Monday, November 30, 2015

Support CSNTM with Your Christmas Shopping

Support CSNTM

If you are planning on doing Christmas shopping this year on Amazon, please consider using the link above. By clicking on the Amazon logo, CSNTM will get a portion of your purchase at no additional cost to you!

The link will take you to Amazon, you can shop as normal, and Amazon will give a portion of anything purchased during that shopping session to CSNTM.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Images of Ten Uncatalogued 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 newly-discovered manuscripts from the National Library of Greece (NLG) in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace made the discoveries during his preparation of each manuscript for digitization. They are listed according to their NLG shelf number, as they have not yet been assigned a Gregory-Aland number. They cannot be confirmed as new discoveries without further investigation (i.e. they could be missing sections from extant New Testament manuscripts). The contents of these discoveries were recently presented at an annual scholarly meeting by CSNTM's Research Manager, Robert D. Marcello.


  • NLG 118: 11th century minuscule; one leaf, bound together with GA 765. Has a beautiful icon of Luke and the text of Luke 1.1–6.
  • NLG 204: 9th or 10th century palimpsested minuscule; one leaf, part of the upper-text manuscript GA 771. The under-text has a distinct hand, though both the under- and upper-text is from Mark 1 on this leaf.
  • NLG 2676: 13th or 14th century minuscule; two bifolio leaves at the front and back of GA Lect 1813. Contains a portion of 1 John, which is relatively rare in Apostolos manuscripts from this time period.
  • NLG 158 (front): 14th century lectionary; two leaves, bound together with GA 765 at the beginning of the codex.
  • NLG 158 (back): 12th century lectionary; twenty-seven leaves, bound together with GA 765 at the end of the codex. Possibly from the same scribe as GA 765, and combined into a single codex later.
  • NLG 2711: 12th or 13th century manuscript (could be a minuscule or lectionary); found in the reinforcement strips of GA Lect 1816. Contains text from Luke 1.
  • NLG 3534: 15th century lectionary; 64 leaves, containing the Gospels, Acts, and Paul.
  • NLG 4002: 18th century lectionary dated to 1701; 172 leaves, containing several beautiful (yet unfinished!) icons.
  • NLG 4074: 13th or 14th century lectionary; 196 leaves, containing the Gospels.
  • NLG 4080: 13th or 14th century lectionary; 154 leaves, containing the Gospels.

We have also added images for 9 manuscripts that are now in our digital library. Many of these are older images from microfilm. However, we want to make sure to make as many available as possible, even if high-resolution digital images are not currently available.

  • GA 040
  • GA 045
  • GA 055
  • GA 056
  • GA 059
  • GA 060
  • GA 063
  • GA 069
  • GA 070

These images have now been added to our growing searchable collection, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of New Testament manuscripts.

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Images 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 new manuscripts from the National Library of Greece in Athens, the site of our ongoing digitization project for 2015–16.


  • GA 777: From the 12th century, this manuscript (MS) contains the complete Tetraevangelion. The manuscript features 22 beautiful icons, many of which are from the life of Jesus.
  • GA 792: From the 13th century, this is a rare MS in that its New Testament contents include only the Gospels and Revelation. Also included are selected passages from the Old Greek.
  • GA 798: From the 11th century, this MS of the Gospels contains Matthew and Mark. CSNTM had previously digitized the other portion (containing Luke and John) housed at the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF), so digital images are now available for the entire MS.
  • GA 800: From the 12th or 13th century, this MS of the Gospels has extensive commentary wrapping around the text on three sides, and some unique textual features.
  • GA 1411: From the 10th or 11th century, this MS of the Gospels contains extensive commentary on John and Luke by Chrysostom and Titus of Bostra.
  • GA 1412: From the 10th or 11th century, this MS of the Gospels interweaves the biblical text with commentary by Chrysostom and Titus of Bostra, using a variety of different methods to distinguish the text from the commentary.
  • GA 1973: From the 13th century, this MS of Paul’s letters contains commentary from Theophylact of Bulgaria.
  • GA Lect 440: Paper lectionary dated to 1504, which was damaged and then repaired with other paper texts with script at some later point in its history.
  • GA Lect 1524: Paper lectionary dated to 1522, a well-used manuscript.
  • GA Lect 2007: Paper lectionary from the 15th century.

We have also added images for 12 manuscripts that are now in our digital library. Many of these are older images from microfilm.

  • GA 08
  • GA 010
  • GA 014
  • GA 015
  • GA 017
  • GA 018
  • GA 019
  • GA 020
  • GA 034
  • GA 035
  • GA 038
  • GA 044

These images have now been added to our growing searchable collection, which gives everyone free access to the best available digital images of Greek New Testament manuscripts.

All images are available at the CSNTM Library

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The New

Since we began our work in 2002, a core part of our mission has been to make it possible to view and study New Testament manuscripts from anywhere in the world. We have worked toward this by traveling around the globe and capturing beautiful digital images of some of the most important extant manuscripts. Today, we are taking another step forward by making it easier than ever for you to access manuscripts. We’re launching the new


Here are some of the features that you can expect to find now and in the coming weeks:

  • New Manuscripts – We will be adding 10-20 new manuscripts to our website weekly for the next few months. These will be from the National Library of Greece in Athens (our ongoing project for 2015–16), as well as previously unposted images from hundreds of manuscripts and rare books in our collection.
  • New Look – We have revamped our entire website to make it both simpler and richer in content. We have new content, which narrates how we go about digitizing and archiving manuscripts. We also explain what goes into our extensive training program that enables our teams to work quickly while capturing high-quality images.
  • New Viewing Environment – The website is equipped with a new viewer, which makes it easier than ever to navigate manuscripts and view our stunning new images.
  • New Usability – Our new site is also designed to work perfectly with mobile devices and tablets, enabling you to view manuscripts or to access other resources quickly, whenever you need them.
  • New Search Features – The website is now outfitted with an extensive search functionality. Searches can be performed at the manuscript level, allowing you to find manuscripts that meet certain criteria (e.g., date, contents, material, location). They can also be performed at the image level, which allows you to find specific features within a manuscript. For instance, we now have a Jump to Book option that allows you to find the beginning of each book that a manuscript contains. Also, one can search tagged manuscripts for verse references. Every place, for example, in which John 1.1 is tagged will automatically populate when the verse is searched.
  • New Search Database – The search database holds tags for each manuscript and individual image. As our team continues tagging our growing collection, the search function will become more comprehensive each week. But the task is daunting. We want your help for the tagging! If interested, you can reach us via our contact page.

Please share our new site with colleagues and friends, so more and more people can continue to utilize CSNTM’s library, which is free for all and free for all time. We sincerely hope that you enjoy using the site. It represents a giant leap forward in accomplishing our mission to bring ancient New Testament manuscripts to a modern world.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Behind the Scenes: What Happens after We Capture an Image

29 October 2015

Andrew K. Bobo and Robert D. Marcello

Many visitors to the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts' (CSNTM) website are familiar with the front end of the digitization process. We travel across the world—this past summer we were in Athens, Greece for three months—taking our equipment with us to photograph manuscripts page by page. What most people do not realize is the amount of work that continues after an image is taken, the part of the process we refer to as “post-production.”

CSNTM's server room;

The post-production process of safely storing our data has developed rapidly over the past decade with the advent of newer and better technologies for every stage of the digitization process. The quality of digital cameras has increased exponentially, and so has the size of each image file. As we planned to switch to 50 megapixel cameras last summer, we knew we would significantly increase our storage needs as we increased the quality of every image. We archive files in RAW, JPEG, and TIFF formats. So a single manuscript page digitized with the newest cameras requires more than 425 MB of storage space. Because we have recently committed to capture 150,000 images in 15 months, this demanded a more robust way to manage our data.

The Center purchased and installed a professional-grade server system, which tripled the capacity of our previous server. The system can be scaled to hold over 600 TB of data, ensuring that CSNTM has room to grow for the next decade of expeditions. The new server runs a RAID6 backup protocol. This process is designed to automatically rewrite all data to multiple locations within the system, and would allow for two individual drives to fail without any data loss. The new server also gives us remote access to our holdings, allowing us to run maintenance processes and gain access to our data from anywhere in the world.

The entire process of finding, installing, and maintaining a new server would not have been possible without bringing in some outside help. CSNTM was fortunate to be connected with The Core Technology Group, an IT consultancy based in the Dallas area. They quickly understood our organization’s mission and data storage needs, helping us find a server setup that would be cost-effective, reliable, and scalable in the long-term. They have also answered dozens of emails and phone calls from us along the way.

Finally, CSNTM has found new ways to archive our images in additional locations and formats. Aside from our new server, we also purchased an LTO tape drive and several LTO tape cartridges. In the past, CSNTM used gold-plated DVDs for the purpose of additional backups, but with the rapid expansion of the size of our images, this backup method has become unwieldy and inefficient. It would take thousands of DVDs to store the massive number of images we plan to take during the next few years. LTO tapes, on the other hand, each hold more than 2 TB of data, only cost about $30 each, and last up to 30 years. We are creating multiple LTO tape backups for every image in our collection, in both RAW and TIFF formats, in order to conform with archival best practices.

Preservation begins with capturing beautiful images, but it doesn’t end there. With our new backup protocols, we will be processing over 60,000 images during the next few months. Each image will be converted and stored in three different formats, on two different media, and in three different locations. Though we aren’t in the field digitizing, the work continues as we safely archive our data for generations to come.

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