Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Carl Griffin


BYU, library, Syriac studies, churches


On June 20, 2001, representatives of BYU’s Maxwell Institute, The Catholic University of America (CUA), and Beth Mardutho, a Syriac studies institute, met together to discuss the digital imaging of key holdings in the Semitics/ICOR Library of CUA’s Mullen Library. CUA’s Semitics/ICOR Library houses one of the largest collections in the world of early and rare books on the Christian East. All parties shared a particular interest in early Syriac printed works, both for their continuing value to contemporary Syriac Christian communities as well as to Syriac scholars. Many early printed catalogs, text editions, grammars, lexica, and other instrumenta and studies have never been superseded or replaced. Their rarity and inaccessibility to scholars has long been a serious problem for the field of Early Christian Studies. The faculty and staff of Catholic University recognized this need as well and generously agreed to work with BYU and Beth Mardutho to provide digital access to their collection. BYU and Beth Mardutho entered into a three-way agreement with CUA to scan a broad selection of their Syriac book holdings, with BYU focusing on titles of primarily academic interest and Beth Mardutho on materials of broader interest to the Syriac churches. The results of this Institute project are now avail-able free of cost on the Web as the Brigham Young University & The Catholic University of America Syriac Studies Reference Library (http://www.lib.byu.edu/dlib/cua/).