The Patriarchal Registry

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The Patriarchal Library comprises of manuscript and printed book collections which have been preserved from the recurring looting and destructions. Today’s Library of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded in the Arab conquest years, initially as a collection of religious books with texts from the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and other monasteries such as that of Saint Savvas. Significant efforts for the reconstruction and restructuring of the Library, alongside with the enrichment of the literature, were endeavoured by scholar Patriarchs such as Nectarios and Dositheos. Moreover remarkable efforts were also made by Patriarchs Nicodemus and Cyril.

Paleographer Athansios Papadopoulos Kerameas published in 1891 a catalogue, recording all collected manuscripts in the present Library of the Patriarchate. They are three big manuscript collections, namely 645 manuscripts of the Patriarchate, 706 of Saint Savvas’ Monastery, and 147 of the Monastery of the Cross. Additionally there are smaller manuscript collections. Their contents are related to religious matters from the Old and the New Testament, as well as from the Divine Liturgies, while there are manuscripts of literature, jurisprudence and mathematics in various languages, such as Arabic, Slavonic and Armenian.

At present, with the refurbished building and the classification of the registry following contemporary methods, the Library of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is worth to be mentioned as it attracts the pilgrim-reader to be initiated in the written testimony of Christianity.