New Library

In May 2013, the new library opened its doors to over two hundred guest to celebrate a new era of the history of the library. 

Elizabeth Sobczynski said in her opening speech:  “The Levantine Foundation and I feel honoured and privileged to have played a part in the construction of the library built under the patronage of the late Pope Shenouda II, and endorsed by His Holiness Pope Tawardos II.  The library was built through the efforts of His Grace Bishop Mattaos, and managed by Father Bigoul with the financial assistance from The Levantine Foundation.  We are enormously grateful to the foundation’s president Sir Derek and Lady Plumbly for their continued support in awakening awareness of the Deir al-Surian heritage. We acknowledge with much gratitude the financial support provided by many individuals, trusts and companies in Egypt, Great Britain and the USA. We are particularly indebted to the Headley Trust, Dr. Khalil  Nougaim, patron and the foundation’s Executive director; the Sawiris family,  The Association for Cultural Exchange (ACE),  The Mercers’ Company and the anonymous American Company". 

The new library, has been built within the ancient walls of the monastery to house the entire manuscript collection, early printed books and monastery archives. It is equipped with an advanced temperature and humidity control system for long term preservation.  It provides a world-class storage facility for the ancient manuscripts, a conservation laboratory, training facilities and public access areas such as reading rooms for visiting scholars.

A specially designated reading rooms adjoining the Library provide a research facility for monks, scholars and students.  An exhibition facility for visitors established in a designated area allows a rotating display of the library’s treasures. The new building consists of two floors above ground, with the library storage and archive area underground.

The Levantine Foundation registered in England 4506398, in The Arab Republic of Egypt under Law No 84 (2002). Registered charity number 1094436.