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Home > Primary sources and ressources > Catalogues of manuscripts > Thematic and Topical Manuscript Catalogues > Inventory of Libraries and Catalogues of Ethiopian Manuscripts > Ethiopia


  • Anaïs WION, 1 August 2013

    Ethiopia has a rich collection of thousands of manuscripts preserved in church and monastery libraries. Access to these manuscripts is strictly regulated and one must obtain authorization from the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahdo Church, the ARCCH (Agency for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage), and the Ministry of Culture. These authorizations although necessary, are far from being sufficient. Each church council can itself deny or grant access to its library.

    Numerous publications describe these manuscripts preserved in monastic libraries. We have chosen here not to mention this bibliography. On the one hand because, overabundant as well as fragmentary, it is a well known bibliography. On the other hand and first of all, because the collections listed here are all public collections of which access is unrestricted to researchers, and that access to monastic libraries of Ethiopia could not be considered as such.

    Several listing and digitization campaigns give nevertheless partial access to manuscripts that are preserved in these religious institutions and those are listed here (see for instance NALE, IES, ...).

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