Collection Coll. 12 - Ethiopian Manuscripts Collection

The Psalms of David Codex Ethiopian Codex Ethiopian Psalter The Bandlet of Righteousness Sensal Codex Leather Carrying Case Ethiopian Kitabe Leather Amulet Ethiopian Kitabe Leather Amulet

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ethiopian Manuscripts Collection

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Reference code

Coll. 12

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1601 - 1960 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4 Ethiopian codices (bound manuscripts)
1 leather carrying case
2 Ethiopian Kitabe leather amulets

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Archival description area

Custodial history

This collection of Ethiopian codices were received in two separate donations. The first donation was by Robert Thompson and Brian Fargher. Robert N. Thompson lived and worked in Ethiopia in the late 1940s and through the 1950s for Serving In Mission (SIM) federal government in the 1960s, he arrived at TWU where he served as an administrator and lecturer. Thompson donated three Ethiopian codices to TWU Archives and Special Collections prior to 1995. The second donation was received by Brian L. Fargher who gifted the Psalms of David codex to the ACTS Library at TWU in 1993, having purchased the manuscript in Ethiopia in the 1950s. This codex was deposited in the TWU Archives and Special Collections around 2000.

Scope and content

The Ethiopian Manuscripts Collection contains four codices (bound manuscripts) written in Ge'ez, the traditional liturgical language of the the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Text manuscripts include Psalters, Biblical Canticles, the Song of Songs, Ethiopian Orthodox works known as The Praises of Mary and The Gate of Light, and The Bandlet of Righteousness. The collection also consists of carrying cases associated with holding related religious texts, such as the Ethiopian Kitabe leather amulets.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Robert N. Thompson and ACTS Seminary


Each codex was paginated in pencil on the folio recto in the upper right corner prior to the Ethiopian Manuscript Imaging Project.

When describing a folio (page), the letter "r" refers to recto and "v" refers to verso.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script note

Ge'ez, the traditional liturgical language of the the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Digital scans of the Ethiopian codices are available on the Vivarium website (, an online platform of digitized manuscripts, art, rare books, photographs from Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, USA. To access the digital copies of the codices held in TWU from the Vivarium, browse the "Ethiopian Manuscript Imaging Project" using the search terms, "Trinity Western University Codex 1 to 4".

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The collection is open for research use.

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General note

During the weekend of January 20 to 21, 2006 Steve Delamarter, Professor of Old Testament and Director of the Ethiopian Manuscript Imaging Project (EMIP) at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, along with four graduate students traveled to TWU in order to photograph these manuscripts. Copies of the project files were deposited with the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and with the Hill Museum and Manuscripts Library in Collegeville, Minnesota.

General note

The codices were photographed as JPEG images, optimized in Photoshop, and then generated into PDF files.

General note

To access digital copies of the codices from TWU Archives and Special Collections database, click on the codex image to open the PDF document.

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July 2020, tk

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Physical storage

  • Box: Bay 40