Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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UCLA Library has received a grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to fund key aspects of the Sinai Library Digitization Project. This project—initiated by the fathers of St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai, Egypt, and made possible through the participation of the UCLA Library and the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL)—will create digital copies of 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the 4th to the 17th centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site located in a region of the Sinai Peninsula sacred to three world religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—St. Catherine’s Monastery houses a collection of ancient and medieval manuscripts second only to the Vatican Library. Access to these materials has often been difficult, and now all the more so due to security concerns in the Sinai Peninsula. Built in the sixth century, St. Catherine’s Monastery holds the oldest continually operating library in the world. The library’s manuscripts cover subjects ranging from history and philosophy, to medicine and spirituality, making them of interest to scholars and learners across a wide range of disciplines. Among the monastery’s most important Syriac and Arabic manuscripts are a fifth century copy of the Gospels in Syriac; a Syriac copy of the “Lives of Women Saints” dated 779 CE; the Syriac version of the “Apology of Aristides,” of which the Greek original has been lost; and numerous Arabic manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries, when Middle Eastern Christians first began to use Arabic as a literary language.

Acquisitions

A collection of zines have been acquired by the University of Kansas (KU) Libraries. The collection of fan-made, self-published magazines—better known simply as zines—that provide a window into politics, fandom, music, community, history, and the idea of “do it yourself” communications both before and after the Internet became a dominant vehicle for communication and expression. The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements in KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library is the new home of this collection of nearly 1,000 zines on a wide range of topics. Frank Farmer, professor of English, arranged for the acquisition of the zine collection of Solidarity, a now-defunct political activist organization based in Lawrence. The former Solidarity collection holds homemade publications on topics from “killing the fur industry” to the Occupy movement, World Trade Organization protests, socialism, anarchy, and a wide range of often radical political ideas. But there are also a number dedicated to the arts, music, literature, and culture. Some have relatively well-known names, such as Maximum Rock and Roll or Fact Sheet Five, while others are decidedly less well-known, including Farmer’s personal favorite 13 Ways of Looking at Bill Murray. Originating in the 1930s and often devoted to science fiction and fandom, the self-made publications continued to grow in numbers, prevalence, and sometimes even popularity throughout the ensuing decades from the 1940s through the 1980s. The arrival of the Internet in the 1990s certainly changed things but did not kill zines. While blogs and online forms of communication are nearly ubiquitous now, there are still a number of zines being produced. However, those from the past—including zines that existed only for a single issue—were rarely archived the way online writing is. Zines simply weren’t built to last. See more at https://news.ku.edu/2016/02/16/ku-libraries-adds-nearly-1000-zines-examples-political-fan-centered-outsider-writing#sthash.FAu9hthv.dpuf.

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