522 Manuscripts From 49 Private Collections In Iraq Are Now Available In Reading Room
522 manuscripts from 49 private collections in Iraq are now available in Reading RoomPosted: 2022-07-18
HMML has completed cataloging 522 manuscripts from 49 private collections in Iraq digitized in collaboration with the Centre Numérique des Manuscrits Orientaux (CNMO). Most of these collections are small, consisting of between 1 and 9 manuscripts; the largest is the private library of Albīr Abūnā from Erbil, Iraq, consisting of 67 manuscripts, preserving the owner's work as a reader and translator of contemporary religious texts from French into Arabic.
These collections include many modern notebooks and ephemera, which provide a glimpse into the daily lives of people in Christian Iraqi communities over the course of the 20th century, a time of political upheavals and profound sociocultural change in this region. One example showcases the life of the Chaldean priest Ḥannā Yaʻqūb Qāshā, who was murdered in a massacre in the Assyrian village of Ṣawriyā, Iraq, in 1969 along with another 35 children, women, and men. Born in 1919, the young man was ordained as a priest at the age of 24. During his formative years and after his ordination, he wrote his diaries, recording in them his thoughts, prayers, and daily activities. The diaries that cover most of the period from 1939 to 1945 survive in 11 manuscripts of his collection now available in HMML’s Reading Room.
Also preserved among these manuscripts are rare gems from older periods, such as PLKI HD 00001, a manuscript of the Syriac Book of Medicines dating from 1796 (see the Postscript story here: https://hmml.org/stories/postscript-king-solomon-the-gynecologist/).
The cataloging of these manuscripts was a collaborative effort of the Eastern Christian and Islamic cataloging team. View now