Update: September 18, 2020
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML), located on the campus of Saint John’s University, is following the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and guidelines created by the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (https://www.csbsju.edu/covid-19).
At this time, the following HMML physical spaces are only open to CSB/SJU students and employees and to the monastic communities of Saint Benedict’s and Saint John’s:
- HMML’s Reading Room adjacent to Alcuin Library
Open Hours: the HMML Reading Room is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday (https://www.csbsju.edu/libraries/about-us/hours).
- Saint John’s Bible Gallery
Closed until further notice. Open by appointment only for CSB/SJU classes.
- Exhibition spaces
Closed until further notice.
All who use these spaces are asked to:
- Wear a mask
- Maintain physical distancing
- Keep the furniture in place
At this time, the HMML staff, business services, and staff support services are available by appointment.
COVID-19: HMML Health and Safety Updates
Due to the ongoing pandemic, HMML will remain closed to the public until further notice, and in-person programming and exhibition spaces will be hosted virtually until the campus reopens to the general public. HMML’s digital tools (www.vhmml.org) and digital services (hmml.org/research/services/) will remain active and available to the public.
Currently, we anticipate that the temporary closure of HMML’s onsite spaces will continue into the year 2021. We will closely monitor the development of the pandemic and adjust onsite and in-person availability as is prudent, with the goals of promoting health and safety.
HMML’s digital collections, digital resources, and scholarly services will continue to be offered to the public, free of charge, at www.hmml.org and www.vhmml.org, and curators will be available by email to respond to questions or requests regarding the collections. Many in the teaching profession are in the process of adapting for online teaching, and HMML’s resources and experts remain available to support this work—for example, through the paleography and digital humanities project tutorials offered at www.vhmmlschool.org.
HMML remains committed to promoting access to the world’s handwritten past through preservation and digital access. In this effort, a recent expansion of cataloging staff has significantly increased the number of manuscripts and museum works that are being added to HMML’s online repositories daily. Recent preservation initiatives in Gaza, Pakistan, Libya, and Nepal have brought HMML into partnership with new Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu communities, and HMML continues to seek and develop preservation partnerships around the world. Ongoing digitization continues in Malta, Mali, and around the world and we continue to add materials from these locations to HMML Reading Room.
HMML’s online services remain robust and fully accessible. We are in constant contact with our global partners at HMML field sites and are doing everything we can to ensure their safety and continued work.
Our greatest concern is the safety of our visitors, staff, and colleagues at our local office and global field sites. With this in mind, we will continue to be responsive to local and international situations as they develop.
Please contact HMML if you have any questions:
- Manuscript Reading Room: https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/
- Museum Reading Room: https://www.vhmml.org/museum
- Resources for the study of manuscript cultures: https://www.vhmml.org/
- HMML School: www.vhmmlschool.org
- The Saint John’s Bible Gallery: https://saintjohnsbible.org/
Update: April 9, 2020
In response to the continued spread of Covid-19 and in consultation with our partners and the latest guidelines provided by the US Centers for Disease Control, HMML has made the decision to cancel its summer 2020 programs. This includes the upcoming workshop, an Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies (June 1-5), as well as the Dumbarton Oaks/ HMML Summer Language School courses in Syriac II and Armenian, scheduled for July 13-August 7. These are difficult decisions and though we regret having to make them, the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community are our highest priority. We plan to offer the courses again in 2021. Keep an eye on HMML.org, HMML social media, academic listservs later in the fall for program announcements.
In the wider world, we are in constant contact with our global partners at HMML field sites and are doing everything we can to ensure their safety and continued work. HMML staff continue to work remotely and our online services are robust and remain fully accessible. Those in the teaching profession are having to retool for online teaching, and HMML’s tools can support this work through paleography and digital humanities project tutorials offered in HMML School. As a reminder, access to vHMML.org and all our online resources are always free. HMML curators are available by email to respond to questions about the collections and the availability of our digital resources at vHMML.org.
Update: March 17, 2020 from Executive Director Father Columba Stewart, OSB
As of today, HMML is closed to the public and most staff are working remotely. We want to assure you that:
- HMML is still operating in Minnesota and, wherever possible, in the field.
- We are in constant contact with our field sites throughout the world. Our colleagues in Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, and Malta are the most severely affected at this time; Mali (our largest project) is the least affected. As we know from our own experience in the United States, however, the situation can change quickly. We continue to monitor our projects in Croatia, Egypt, Gaza, India, Libya, Nepal, and Pakistan.
- We are in touch with those who have scheduled research visits to HMML, including recipients of our Heckman Stipends and Carpenter and Swenson Fellowships, to help them reschedule their visits.
- We are assessing HMML summer programs and will make decisions about their status as we have a clearer understanding of what the coming weeks will bring.
All of us at HMML are aware of the challenges faced by our colleagues, family, and friends throughout the world. We hope that everyone remains in good health, but know that even in good health, many will be severely affected by the economic downturn. We will do our best to help our partners sustain their work.
We will be posting updates on a dedicated COVID-19 webpage: https://hmml.org/covid-19/. Meanwhile, keep our far-flung HMML team in your thoughts and prayers.
Update: March 16, 2020
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, HMML and HMML’s Malta Study Center will be closed to the public for research and visits to our exhibitions (including The Saint John’s Bible Gallery) until at least the end of March.
We are assessing the situation on a daily basis and will reopen as soon as conditions permit. Curators will be available by email to respond to questions about the collections and the availability of our digital resources at vHMML.org will not be affected.
Update: March 13, 2020
Greetings from the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML).
We have been following developments both here in Minnesota and globally regarding COVID-19.
As of today, our home campus – Saint John’s University (SJU) in Minnesota – is transitioning temporarily to online teaching and most public HMML events scheduled for March and April have been cancelled or postponed. We hope to reschedule some HMML events or offer alternative programming online. Stay tuned for details.
Currently, The Saint John’s Bible Gallery remains open. The other galleries at HMML will remain open as long as Alcuin Library at SJU remains open. Researchers may continue to visit HMML and use the collections.
As always, you can continue to access our digital manuscript and art collections online at vHMML.org and consult our digital learning platform for students, teachers, and scholars or visit HMML School for tutorials and resources. Our greatest concern is the safety of our staff, visiting scholars, public, and colleagues at our global field sites. With this in mind, we will continue to be responsive to the local and international situations as they develop.