On Wednesday October 25, 2019 Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel and the Ethiopian ambassador to the United States Fitsum Arega visited the Semitics/ICOR Library to view a special exhibit of manuscripts selected from 183 Christian parchment codices in the ICOR collections. They are part of the Gerald and Barbara Weiner gift of 727 Ethiopian manuscripts deposited in the ICOR collections (183 Christian parchment codices, 367 scrolls, and 177 Islamic manuscripts with connections to the historic Ethiopian city of Harar). Material from the Clementine Library in the Rare Books Collections also was on display. The Clementine Library bears witness to the study of Ethiopic in the Roman colleges during the 16th through 18th centuries.
The Semitics/ICOR collections support research in Ethiopic studies. The study and teaching of Ethiopic language and literature began at CUA in 1895 with the establishment of a program in Semitic and Egyptian Literatures. Today CUA’s Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Ethiopic (Ge`ez). Prof. Aaron Butts directs the Ethiopic programs. Dr. Jeremy Brown, Visiting Assistant Professor, selected the manuscripts on display and guided the Cardinal and Ambassador and other visitors through the exhibit on the garden level of Mullen Library. Woinishet Negash of CUA’s Institute for Policy Research arranged this visit. Below, in the front row: Dr. Jeremy Brown, Visiting Assistant Professor (Semitics Dept.), Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, Ethiopian Ambassador Fitsum Arega, Prof. Janet Timbie (Semitics Dept.), Katie DeFonzo (Semitics/ICOR Library GLP), and Woinishet Negash, (Institute for Policy Research). In the back row: Meghan Howard, Michael Hensley, and Dawit Muluneh, (Semitics dept. students in Ethiopic classes), Prof. Shawqi Talia (Semitics dept.), Prof. Robin Darling Young (School of Theology and Religious Studies), and Dr. Monica Blanchard (Curator, Semitics/ICOR Collections)