Friday, August 25, 2006

Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts

Today I noticed the webpage of The Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, hosted by Brigham Young University at

There is a lot of activity at the center. They are collecting and digitizing a large number of Eastern Christian manuscripts and they have published electronic facsimiles of thirty-three Syriac manuscripts from the collection of the Vatican Library. At the Syriac section, David Taylor (formerly Birmingham) is involved in a project that will make essential Syriac texts and tools available on-line. The works to be included are listed in a bibliography:


  1. How are they coming on a facsimile of the Book of Mormon mss?

  2. Digital images wd be better.

    But, seriously, LDS scholars do do useful work on ancient texts. Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls have received their finest editions by LDS scholars and significant work has likewise been done on Ammonite onomastics.

  3. Kristian Heal is working with BYU who are paying people to type in Syriac texts. I haven't seen any sign that these will be freely available online, tho. He was hoping to use an Iraqi team as well, but I'm not sure how that has gone.

    BYU are also the people who applied multi-spectral imagining to the rolls at Herculaneum, and so introduced the technique to us all. They have done a tremendous job.

    But... as with all these things, how much is actually ever going to be accessible online to the independent scholar? That would always be my worry. The CD of Vatican manuscripts is great -- but, couldn't it have been made available online?