Cell 31A Project

Conserving an Arabic manuscript discovered in a disused cell

In 2003, a set of manuscript fragments were discovered glued to the wall in cell 31A. The leaves were written in Arabic and stuck fast with animal glue.

Specialist conservators removed the fragments and preserved them, enabling them to be studied for further insights into a bygone era and to be protected as an item of historical reference.

Make a donation

Donate to a project of your choice through our Projects page. Whether you feel passionate about safeguarding the Monastery and those who live within its walls from the threat of fire, or you wish to contribute to the ongoing preservation of the second most significant collection of Christian manuscripts in the world, you can ensure that 100% of your donation goes to the cause you most believe in.

Become a friend

Support us by becoming a member. Become a Friend, a Donor, or even a Benefactor and make a difference to the Saint Catherine Foundation projects that will continue to deliver benefits far into the future and well beyond this generation. In return, you’ll be one of the first to know about the dynamic and exciting projects taking place at the Monastery.

Buy from our shop

You’ll find Christmas cards, fascinating books on the Monastery and its artefacts, lithographs, tote bags and more in our online shop. 

All of the profits from our shop go directly to one of the many projects that we are raising funds for at any one time. By buying something from our shop, you make an essential contribution to the preservation, protection and dissemination of St Catherine’s Monastery and the irreplaceable artefacts that belong there.

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Our Projects

  • Fire Safety Project

    Since 2019, the installation of a water-operated firefighting system across the Monastery campus has been ongoing.
  • South Range Project

    The original layout of the library was reconfigured with improved structural strength, state-of-the-art security and safety systems, inbuilt passive climatic control, making the best use of the available space.
  • East Wing Cells Project

    Originally dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, the cells situated along the Monastery’s East Wing were built of earth and timber which had deteriorated over time.
  • Printed Books Survey

    Specialist conservators have been using pioneering digital technology to prioritise and manage the future conservation of the Monastery’s historic collection of early printed books.
  • Water Wells Project

    The original water reserve situated above the library held insufficient water to deliver an effective fire response, for the new water-powered fire protection system.
  • Manuscript Survey

    Specialist conservators from around the world assessed 3,306 manuscripts to enable conservation to be scheduled according to need and significance.
  • Archbishop Porphyrios III Library Project

    Noted scholar, Archbishop Porphyrios III, held a substantial library with books dating back to the 15th century.
  • Kitchen Project

    In 2004, the old gas-fired kitchen, located immediately below the library, was dismantled, and moved to a new position in the eastern quarter of the Monastery, reducing the risk of damage by fire.
  • Design of conservation

    The creation of specialist areas equipped with the correct technology and tools for ongoing conservation and digitisation minimises the risk in transporting books and manuscripts during the conservation process.
  • Cell 31A Project

    In 2003, a set of manuscript fragments were discovered glued to the wall in cell 31A.
  • Achtinames Project

    The Achtiname, which, according to legend, was gifted by the Prophet Muhammad to the Monastery in the 7th century, grants the Fathers special privileges and protection.
  • Water Storage Project

    In 1999, the Monastery’s water tank was relocated to a new site outside of the Monastery’s walls, removing the risk of flooding.
  • Codex Sinaiticus Project

    In 1975, renovation works following an earthquake led to the discovery of 12 complete leaves and more than 20 fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest surviving copy of the Bible.
  • Stainless Steel Boxing Project

    This ongoing project will protect 2,187 manuscripts from further damage and pigment loss, which can be caused by the dry and dusty Sinai environment.
  • Arts Collaboration

    Since the inception of the Saint Catherine Foundation, we’ve supported a wide range of cultural, historical and conservational activities to protect, promote and share the insights provided by Saint Catherine’s Monastery and the library that is houses.

    Subscribe to our newsletter and help us protect one of the largest and most important collections of Christian manuscripts in the world.

    The Saint Catherine Foundation

    ©The Saint Catherine Foundation. All rights reserved. The Saint Catherine Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1053138). We are also a company limited by guarantee (Company Number 3091163).