The Power of Words: Any collection of manuscripts is a sacred and spiritual task. These texts not only originate in the past but also, especially in the case of religious literature, derive their source from the edge of the beyond. They constitute testaments not only of time but also of the spirit. Each discovery of a long-lost text helps push back the curtain of time as well as the veil of eternity. These are more than simply manuscripts. They are literary miracles, providing an immortal library, at once timeless and incorruptible.
Forty-three (43) examples from the over 400 items in the Bible collection are included here. This collection has many MSS that would be the pride of most of the world’s largest public collections. 9 MSS are the earliest witnesses to their part of the text of the Bible. 90 MSS have the earliest texts of their part of the Hebrew Bible, and a further 86 are only preceded by the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This collection comprises over 1,200 MSS and 35 examples spanning 24th c. BC to 19th c. AD are included here. Other examples in other collections, see f. inst. Collection 5.18, see f. inst. MS 2458, Chinese history, and the commentary in the Main Introduction.
The collection of over 2000 examples is large to cover the Western scripts, comprising Europe, Near East and the Americas. The palaeography of the rest of the world is covered, albeit less comprehensively, through examples elsewhere in the special collections.