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Manusciences ’15

Manusciences ’15 — a Franco-German Summer School for interdisciplinary approaches to manuscript studies

EMEL Director Michael Phelps and Imaging Scientist Roger Easton of Rochester Institute of Technology will discuss the use of spectral imaging to recover obscured information from manuscripts and other treasures of our cultural heritage at Manusciences ’15.

Past Events:

Fr. Justin Sinaites Discusses the Sinai Palimpsests Project

February 28th 2014, Brookline, MA

Keynote For The 2014 Graduate Student Conference On Byzantine Studies

Presentation of the Sinai Palimpsests Project by Father Justin Sinaites, Librarian of St. Catherine’s Monastery at the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art & Culture, Brookline, MA:

Download poster with full details here…

Date Feb 28, 2014
Time 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location Hellenic College Holy Cross50 Goddard AveBrookline, MA 02445-7415
Building Maliotis Cultural Center

About the Speaker

Hieromonk Justin Sinaites is the Librarian of the Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai.

A Texas native, Fr. Justin grew up in El Paso and studied English literature and history at the University of Texas at Austin, where he discovered Byzantium and the Orthodox faith. He spent over twenty years at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline before remaking his home at St. Catherine’s Monastery in 1996. Responsible for the library’s 3,300 manuscripts, 8,000 early printed books, and archive of material documenting the monastery’s long history, Fr. Justin is deeply involved with the monastery’s efforts to document and make accessible its many treasures, among them digitally photographing the monastery’s manuscript collection and partnering in the Codex Sinaiticus Project.

The monastery is now collaborating with the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL) and an international group of scholars on the Sinai Palimpsests Project, which uses multi-spectral imaging to reveal and allow scholars to identify the layers of texts on the monastery’s large collection of palimpsests.Watch Fr. Justin’s lecture, An Ark in the Wilderness, recorded at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston on November 6, 2010.

Sinai Palimpsests Project Conference

University of Vienna, Austria
October, 2013

Eighteen scholars, four imaging scientists, and other experts participating in the Sinai Palimpsests Project met for three days at the University of Vienna. His Eminence Archbishop Damianos of Sinai opened the conference by welcoming all attendees and closed it by inspiring everyone in attendance with his vision of future priorities for scholarship and digital documentation of the cultural heritage preserved by the monastery. Father Justin Sinaites opened the conference with a public presentation about the project and the palimpsests preserved by the monastery.

The conference opened dialogue between the scientists, who work to maximize the legibility of the erased texts, and scholars, who identify and paleographically describe the recovered texts. A feedback loop between scientists and scholars will improve both image product of the project and the scholarly interpretation of the contents of those images.

IMG_9315(2) Viennas stunning architecture
Vienna’s Stunning Architecture
Scholarly review of palimpsest - Arabic NF 8 52v
Scholarly review of palimpsest – Arabic NF 8 52v


EMEL Director, Mike Phelps, reviews imaging processing results
EMEL Director, Mike Phelps, reviews imaging processing results
Time for some detailed analysis
Time for some detailed analysis
IMG_9329 enjoying all Vienna has to offer
Enjoying the sweet delights of Vienna!!

Snow in Sinai

December 2013 — Imaging team encounters snow in Sinai.

This much snow in Sinai is a once in a decade event.

Walking thru monastery in snow 1312 compressed4
Walking through St. Catherine’s Monastery in snow, December 2013
monastery snow rooftops 1312 compressed3
Snow on the rooftops of St. Catherine’s Monastery, December 2013
monastery in snow 1312 compressed2
St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai in a snow-covered valley, December 2013
monasatery thru snow 1312 compressed1
St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai, seen through falling snow, December 2013



Camels don't seem to mind the weather.
Camels don’t seem to mind the weather! December 2013