Item MS 03 - Ethiopian Psalter

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ethiopian Psalter

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Level of description


Reference code

Coll. 12-MS 03

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1601 - 1700 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

50 folios. 170 x 150 mm

1 column, 12 of lines. Parchment codex. Written in black and red ink. No boards, stitched with open spine, text pricks.

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Custodial history

Brian Fargher acquired the codex during his time in Ethiopia as a missionary during the 1960s. In 1993, Fargher donated the codex to Northwest Baptist Theological College library in Vancouver, superseded by the Northwest Baptist Seminary as part of the Association of Canadian Theology Schools (ACTS) in Langley, BC. The codex was deposited in the TWU Archives around 2000.

Scope and content

This fragmentary remains of a Ethiopian Psalter is comprised of 50 folios bound into seven quires, and contains Psalm 93 through to Psalm 151, the Biblical Canticles, the Song and Songs, and the beginning of the Praises of Mary. On folio 27r there is an ornamental border at the top of the page.

Notes area

Physical condition

The codex is in poor condition with massive water damage showing from folio 40 to the end. There is no board to protect the parchment, thus folios 1r to are 3v show corner tears and ripped edges. There are six holes in the parchment located on folios: 15r, 20r, 22r, 42r, 45r and 46r. In addition on folio 50r there is a stitched 3.5 cm tear. Throughout the codex additional parchment has been stitched to strengthen the codex.

Immediate source of acquisition

ACTS Seminary


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

A digital copy can be found on the Vivarium website under the identifier "Trinity Western University Codex 3", see:

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The Ethiopian manuscripts published in digitised format by the Ethiopian Manuscript Imaging Project are to the best of our knowledge not in copyright under Ethiopian law. However TWU Archives and Special Collections recognises broader interests in the cultural heritage which the Ethiopian manuscripts represent. The manuscripts included are often of a religious nature, and the Archives have taken considerable care not to distort or alter the underlying material. We ask users also to show appropriate respect in reusing the digital images of the Ethiopian manuscripts, which should not be altered or reused in ways that might be derogatory or offensive to the Ethiopian communities for whom they are of special cultural importance.

Preferred Citation: Trinity Western Archives and Special Collections. Ethiopian Manuscripts Collection, Coll. 12-MS 03, Ethiopian Psalter, 1601-1700.

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General note

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

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Description record identifier

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Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

July 2020, tk

Language of description

Script of description


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Physical storage

  • Box: MS-03