Date range: 1211-1962
Number of items: 377 items.
The collection includes the earliest dated manuscript (607AH/1211AD) 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.
Among the Gaster collection 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 correspondence of Dr Gaster with the Samaritan community in Nablus, in Hebrew but written in the Samaritan script.
Samaritan MSS 1-27 were acquired in 1901 with the Crawford collection and catalogued in 1938. The Library acquired approximately 350 further manuscripts from the collection of Dr Moses Gaster in 1954. These were catalogued, along with a small number of additional manuscripts, in 1962.
Edward Robertson, Catalogue of the Samaritan Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Volume I (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1938). 417 pp. (Samaritan MSS 1-27).
Edward Robertson, Catalogue of the Samaritan Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Volume II The Gaster Manuscripts (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1962). 326 pp. (Samaritan MSS 28-375).