Virtual ManuscriptsGAMBIER, Ohio (November 2, 2011)
The Rev. Columba Stewart discusses the digital preservation of sacred manuscripts during a visit to Kenyon today and Thursday.
Stewart will discuss "Saving the Sacred: The Bible Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" at 8:00 p.m. today in the Community Foundation Theater in the Graham Gund Gallery. A reception in the gallery lobby will follow. And Stewart will answer questions about the digital preservation of religious documents on Thursday at 11:10 a.m. in Peirce Lounge.
A Roman Catholic priest and member of the Order of St. Benedict, Stewart is the executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
He's dedicated to the digital preservation of sacred manuscripts from around the world. "The personal trust he has created in establishing relations with many Eastern Christian communities has allowed the HMML to proceed with a massive digitizing project encompassing over 100,000 manuscripts from Europe, the Middle East, Ethiopia, and India," said Royal Rhodes, professor of religious studies. The manuscripts, including about 40 million pages, are accessible in the HMML virtual-manuscript library.
"In that effort he helps lead the remarkable role of modern Benedictines in preserving civilization's cultural treasures," Rhodes said.
Stewart is a professor of theology at St. John's, where he specializes in monastic topics. He is an authority on monastic spirituality, and his scholarship has given valuable insight into monastic culture, Rhodes said. His appearances are sponsored by Faculty Lectureships and the Department of Religious Studies.