Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota is building an archive of reproductions of Eastern Christian manuscripts, especially those in danger of damage or destruction, under the direction of Professor Columba Stewart.  According to the website, there are now over 125,000 manuscripts on microfilm or digitized.  Their work has unfolded in monasteries and other institutions in Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, and many other locations across the Middle East, Europe, and India.  Manuscripts in Ge’ez (including EMML, the Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library) and Syriac seem particularly well represented in the collection.  The manuscripts are searchable through the online catalog OLIVER: (http://www.hmml.org/research2010/catalog/search_home.asp).

OLIVER allows you to search the manuscript collection by keyword or browse by manuscript location and library.  Most manuscripts have a few digital images available; microfilms or digital copies on disk of the entire manuscript can be ordered as well.  Those archived after 2003 (when the project switched from microfilm to digital photography) are now available for free online viewing, up to 3 at a time.   Clearly, the Hill Museum and Manuscript library is a significant resource for scholars, and does extraordinary work in preserving cultural heritage, for which it was recognized with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2011.


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