The Schøyen Collection, the largest private manuscript collection created in the last 100 years, today announced the launch of its new independent website. The move has come after a long collaboration with the National Library of Norway, which hosted the Schøyen Collection's online catalogue for seven years. The online checklist of about 6 per cent of the total collection is a work in progress, with information updates, additions and disposals reflected for the benefit, and with the input, of its users. The current website will hold the 21st edition of the collection checklist.
The decision to host an independent website has been made for two reasons. First, the Schøyen Collection and its stakeholders will be better served by having a stronger independent presence on the web at an international level rather than being merely a resource within the website of a national library. Second, by not being obliged to provide the level of public service required as an associate of a national, state-funded institution, the privately funded collection would be better able to fulfil its original remit of working with scholars, students, and others with a genuine interest in advancing the understanding and knowledge of human culture and civilization as a whole.
Martin Schøyen, proprietor and creator of the collection, said:
“It has been a privilege for the Collection to co-operate with the National Library of Norway but our Collection is of global rather than national importance. It should stand alone as a significant cultural resource in its own right. We need to make our own decisions on the future in the best interests of the Collection. However, I can assure scholars that the Collection will continue to make its manuscripts and other material available on the same terms as before in both London and Oslo.”
Note to Editors:
The Schøyen Collection crosses borders and unites cultures, religions and unique materials found nowhere else. The Collection, based in London and Oslo, contains over 20,000 significant manuscripts and other artefacts of major cultural importance and is an important part of the world’s heritage.
There is no public collection that has the Schøyen Collection’s unique array of manuscripts from all the greatest manuscript hoards, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Cairo Genizah of Hebrew MSS, The Oxyrhynchus hoard of classical papyri, The Dishna Biblical papyri, The Nag Hammadi Gnostic papyri, the Dunhuang hoard of Buddhist MSS, and many others. Nor is there one with such a variety, geographically, linguistically and textually, and of scripts and writing materials, covering so a great span of time — 5,000 years of history.