Coptic Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum: Books and Bindings from Medieval Egypt

Join curators and conservators for an interdisciplinary exploration of the Coptic Manuscripts at the Morgan Library & Museum, from J. Pierpont Morgan’s purchase of the collection to its subsequent history including an overview of technical and material features of the manuscripts and bindings, as well as a close look at how innovative imaging and computer science technologies have revealed long-hidden physical and textual information. Presented by Joshua O’Driscoll, Assistant Curator, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Department; Frank Trujillo, Drue Heinz Book Conservator; and Maria Fredericks, Sherman Fairchild Head of Conservation.

The Coptic religious tradition began in Egyptian desert monasteries of the third and fourth centuries C.E., a period that coincides with the early development of the codex book form that is still familiar today. The buried library of the Monastery of St. Michael, serendipitously discovered in 1910 in the Fayum Oasis southwest of Cairo, forms the basis of the Morgan’s large collection of Coptic manuscripts, book covers and binding fragments. Manuscripts from St. Michael date from the ninth and tenth centuries; subsequent acquisitions have expanded the collection to include earlier examples of Coptic book production, including two fifth-century manuscripts and a selection of scribal tools.

Please note that the program will take place online. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to participate using Zoom. We ask that you download the app in advance for the best user experience.

Friday, March 26, 2021, 3 PM

Tickets: Free; limited availability, advance registration is required.

Annunciation Frontispiece from a Synaxary, in Sahidic. Egypt, Touton, 914 CE.  MS M.597, fol. 1v. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) in 1911.

Please call (212) 685-0008 ext. 560 or e-mail for information.