NOTE: The CSNTM (Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts)

is without question, the premier website for accessing Biblical (Greek)

manuscripts. Just recently (2013) they have available for viewing and printing,

ALL of the Chester Beatty materials. The value of this resource is extremely great.

Their website, is by far, the very best in the world. -


CLICK these three special links, below, to access related (Library of Congress) data ON THIS SITE


IN THE LISTED ORDER BELOW: (after the informative -- "A Note on Films"). 

Additional addresses are added as time permits:

L.O.C. JERUSALEM films checklist


L.O.C. St. CATHERINE'S films checklist


L.O.C. Mt.Athos website and checklist



(1) The Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center

(2) Monastery of St. John on Patmos

(3) Library of Congress

(4) St. Catherine's Monastery

(5) Basel University Library

(6) The Ambrosiana Library

(7) The British Library

(8) National Library of France

(9) National Library of Greece

(10) West Semitic Research Project

(11) Pius XII Memorial Library, St. Louis University

(12) Russian National Library (St. Petersburg)

(13) Russian State Library (Moscow)

(14) University of Michigan Library (Ann Arbor)

(15) University of Chicago Library

(16) Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts

(17) The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Ireland

(18) The American Theological Library Association

(19) The Vatican




Each listed address has been used by the webmaster (or stated otherwise), 

and was current circa 1999. If you discover a bad link please inform the webmaster.

The site has been updated to 2010.



Film copies of the manuscripts of the Bible are one of the best ways to actually view and assess the ancient texts. Good quality films permit quality critical analyses, films also present some limitations:


(1) Most are in black and white, thus data on ornamentations, ink colors and base materials is not fully available. Some light colored inks are not very visible.


(2) The examination of the "gatherings", quires, and other codicological information is not fully available.


(3) Palimpsests (manuscripts which contain one text written over another text) are extremely hard or impossible to fully examine via black and white film (though special infrared techniques can assist): most films are not copies of infrared photography!


(4) In black and white films, grayscale data can become so dark, that letters written in or on the stained or smudged areas, lose all contrast and cannot be seen. This is common in copies of copies of copies, and in low quality diazo copies.


A film, a good film, of a New Testament manuscript is a valuable possession. Each film should be properly stored and handled to produce years of usability. The best films are on a polyester base (it is only glossy on one side, and is thicker). With proper care the life-expectancy can be 500 years! Image-wise,the most stable images on a film base are the silver-gelatin or silver-halide films. Usually from negative originals a copy will be in a positive format (of silver-halide films). So, try to purchase silver-halide films on polyester bases. In fact most good libraries produce just this type, the images usually are expected to remain sharp and clear for 100 years. Diazo copies lack good grayscale definition, and contain acids and salts in their emulsion bases. The diazo copy can be on either an acetate OR polyester base, yet both diazo types will fade over time, even in total darkness (though reduced exposure to light prolongs life). Diazo copies are less costly to make, and are the usual format implied when a business says they make 35 mm microfilm copies. The ABMC (see below) unfortunately uses the diazo process for many of its circulation copies. The Library of Congress CIRCULATION copies are silver-halide on polyester bases as are all copies which they sell.

Store your films in a place not in direct sunlight. Do not store them next to the wood stove! Do not store them in high humidity areas, (kitchens, bathrooms). Handle films only by the edges, or wear soft, clean cotton gloves. Do not place rubber bands directly upon the spooled film, first cover with an acid-free paper wrap. Keeping the films in the standard black plastic boxes is a good practice. Be extra careful when using your film on an automatic film winding viewer. Inspect the glass cover plates for nicks and sharp edges which can rip into a film as it is pulled through the plates. If you have a large collection of films, be sure to properly pass them on (via a will et cetera), or donate to a proper institution or to an individual who will protect or study them.

Digital images, in full blown 24 bit color, offer lots of benefits. Many projects are currently underway to preserve Biblical manuscripts in digital formats. These images can be stored on archival quality (platinum or gold metal CDs with proper archival dyes) CDs. Non-archival quality CDs should be avoided, such as aluminum and gold COLORED (not real gold metal) CDs. But until this digitizing process is done and not until they are available to all (they may also not be available) we must make do with 35mm films, so take care of your films!!




Known as the ABMC. Circulates films via Interlibrary Loans, and provides on-site viewing. Also sells excellent photos (positives and negatives) of all Qumran materials. Is curator for the IGNTP films, and has numerous other films. The IGNTP films are rather old and suffering abuse, expect to receive a diazo copy when you order any. Some of the films are useless for critical work. They loan to anyone who can read the film. Call or write first. Usually a copy fee is required if a copy needs to be made, they also ask for financial support. They do, however, possess many hard-to-get films. You can easily spend years and years of research just working with the hundreds of films available here! Their "Claremont collection" of films is in better condition. It is best to first acquire their holdings catalogue. RECALL, they do not sell copies of their films.





phone: (909) 447-6354

CEO --- Dr. Marvin Sweeney. Center research assistant - Mr. Tyler Mayfield




An excellent resource, containing many interesting Biblical manuscripts. As far as I know all of their major MSS are available on film. They sell good archival copies, silver-halide on polyester. Mail to and from their central connection (Athens) can be a bit slow, expect to wait 8 weeks. Orders can be paid for by private checks drawn on several American banks (Bank of America, Athens). Cost per film is about 110 dollars. Paid in advance. First write them and ask for details, you must agree to their use limitations (which is typical, you simply cannot publish or sell the film(s)). Their order forms are largely in modern Greek (with some English). I am certain that money can also be "wired" to one of their accounts. As always, know THEIR correct shelf number for the manuscript, most monks there do not even know what a Gregory/Aland number is. Request air mail shipping :-). Just recently the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) has created a few outstanding digital copies of a few of the Patmos MSS—however availability is restricted to onsite viewing in Dallas et al.



GR-855 00 PATMOS


phone: +30 247 31 203

fax: +30 247 32 095

T.V.A. 90004 136




A huge resource. Though they possess a collection of Biblical (and liturgical) films which were photographed in the early 1950s, the films are still in pristine condition. Copies are about 90 dollars each and are of good archival quality. The Institute in Munster, Germany purchased many of their films from the Library of Congress. If Munster will not sell you a copy (and they will not) this Library will. Three monasteries were filmed in large part, In Jerusalem (via St. Sabas et cetera), Mt. Athos and St Catherine's in the Sinai. Numerous films of the NT available in Arabic, Georgian, Armenian and a few Old Church Slavonic and Syriac.


Order via their three "Descriptive Checklist" (one for each monastery). Each "Checklist" is now out of print, but links (at the top of this page) are provided for current use.


They also have photos available of many (mostly black and white) of the miniatures. Circulation copies are also available through Interlibrary Loans, and these also are good archival copies (silver-halide film on polyester bases). Figure on waiting about 10 weeks for your order to arrive. Pay in advance via personal check (they do take Master Card and Visa credit card orders). For overseas purchasers they have a $7.00 insurance fee available,

and they take International Money Orders, and UNESCO Book Coupons. Since 1997 a "Conditions of Order and Use" form must be signed and submitted. I recommend calling first, and asking for the checklists, and the order forms. Send payment with the filled out order form, this should save some processing time. When filling out the "ORDER FOR DUPLICATION FORM" be sure to sign it in the small box on the right hand side; if you forget to sign it, add 4 more weeks to your 10 week wait. An order form is available on the Athos link (above) or at my Jerusalem Checklist link (above). And finally, check to be sure that the quality of the film is very good --- if NOT send it back and request a better copy or a refund, as I have received some poor copies.


The Library of Congress

Photoduplication Service

101 Independence Avenue, S. E.

Washington, D. C. 20540-4570


phone: (202) 707-5640

fax: (202) 707-1771 (must fax credit card information)

email -





No films available from this monastery, but they are making digital copies of their collection. They can also provide very specific information concerning their holdings. One hopes that they will even open up a website at the Monastery. Father Justin Sinaites is the librarian there, and he reads and writes English quite well. [in fact he is originally from Texas!]


Monastery of St. Catherine

18, Midan el-Daher

11271 Cairo - A. R. EGYPT





Care to see the manuscripts which Erasmus edited for his Greek New Testament, you will find most of them here. Prepay via wire to their bank account. Write first and sign permissions. Films are good archival quality, and cost around 100 dollars (depending on exchange rates). I corresponded with them in English, but they are obviously fluent in German and Swiss. Know their shelf number in advance, and order accordingly. Excellent service!




Schönbeinstrasse 18/20




phone: 41 61 267 31 11

fax: 41 61 267 3103

Direktwahl 41 61





Lots of films available, each costing about 120 dollars. First write and fill out their application for photographic reproductions. Payment is via wire. The films are of good archival quality, and this library provides excellent service. As always be sure to insist upon air mail shipment, and as always order via their shelf numbers. I wrote to them in Italian, you can try English (?).


Biblioteca-Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

Piazzo Pio XI, 2

20123 - MILANO



phone: 02 806921

fax: 02 80692.210

P. IVA 04196990156





One of the best facilities for MS films in Europe. Has a good selection of other languages besides Greek, notably Syriac. Accepts personal checks from several U.S. banks. Films are archival quality. Certain MSS, such as Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus are films of the facsimile edition, NOT of the original MS, thus they can maintain their tough copyright status on these films. Additionally, one may pay via wire (in sterling). Depending upon the exchange rate, the films are expensive. Cost for an average MS of the NT, is about 140 dollars. They offer registered mail service (take it!). Allow for about 6 weeks processing time. As for the NT portion of Codex 02, the British Library's B/W film is vastly inferior to the digital copy which the CSNTM (below) offers FREE on their website!



Great Russell Street

London WC1B 3DJ

Great Britain


phone: 071-323-7614

Account Inquiries: 071-323-7755

fax: 071-323-7771

VAT reg: GB240 6927 64




Another fine resource for MS films, all films are archival quality. In 2011 the cost for a typical NT film was 50 Euros. They also provide individual color photographs and digital copies! Usual service, first fill out request forms, pay via US checks, they also accept wire deposits and credit card payment via Paypal. The on-line forms you fill out are in French or English. The website is:


Several weeks will transpire after you submit your request. They will then notify you via e-mail or postal mail. I used the Zotenberg numbers, found in the Zotenberg catalogue (available from Archives as a download) which tells them which Biblical MS I require.



Service De La Reproduction

Quai Francois Mauriac

75706 PARIS cedex 13 FRANCE


fax: +33 (0) 1 53 79 42 60






This library houses many NT MSS. The director (and others) are fluent in English. I have not ordered any films from here, as yet. So I do not know their prices but Greece is known to be reasonable. Also this library can offer much information about all things Greek and addresses to other facilities (such as Mt. Athos, Meteora, Thessaloniki, and Corinth).



32, Panepistimiou str.

GR 106 79

Athens, GREECE


phone: (01) 3614413

fax: (01) 3608495





No films available here, but they are in the process of digitizing numerous materials, many of which are of interest to the Biblical student. This is where the COLOR negatives of the Hebrew Leningrad codex reside, and they may digitize them! It is best to visit their site, simply click on

this URL





Good news here! Available to anyone (with a photo ID) is access to the microfilm collection of the Vatican! The films are viewed on-site only in St. Louis. But for anyone doing serious work on any of these manuscripts, here is a great free resource. On their website, they also provide a catalogue which lists all those manuscripts available.


This is their website:



Pius XII Memorial Library

Saint Louis University

3650 Lindell Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63108




I have not yet purchased films from here. I just recently (April, 2000) received from them a quote for one film and they wanted $287.00 (wired into their account), this is far too much, and I will not pay  that (it was for minuscule 330 [their Greek 101].  They do have a nice large collection available. They reply in fine English, and they are slow in responding. I waited about 4 or 5 months for my final reply.

The Chief of Foreign Acquisitions is: A. P. Romanov



OTDEL RUKOPISEI (Division of Manuscripts)

18, Sadovaya ul.

191069 St. Petersburg



email  --

phone: (812) 310-81-73

fax:  (812) 310-61-48





In the Moscow environs are about 85 NT manuscripts (including lectionaries), perhaps even some as yet not known. I have not yet had any contact with this library, but they seem cooperative. Again make sure you know their shelf numbers in advance.



3/5 Vozdvizhenka [yes that is a slash]

101000 Moscow

Russian Federation


phone: 7 095 202 3565

fax: 7 095 200 2255

email --





This fine library houses a fine selection of useful materials. I do not know how much they charge for 35 mm films, I have only ordered photographs of some of their materials. 8 x 10 black and white photos were sold recently to me for about $15.00 each. I was asked to pay via check. The wait for the photos was about 10 weeks. They do sell a few black and white photos of a few selected leaves of P46, but not of the entire manuscript. Any film which they sell of the entire papyrus is simply a photocopy of Kenyon's facsimile edition.

They also possess some useful Coptic MSS, though they do not as yet (Nov. 1999) have an official catalogue of their Coptic New Testament Manuscripts--an inquirer can still utilize their earlier "catalogue" made by Professor G. M. Browne. Two addresses are given, one is for papyri and the other for general Greek MS information. They provide a very fine service.



Papyrology Rooms

807 HHGL-S

Ann arbor, MICHIGAN 48109-1205

phone: (734) 764-9369 and (734) 764-0360

fax: (734) 763-5080 and (734) 763-4959

Archivist in Papyrology -- Dr. Traianos Gagos -- email -- [NOTE: it is with great sadness to report that Dr. Gagos has recently passed away, an accidental death. He is missed!! He was a driving force behind the digital sharing of papyri documents from many United States Universities (and even European libraries). Via his energy and commitment, most of the Michigan library holdings of papyri are freely available online! We all are grateful for this man's tireless efforts. I first received 8 x 10 images from him in 1988, and ever since then he has been very helpful.]




818 Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library

920 South University

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1205



A fine service is rendered by this institution. Films cost about 30 dollars apiece (circa 1998). They are of archival quality, and the service is prompt. Most of their important Biblical MSS are available on film. Again be sure to use their shelf numbers when ordering, and you will first sign an agreement betwixt you and them concerning use.





1100 East 57th Street

Chicago, Illinois





Due to the foresight and energy of Dr. Daniel Wallace (of Dallas Theological Seminary), we in America are recipients of excellent color digital copies of a growing number of manuscripts. On the website -- one can view and download numerous NT and lectionary manuscripts, in JPG formats and in full color! As time passes, more and more manuscript images are added! The color digital images are of good to great quality! A truly great resource. JUST RECENTLY THEY HAVE MADE AVAILABLE ALL OF THE CHESTER BEATTY DOCUMENTS!!!


Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts


Chester Beatty Library - DUBLIN CASTLE

SAVE your money!!! These valuable manuscripts are now available for viewing in high resolution color images, simply go the the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts website to view -

We are indebted to the officials at this famous castle and the photographic teams from the CSNTM!!! Thank you.

Hence the following is obsolete, and retained for archival purposes only.

From this "Castle" you can purchase copies of the "European portion" of the famous papyrus P-46. The "Rights and Reproductions" person - Sinéad Ward, states that the images are HIGH RESOLUTION tif files. I received a CD with a 48 MB image of the leaf I requested. One can also, order images in 8" x 10" color prints. The CD I bought had a fairly good image. The manuscript was photographed on a black background, which is not recommended. For those who need a good image or two, this is the best source. The other portion of P 46 is available from the University of Michigan library (above). The problem with these from the "Castle" is the fantastic PRICE. I paid just over $75.00 for one image! It is a good thing I did not need 10 images! The color photos are slightly cheaper.



website: ---

phone: +353 1 407 0750

FAX: --- +353 1 407 0760


Mailing address:

Chester Beatty Library

Dublin Castle

Dublin 2, IRELAND


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This is also an important resource. Primarily they make available microfiche which they have laboriously created over the years (over 27,000). These microfiche are of out of print and hard to find texts. There are also several facsimile editions available of Biblical manuscripts (notably of codex 012!). Tischendorf's transcription of Vaticanus, Horner's Coptic texts, Ethiopic grammars, Hebrew grammars and lexicons, concordances, commentaries are all abundantly represented. A single fiche is currently (2006) $16.00. These are usually high quality silver-halide products for long term preservation. They are in a 48x resolution (though some are 36x). I have noticed that a few reflect a rather poor sharpness, and have received several copies with lots of scratches already on the "new" fiche!

They also provide 35mm films of some important works (Erasmus' first edition of his Greek NT). 35MM films are around $60.00 and can be ordered here: for 35 MM FILMS only: - - - - - email


Buy their catalogues, or search on-line. Here are the relevant links for ATLA microfiche:



American Theological Library Association
300 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60606-6701 USA

Toll-free (North America): 888.665.ATLA
Outside North America: 312.454.5100
Fax: 312.454.5505

If you have access to a film reader, this is a way to build a library, and not very costly, but reading and working from a "reader" is not very enjoyable!




As I understand it, they are or have produced color digital images of some of their materials. But I have ordered black and white films of several of their MSS. Cost per films (for an average sized NT minuscule MS) is about 140.00 Euros. I first wrote to them in Italian, and made a proper request, using their shelf number. The films were of good quality. Consider also the Pius Library in America - above. Be patient.


Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana

Cortile Belvedere

00120 Citta del Vaticano


Telephone - 06/69879411

FAX - 06/69884795

email -


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