||18 Mullen Library
620 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20064
||Monica Blanchard, Head
|Internet Catalog Address:
|Hours of Service:
||9:00 a.m.--5:00 p.m.
|Open to the public:
||By appointment only
Most materials may be photocopied. The S/I Library tries to honor
most interlibrary loan requests unless materials are in use in the
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- Reference Policy:
- Telephone and mail queries are accepted if they are relevant
to the collection.
- Borrowing Privileges:
- Not a circulating collection.
- Background Note:
- The Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures
at CUA was founded in 1895 by Msgr. Henri Hyvernat (1858-1941),
who also established the Institute of Christian Oriental Research
in 1931. The Library was established in 1895 to support the work
of the Department and the Institute.
- Books and monographs:
- The collection has approximately 50,000 volumes (both monographs
and periodicals) related to biblical studies and the religions
of the ancient and medieval Near East. The personal library of
Henri Hyvernat comprises roughly half the collection. The collections
include works published by 19th-century Dominican missions in
Iraq (the Mosul imprints) in Syriac and Arabic; travel literature
on the Near and Far East written by Western travelers and missionaries
(16th -19th century); and an extensive collection of 16th- to
18th-century books on Semitic philology and Christian Oriental
studies. Some of these include: a 16th-century Syriac grammar
by Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter; various (17th-19th centuries)
editions of the writings of St. Ephraem the Syrian (ca. 306-373);
a 15th-century Chaldean choral manuscript; an 18th-19th century
Turkish translation of the Kitab Kalila wa-Dimna (Indian animal
fables used in Moslem and Christian literature); and other works.
Particular subject emphases include: pre-Islamic epigraphy;
biblical studies; Syraic patristics; medieval Christian-Moslem
apologetics; Byzantine-Coptic papyrology; and missions.
The card catalog covers the entire collection.
- Periodicals and newspapers:
- There are 225 current subscriptions and an estimated 10,000
bound periodicals. The subject areas covered by this collection
include: Semitic philology, Christian Near Eastern studies and
- Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
- The collection holds approximately 100 manuscripts in Arabic,
Armenian, Chinese, Coptic, Ethiopic, Persian, Samaritan, Syriac,
and Turkish, and approximately 1200 facsimile reproductions in
Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew. The collection also includes
unpublished research aids for Coptic and Syriac studies prepared
by Henri Hyvernat and other scholars; approximately 100 cuneiform
tablets in Sumerian and Akkadian; approximately 100 Coptic and
Egyptian ostraka and papyri; and casts of early Semitic inscriptions
from the 1930 joint CUA-Harvard University expedition to Serabit-el-Khadim
in the Sinai; Neothilic and Chalcolithic materials from Teleilat
Ghassul (Palestine). The geographic focus of this collection is
the Near East.
Monica Blanchard, the Semitics Librarian, is the curator for
- Maps are integrated into the S/I Library. Many early travel
books from the 16th through the 19th century contain maps from
the Near East relating to religion.
- Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
- 19th-century photographs of archaeological sites in the Middle
East, and approximately 600 glass lantern slides of antiquities
- Other holdings not listed above:
- 2 dozen Akkadian cylinder seals; 650 Syrian and Palestinian
Ancient Near East--Religion; Antiquities; Biblical studies; Coptic
studies; Missions and missionaries; Semitic studies; Syriac studies
Selections from the Syriac Exhibit [Online]. Available
HTTP. URL http://www.cua.edu/www/pbaf/syriac/SelSyriac.html. March
1995 (file inactive as of December 1997).
Semitics/ICOR Library [Online]. Available HTTP. URL