Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A New Home for the Mingana Collection

Jim Davila brought my attention to the news article in today's Birmingham Post, reporting that "one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings has finally reopened following completion of a two-year refurbishment programme costing more than £40  million." This building is the Muirhead Tower, a central feature of the landscape for almost 40 years, 16 storeys high, located on the University of Birmingham campus. The Mingana collection will be located here:

The university’s Special Collections will be based in the purpose-built Cadbury Research Library, bringing all the university’s collections under one roof including the famous Mingana collection of middle-eastern manuscripts.

The space has been designed to be fire and moisture protected and temperature controlled to protect the priceless collection, which consists mainly of Arabic and Syriac Middle Eastern manuscripts, a very small number of Hebrew/Jewish works, coins, seals and a few clay tablets.

The Collection was founded in Birmingham between 1925 and 1929 by Edward Cadbury who named it after its collector, Alphonse Mingana.

Read the whole story here.

Read also the information from Birmingham University: Special Collections Muirhead Tower Development including images of the new Special Collections facility.

This summer I saw some magnificent items in the collection during the official launch of the Virtual Manuscript Room. I also took part in a special workshop led by David Parker on one of the Greek New Testament MSS: Birmingham University Library, Mingana MS Peckover Gr. 7 (Gregory-Aland 713 and L586).

More on Mingana here and here.

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