Catalogue of the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project: Volume 7: Codices 601-654. The Meseret Sebhat Le-Ab Collection of Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa

By Kesis Melaku Terefe, Steve Delamarter and Jeremy R. Brown (editors)

The 7th volume of the catalogue of Ethiopic manuscripts digitised by the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project, with descriptions of contents and illuminations.

ISBN: 9780227173855


The series Ethiopic Manuscripts, Texts, and Studies offers, in the first place, catalogues of the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project, whose purpose it is to digitize and catalogue collections of Ethiopic manuscripts in North America and around the world. Beyond this, though, the series offers a venue for monographs, revised dissertations, and texts that explore the rich historical, literary, and artistic traditions of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
From the Series Foreword

The Catalog of the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project (EMIP), Volume 7, provides a full catalogue for the collection of fifty-four manuscripts in the Meseret Sebhat Le-Ab collection at Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These include one late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century
manuscript of Jubilees and the Minor Prophets. Each catalogue entry is laid out in seven sections:

  1. Number, name and title
  2. Physical description and date (including descriptions of cases and covers)
  3. List of contents (with incipits)
  4. List of miniatures and illuminations
  5. Varia (known works added later)
  6. Notes on codicology and scribal practice
  7. Quire maps

The manuscripts catalogued here constitute a resource for a wide range of studies, such as the exploration of developments of scribal and artistic practice across time, or the interconnections between common elements in manuscripts, scribal practices, scribal education, and community ideology. A particular focus of interest of the Project is on the scribal techniques and practices in evidence within the manuscripts, and this has been emphasised in the catalogue descriptions. Extensive opening articles provide an introduction to the collection, a biography of Aläqa Meseret’s life and work, an introduction to the Ethiopian musical tradition of Saint Yared, and a study on the textual character of the manuscript of Jubilees. Four indices (works, names, miniatures, and scribal practice) provide quick access for the researcher.

Additional information

Dimensions242 × 165 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Kesis Melaku Terefe served the church in Ethiopia for several years in various positions in Awasa (southern Ethiopia) and Harar (eastern Ethiopia). For the last nine years he has served as priest in the Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Los Angeles, California. He is in frequent demand, speaking in various churches through North America. He served as cataloguer of the Wolf Leslau collection of Ethiopian manuscripts at the Charles E. Young Research Library at UCLA, and for the Robert Garrett Collection of Ethiopic manuscripts at the Princeton University Library.

Jeremy R. Brown works in the EMIP as director of digitisation and technology. In December of 2008 and January of 2009, he served on a digitisation team that worked in Ethiopia to digitise about 1,200 manuscripts. Between January and June 2010, he served as Director of Digitization and Conservation in the Endangered Archives Programme grant to digitise the collection at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Steve Delamarter is Professor of Old Testament at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Director of the EMIP, Chair of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Consultation on the Ethiopic Bible and Literature, and Project Co-Director with Ato Demeke Berhane in the British Library Endangered Archives Programme project (#286) to digitise and catalog 5,749 items in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Delamarter is also head of the steering committee for the Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament (THEOT) Project.


Series Foreword
Foreword: Ethiopian Manuscripts and Their Preservation / Richard Pankhurst
Introduction to the Collection
Aläqa Meseret Sebhat Le-Ab: A Biography / Loren Bliese, Mehret-Ab Bereke and Walda Estifanos
The D?ggwa of St Yared and the Musical Manuscripts in the Collection / Ralph Lee
The Textual Character of Jubilees in Mekane Yesus Seminary 54 / Ted M. Erho

Catalogue of the Manuscripts

List of the Manuscripts by MYS shelf mark
List of Dated or Datable Manuscripts by Date
List of Undated Manuscripts by Date
Index of Works in the Codices
Index of Names and Places
Index of Miniatures
Index of Scribal Practices


Endorsements and Reviews

Apart from Biblical and liturgical texts one finds there [in the book] theological treatises (such as the famous Qerellos), synaxaria and some hagiographies as well as a certain number of manuscripts with tradtional Ethiopian musical notation. The gem of the collection is however the fifteenth/sixteenth-century codex containing, among others, the Book of Jubilees.
Marcin Krawczuk, in The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, Vol XLIV, 2014