The collection contains 553 codices and rotuli, dating from the 12th to the 20th century and written in eight languages: Ethiopic, Arabic, Armenian, Corali, Greek, Hebrew, Miniati, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Coptic and Syriac. The texts present great variety and contain theological and philosophical treatises, biblical and liturgical books, dictionaries, profane and religious poetry, collections of sermons, pilgrim accounts, and also cooking recipes and magic prayers. Among the books are also rare items, for instance texts written in Armenian and Arabic scripts but in Turkish language or the fragments of Byzantine manuscripts used for binding as the fly-leaves. A special group is made up by large size liturgical books with musical notations, produced for monastic choirs, as well as precious volumes lavishly decorated and illuminated with miniatures, initials and aniconic ornamentation. Research material of particular value consists of a variety of book covers (leather, textile, metal, decorative cardboards etc) representing diverse binding methods. As the whole, the collection presents a remarkably wide spectrum of Western and Eastern manuscript traditions: Christian, Islamic and Jewish.
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