Challenge to fund Greek collections

MS Theodore Psalter

Our collection of over 1,000 volumes of Greek manuscripts is arguably the largest and most important resource for the study of Hellenic culture outside Greece.
The collection ranges in date from the third century B.C. to the present century, about half of which are illuminated or decorated.

How your organisation can help
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has renewed their support for the project with a challenge grant and we are seeking to match their pledge. We need to raise approximately £75,000 by April 2014 to be able to employ a dedicated Curator of Classical and Byzantine Studies for 3 years, and digitise another 350 manuscripts. This will meet our aim to promote our Classical and Byzantine collections to researchers and the public.

The manuscripts illustrate the rich culture of Greek-speaking people from the time of the Iliad and Odyssey through the Hellenistic, early Christian, Byzantine and Ottoman eras and beyond the creation of the Greek nation state. Highlights include fine Byzantine illuminated manuscripts, early medieval codices of Greek classical literature including the Townley Homer, and the earliest manuscripts of Lysias, Andocides as well as early Biblical manuscripts.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has generously funded the online catalogue of Greek manuscript books making the collection able to be discovered by anyone, anywhere. Over half of the collection of Greek manuscripts has been digitised, available in their entirety free of charge at www.bl.uk/manuscripts. This project has already transformed the use of the collections. The digitised manuscripts are viewed by several thousand individual visitors per month who access the site from all over the world.

To find out how your organisation can help continue this work, contact Michele Burton on +44 (0)20 7412 7030 or by email at michele.burton@bl.uk

Gospel Lectionary Manuscript