You can skip straight to the prayer book by clicking hereAs librarians we always want to know as much as possible about every book we have. But sometimes that is not always possible. One of my favorite ‘mysteries’ that we have is our Ethiopian Coptic Prayer Book. Despite how beautiful and amazing this book is, we know very little about it. What we know is this:
In 1987, the assistant to the head of Special Collections & Archives, Frances McClure, came back from Kenya with a prayer book she had purchased. She was told it was originally owned by Woldge Georgis, son of Tewoderas who briefly ruled over Ethiopia 1413-1414. It is handwritten and illustrated on animal skin, bound in a wood cover, and was originally kept in a leather satchel. The language it is written in, Ge’ez, is a Semitic language that is no longer spoken but is still used in the liturgy of some Ethiopian churches.Beyond this, there is little we can say about it, other than that it is a beautifully constructed book, with some amazing artwork. And now we are happy to announce that it is viewable online in its entirety! The entire prayer book may be viewed here, and I encourage you all to take some time to explore the book – I doubt you’ve seen anything like it before!
Special Collections Digital Librarian
P.S. If anyone knows a Ge’ez scholar or expert, please let them know about this!