library’s 1892 catalogue describes this manuscript as “the most precious manuscript of the National Library, given by Georgios Ant. Geronta of Kastoria.”
  • GA 2525: 13th century minuscule of the Gospels. Interestingly, only the first three verses (i.e. 7:53–8:2) of the periocope adulterae are included in this manuscript.
  • GA Lect 425: 9th or 10th century majuscule lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 1530: 11th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 1816: 12th century lectionary of the Gospels. Contains binding strips with text from another manuscript.
  • GA Lect 1818: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos.
  • GA Lect 1823: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 1825: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels and Apostolos. The first seventy-one leaves of this manuscript are non-NT liturgical materials, written in a different hand than the lectionary which follows.
  • GA Lect 1826: 11th century lectionary of the Gospels.
  • GA Lect 2015: 16th century lectionary of the Gospels. This manuscript is complete with no missing leaves.

These images have now become part of our growing searchable library, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

Website Updates

Along with the release of these new manuscripts, we want to make everyone aware of some new updates to the site.

  • We now have a direct link at the top and bottom of each page to Amazon for those who want to shop on Amazon and support CSNTM at the same time!
  • Also, we have added a feature to the bottom of our viewer, which allows someone to easily click between pages without having to navigate the thumbnails. 
  • Finally, for those of you who enjoy reading our blog, we have added a RSS feed, which can be found on the right hand side. This will enable you to easily follow updates from CSNTM.

As always, we are striving to provide more content and make your experience easier. 

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