Benedictine Monk Saves Ancient Manuscripts, Most Recently From ISIS

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Father Columba Stewart (left), Father Nageeb Michael (center) and Walid Mourad examine a printed Bible at the Dominican Priory in Qaraqosh, Iraq.  (AP Photo/Courtesy Hill Museum & Manuscript Library)

Father Columba Stewart (@ColumbaStewart) has spent more than a decade traveling to some of the world’s most dangerous regions — Iraq, Syria, the Balkans — to find and preserve manuscripts, many of them centuries old. And now, with the rise of ISIS, his work has become more urgent than ever.

The 59-year-old Benedictine monk has so far helped locals photograph an estimated 140,000 manuscripts, over 50 million handwritten pages. He’s director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (@visitHMML) at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss his work.

Links To Manuscripts
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