KVSC, the radio station of St. Cloud State University, featured HMML's global manuscript preservation work, including the Saint John's Bible and our work in the classroom, in the series Untold Stories. HMML's Dr. Daniel Gullo, Dr. Matthew Heintzelman and Tim Ternes talk about HMML's mission in the 29-minute audio piece. See more at KVSC.org
For centuries, palm leaves were used as a traditional form of writing support in India. In 2008, HMML began working with the Saint Thomas Christian Community in Kerala, India to digitize and preserve their rich blend of Syriac, European and local traditions. Among the thousands of archival materials are 10,000 palm-leaf manuscripts written in native languages, some pre-dating and many post-dating the Portuguese colonial conquest in the 1500s.
HMML's work in India has been the subject of two news reports: the March 2012 issue of National Geographic and a 2009 PBS Religion & Ethics News Weekly Report.
Rev. Fr. Ignatius Payyappilly, a HMML partner visiting from Kerala, India, will take an in-depth look at some of the palm-leaf manuscripts. The Syrian Christian palm leaves and inscriptions are among the least examined primary sources of history writing and academic inquiry in Kerala. The palm leaves record the facts of day-to-day life of the people and activities of the church. These records allow historians to draw together the socio-economic life of the people with their religious life. The micro history formulated can contribute to the development of the comprehensive history of Kerala. Missed the lecture? View it on the CSB/SJU Digital Commons.
WHEN: Thursday, April 28, 2016
WHERE: Reception, 3:30-4:00 pm in the HMML Reading Room
Presentation, 4:00-5:00 pm in the HMML Classroom
WHO: All are invited!
Rev. Fr Ignatius Payyappilly is a Catholic priest belonging to the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Kerala, India. Fr Ignatius belongs to Syrian Christian Catholic Community and was ordained priest on April 7, 1994. He served as parish priest in six churches in Kerala. He holds MA in History from IGNOU, New Delhi, MA in Archives and Records Management from Liverpool University, UK and PhD from IGNOU, New Delhi. He is the one who organized the Archdiocesan archives in a systematic way 2001 and set up the Archdiocesan Museum in 2003, witnessing to the rich historical tradition of the Syro Malabar Church. Today hundreds of people visit this museum, for its heritage articles, and archives, and for research studies. Since 2001, he is serving as the Archivist and Curator and Librarian of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, and serves as a Consultant of various religious and secular archives in India.
The Rev. Columba Stewart OSB, executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) and professor of theology at Saint John’s School of Theology has been awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants, Stewart is one of 175 Fellowship awardees appointed on the basis of scholarly productivity, achievement and exceptional promise. The fellowship will support Stewart’s completion of a forthcoming book, “Between Earth and Heaven: Interpreting the First Thousand Years of Christian Monasticism.”
His research will take place during his sabbatical in academic year 2016-17. During that time, Stewart will be in residence as a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
“As un-Benedictine as it might be to celebrate honors, Saint John’s University is extremely proud of Fr. Columba and this recognition by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation,” said Michael Hemesath, president of Saint John’s University. “Fr. Columba is a world-renowned scholar on monasticism and a tireless leader in the field of manuscript preservation. This acknowledgement of his work is a great and well-deserved honor.”
A graduate of Harvard, Yale and Oxford universities, Stewart has published extensively in his research field of early Christian monasticism. In 2009-10, he was the recipient of a year-long research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a residential fellowship in Byzantine Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C.
Since 2003, Stewart has served as executive director of HMML, a global organization within Saint John’s University that is the world’s leader in manuscript preservation. Stewart has developed HMML’s extensive manuscript digitization initiatives in historic Christian and Muslim communities in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, India and Africa. He has earned acceptance and trust from these communities, who know him both as a modern Benedictine monk and as a recognized expert on the history of early Christianity and monasticism.
Stewart is a professor of theology at Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary, teaching the history of monasticism. Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary is both a graduate school of theology and a seminary in the Roman Catholic, Benedictine tradition.
Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $334 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, Turing Award winners, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, winners of the Pulitzer Prize and other important, internationally recognized honors. Only three other Saint John’s University faculty have received Guggenheim Fellowships: J. F. Powers (1948), Bryan Hays, OSB (1952 & 1953) and Jon Hassler (1980).
Ethiopia has come to Collegeville in an exhibition at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). Ethiopia, Europe and Collegeville: Cultural Encounters Across Four Centuries is an exhibition now on display in HMML’s Reading Room at Saint John’s University. HMML is the world's richest resource for the study of Ethiopian manuscripts and the exhibition showcases selected pieces from HMML’s collections, including early Ethiopic manuscripts, processional crosses and artwork from the African nation.
Items on display in the current exhibition include Ethiopian psalters, prayer scrolls, African processional crosses, an 18th Century map of Africa, and several printed books about Gǝʿǝz, or classical Ethiopic, from the 17th Century.
“Scholars from around the world have come to Collegeville to use the vast microfilm and digital collections of manuscripts in Gǝʿǝz and Amharic,” said Father Columba Stewart, OSB, executive director of HMML. “The original manuscripts allow visitors to HMML to experience the books in ways that photographs cannot support. Codicological studies of each item tell us much about how the books were made and their physical condition (with smoky residue, for example) can tell us how they were used.”
See HMML's online exhibition:
Terra Incognita online exhibition
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota, preserves handwritten manuscripts around the world and makes the digital images freely available in an effort to understand and protect the history of humanity.