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Preservation of ancient manuscripts in the library of Coptic monastery Deir El Surian.

IMPLEMENTING NGO
The Levantine Foundation (TLF), is a non-profit organization registered in the United Kingdom under No. UK1094436, in Egypt under Law No. 84 of 2002.

PARTNERS
The Coptic monastery Deir El Surian, Wadi EL-Natroun.
National Library & Archives.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities.
University of Leiden, Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE
Training of some 288 local conservators and librarians under the supervision of visiting foreign experts in the field of preservation, storage and digitalization of the ancient manuscripts, thus providing educational and employment opportunities for young graduates in this field.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA
Wadi El-Natroun, Greater Cairo Governorate.

DURATION
12 months starting from November 1, 2009.

STATUS
Accomplished.

In Wadi Al Natroun lies the Coptic monastery Deir El Surian, whose library houses an estimated 2,000 of the earliest Christian manuscripts and fragments dating back as far as the sixth century. Texts in Syriac, Coptic, Arabic and Ethiopic have accumulated over hundreds of years since the monastery was established in the sixth century. The monks have long worked to preserve the library collection. But, time has taken its toll on the manuscripts. As they continue to deteriorate, the valuable collection is now at risk of being lost.

The project’s objective is to preserve and record this priceless collection for Egypt and the world.  With the advancement of science, the manuscripts can be preserved and even made available for wider scholarly access through digitalization The project aims to develop training programs for local conservators on cataloguing, preservation, storage and digitalization of the collection.

The training will be divided into two phases, each phase includes two training programs over 14 days per each. The training deals with theoretical and practical subjects that focus on  the preserving the manuscript collection, maintenance methods, documentation, display facilities and how to deal with disasters. Visiting experts from a number of foreign universities will conduct the training. Upon the completion of the training, trainees will be provided with certificates approved by the Levantine Foundation and Sawiris Foundation for Social Development.