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Samaritan Manuscripts

377 items on parchment and paper.

Samaritan MSS 1-27 were acquired in 1901 with the Crawford collection and include what is apparently the earliest dated manuscript (1211 A.D.) of the whole Samaritan Pentateuch to be found outside Nablus, six other Pentateuchs in whole or in part (two bilingual), three noteworthy theological codices, and interesting liturgical and astronomical texts.

Samaritan MSS 28-375 are from the collection of Dr Moses Gaster, acquired by the Library in 1954.

Among them are manuscripts of the Pentateuch (including bilingual and trilingual texts), commentaries and treatises, and liturgical, historical, chronological and astronomical codices.

There are detailed census lists of the Samaritans and lists of manuscripts in their possession.

The Library also holds the substantial, but uncatalogued, correspondence of Dr Gaster with the Samaritan community in Nablus, in Hebrew but written in the Samaritan script.

Finding aids

  • Edward Robertson, Catalogue of the Samaritan Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 2 vols (Manchester, 1938 & 1962).
  • Gaster Samaritan MSS 374 (Book of Joshua) and 375 (Chronicle, with the Book of Joshua) were omitted from the catalogue.


The John Rylands Library

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