I was asked to prepare a translation of one of Mar Narsai's homilies earlier this year which prompted me to search for which manuscripts contained the particular homily I was translating. I looked first at our manuscript catalogs page, then at E-Ktobe, and finally at the Russian State University for the Humanities. All these resources provided a great list of collections which are digitally available online. Even with all this information, there was great difficulty in finding an author or a work amidst the available manuscripts online (not to mention the amount of time that it would take). I began to think about ways that Syri.ac might be able to expand the manuscript catalogs page in a way which provides easier access to manuscript contents available online.
Digitized Manuscripts Page
Because I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the throes of writing my dissertation, a desideratum of my own research was to have a way to search the contents of available manuscripts. To aid my own research and help others who work in similar academic fields, we created searchable tables that grant easy access to the digitized collections, dates, shelf-marks, and contents of individual manuscripts which are freely available online. You will find these tables on our new page of digitized manuscripts. You will notice that we have honored each of the digital collections by including the logo of those who house the images and this logo links directly to the digitized manuscript.
We have included the entirety of most digital collections available online, but the collections of vHMML and the Dunhuang Project will be ongoing because of the sheer number of manuscripts in these collections. As far as possible, I included in each entry a link to each manuscript's corresponding catalog record for ease of access. For many of the manuscripts which were previously uncatalogued (especially liturgical texts) we have made a quick list of their contents, however, there still remain several manuscripts which are still uncatalogued and this is exactly why this type of resource should be made available freely to the scholars who have the capability of cataloging these manuscripts. This page creates a dialog so that scholars across various fields can help one another succeed.
If you catalog any of the manuscripts and would like to share the contents, or if you find any errors or have comments about a manuscript, please let us know through our contact form.