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Bond religious manuscripts
On a Mission to Preserve the Sacred
December 06, 2019
This week we meet people who have dedicated their lives to preserving the sacred...from the art of scribing to digital archiving of handwritten manuscripts to recitation of scripture.
Reviewing manuscripts prior to digitization.
A Benedictine Monk on a Mission: Unlocking the Past with a Digital Camera December 06, 2019
It’s not every day that a soft-spoken monk receives a standing ovation, but Father Columba Stewart is far from ordinary. He’s been described by some as a modern-day Indiana Jones on a mission to rescue sacred texts. And it’s that work – preserving with digital technology handwritten manuscripts - that has earned him the highest honor from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In this conversation, Father Stewart describes how the team he leads at the Hill Museum at St. John’s Abbey and University in Central Minnesota has digitized 50 million pages of Christian, Muslim, Hindu and other religious text and they are available to the public in an online reading room.

Father Columba Stewart Executive Director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library

Portrait of Father Columba Stewart
Father Columba Stewart

Foliating and checking manuscripts prior to digitization in Bamako, Mali
Checking manuscripts prior to
digitization in Bamako, Mali
Rabbie Druin with a Torah scroll befor a group of children
The Unlikely Journey of a Rabbinical Scribe: One Letter at a Time December 06, 2019
Rabbi Moshe Druin trained his love of doodling cartoons into a passion for preserving the ancient tradition of handwriting Hebrew scrolls and set out to become a Jewish scribe. Describing the rituals and rigor of his apprenticeship and the lessons he learned along the way, Rabbi Druin shares stories from his travels around the world with Sofar on Site, a Miami-based group that inspects, repairs and creates Torah scrolls.

Rabbi Moshe Druin Vice President of Sofer on Site

Rabbi Moshe Druin

Children watching the scribing of a Torah Scroll
A Hifz class.
Preserving from Memory: Muslims Continue the Tradition of Recitation December 06, 2019
Host Amber Khan introduces listeners to students and teachers at two Islamic schools where students attend full-time Hifz programs to learn how to recite from memory the 114 Chapters of the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.  In conversation with teachers from around the world to the students who make a multi-year commitment to forego traditional school, Khan explores the history of this tradition that dates back to the 7th Century.

Fitz class

Hifz class