Hello everyone! Because I’ve devoted so much time to processing the Nag Hammadi Codices Project, I have – as you might imagine – had ample opportunity to consider the scholarly potential of this collection. Recently, though, I decided that it would be fun/enlightening to take a break from the academic side of things and learn a little more about the popular religious culture that has sprung up around the texts since they were re-discovered in 1945.
Hello everyone! This week I’ve continued to work hard on processing the Nag Hammadi Codices Project collection. That is to say, I’ve spent a great deal of time organizing photographs of the Nag Hammadi texts, as well as photocopies of these photographs.
I filled my first reference request today! A professor at one of the Claremont Colleges is doing research that involves the Nag Hammadi texts, and of course that means she’s interested in what we’re processing over here at Special Collections.
I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly on Wednesday, and followed up on her request to learn more about how she could view the facsimile images of this amazing gnostic library. Although the collection I’m processing won’t be open for scholarly research until I’m done organizing and conserving it, I was able to point her in the direction of some resources that might be helpful for her work in the meantime. I thought I’d share them with you all today, so that any other Nag Hammadi fans out there could settle in for some great weekend reading! There are three main areas I’d recommend looking:
1. Special Collections has already digitized many of the Nag Hammadi images, and anyone with an internet connection is free to study them! These are located here: http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/nha.
2. You can find publication details If you’re interested in purchasing (or finding at your local library!) the official, 15-volume facsimile set.
3. Not fluent in ancient Coptic yet? No problem! There are at least three scholarly translations of the Nag Hammadi library into English of which I am aware: one by Bentley Layton (http://www.amazon.com/The-Gnostic-Scriptures-Translation-Introductions/dp/0385478437), another by Claremont’s own James M. Robinson (http://www.amazon.com/Nag-Hammadi-Library-James-Robinson/dp/0060669357/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415390002&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Nag+Hammadi+Library+in+English), and the last by Marvin Meyer and Elaine Pagels (http://www.amazon.com/Nag-Hammadi-Scriptures-Translation-Complete/dp/0061626007/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415390002&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Nag+Hammadi+Library+in+English).
These should be enough to get you off to a strong start! If I find anything else, I’ll let you know!
Scope and Content Notes
This week I’ve continued to work on processing the amazing photographs and documents contained in our Nag Hammadi collection! In addition, I’ve completed a bit more work on the Dead Sea Scrolls files. Specifically, I have created something called “scope and content” notes for each series and subseries in the collection. In this week’s blog post, I thought it might be helpful for me to explain the purpose of these notes, and also to introduce everyone to the closely related concept of a “finding aid.”
This week I’ve continued my efforts to arrange and preserve Special Collection’s many photographs of the Nag Hammadi texts. In doing so, I’ve begun to think a lot about the role the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) plays in helping preserve antiquities. This institution was critically important in helping Claremont’s own Dr. James M. Robinson publish a facsimile edition of the Nag Hammadi trove approximately 40 years ago.