Saving Manuscripts

Father Stewart is a Benedictine monk at a small Catholic university in Minnesota. For the past several years he has also been the director of a project to find and digitize manuscripts held in monastic communities in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Since 2003 he has overseen the imaging of some 17,500 manuscripts. Over the decades, the museum has made a photographic record of more than 110,000 manuscripts — an estimated 35 million pages’ worth — shifting from microfilm to digital imaging as the technology has evolved. Lately it has run 15 to 20 projects a year.