have a long history in accumulating and preserving their knowledge.
They invented the letters of the Coptic language, combining
the Greek and ancient Egyptian languages They translated the
Bible from Greek to Coptic. In the third century, the extensive
and prestigious Patriarchal Library of St. Mark was used by
students from the School of Alexandria and was the model used
for the Library of Jerusalem at the time of Origen.
of St. Pachomios had large libraries of manuscripts. The monks
were encouraged to read these. Every monk's cell had a place
to keep the books borrowed from the library so they could not
to be forgotten or lost.
Monastery of St. Shenouda has a room, north of the altar, that
was used as library. We still can read some of the titles and
the number of copies of the scripts. Nowadays, it is estimated
that there are still 1870 page of the works of St. Shenouda
in European libraries, although it was estimated that the writings
of St. Shenouda reached over 25 thousand pages.
a piece of ostracom from the 7th century which has the archives
of St. Elias Monastery near Luxor, describing the book titles,
the writing materials used, biographies of saints, canons, homilies
and also medical books. Homilies were also found in the library
of the 9th century Monastery of the Archangel Michael in El
Fayoum, now kept in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.
However, most of the libraries of Wadi Al Natroun Monasteries
were lost due to the barbarian attacks in the years 408, 434,
444, and 817 AD. What survived was bought very cheaply and is
now preserved in the Vatican Library, the Bodleian Library in
Oxford, and the John Rylands Library in Manchester and Cambridge.
Also, there is a significant collection in Leipzig, Germany.
Most of the manuscripts from Al Syrian Monastery are now in
the London Museum.
White managed to preserve a large number of manuscripts in the
of St Mary, St Anthony and St Makarios Monasteries have been
preserved. These libraries are a valuable sources of research.