Our projects

We support projects that advance preservation of, research into and education surrounding the Library of Saint Catherine’s Monastery and its historic artefacts.

The protection of this rich tapestry of historical insights does not stop at the library walls. The safety and security of manuscripts and printed books depends on aspects of everyday life at the wider Monastery campus and the cultures and communities around it.

Types of projects we support

Research and Education

Using modern technology, we extend scholarly access to the manuscripts and printed books preserved at the library of Saint Catherine’s Monastery.

We work with world-leading universities, museums and publishers to enhance the wider public’s understanding of the rich heritage that the library represents and explore Sinai’s fascinating legacy in art, culture and religion.

In these ways, we make the Monastery, a place of pilgrimage and a symbol of ecumenical faith, relevant to today’s global audiences.

Conservation and Preservation

Without the conservation and preservation of the Monastery's library and the contents within it, we limit our ability to learn from these unique insights into ancient history.

For these items to be enjoyed and explored by future generations, conservation and preservation of these works need to be prioritised.

With technology advancing so rapidly, who knows what other secrets these historic documents will reveal in time.

Monastic Life and Traditions

For sixteen centuries, the Fathers who live at Saint Catherine’s Monastery and the local Bedouin have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship.

Their resilience and dedication have not only preserved the Monastery and its ancient manuscripts and other treasures from being ravaged by the elements, destroyed by hostilities, or scattered to the four corners of the earth; they have also ensured the survival of a unique way of life, one in itself more valuable than the rarest artefact. Our support extends to these communities and their way of life.

Projects supported by the

Saint Catherine Foundation


Stainless Steel Boxing Project

Protecting ancient manuscripts for future generations

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.


University of the 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.

2019 - 2020

Fire Safety Project

Installing a water-operated fire-fighting system

The installation of a water-operated firefighting system across the Monastery campus was completed in 2020.


South Range Project

Reconfiguring the Library and creating conservation and digitisation studios.

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.

2008 - 2009

Codex Sinaiticus Project

Broadening access to the earliest surviving Bible

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.


East Wing Cells Project

Renovation of historic cells

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

Documenting 954 early printed books with pioneering technology

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

Creating new wells to supply the Monastery’s water

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

Surveying over 3,000 manuscripts for long-term conservation work

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

Disinfestation of the book collection of Archbishop Porphyrios III

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


Kitchen Project

Relocating the Monastery kitchen from beneath the library

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 and digitisation studios

Creating specialist suites for ongoing care and 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

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.


Achtinames Project

Conserving a historic manuscript

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

Removing risk posed by overhead water storage

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


  • ‘Fred Boissonnas in Egypt’ exhibition, Benaki Museum, Athens, 2018
  • ‘Boissonnas in Egypt’ exhibition, Royal Geographical Society, London, 2017
  • 2011 Boissonnas Exhibition Chambésy
  • ‘Sinai, Byzantium, Russia’, The Gianadda Foundation, Martigny, 2004
  • ‘Sinai, Byzantium, Russia’ exhibition, The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg & The Courtauld Gallery, London, 2000-2001
  • ‘The Glory of Byzantium at Mount Sinai’ exhibition, Benaki Museum, Athens, 1997
  • ‘Monastery of Saint Catherine’ exhibition, Foundation for Hellenic Culture, London, 1996

Saint Catherine Foundation lectures and conferences

  • Christoper de Hamel, 'The Forger Constantine Simonides and the Codex Sinaiticus', Bridgewater House, London, 2023
  • Robin Lane Fox, ‘Monks, Hermits and the Natural World: 300–650 AD’, Royal Geographical Society, London, 2019
  • ‘Boissonnas and Egypt’ conference, Royal Geographical Society, London, 2017
  • Dr Alessandro Falcetta, ‘Manuscripts, monasteries and mysteries: The adventures of a Victorian Bible scholar, James Rendell Harris’, Society of Antiquaries, London, 2017
  • Professor Janet Soskice, ‘The Magnificent Lady Bible Hunters: Two Victorian heroines’, London, St Stephen’s Church, South Kensington, London, 2017
  • ‘The World Comes to Sinai’ conference, Bridgwater House, London, 2016
  • ‘The Place of Bindings’ conference, University of Oxford, Oxford, 2011
  • Study Day in Memory of Professor Ihor Sevcenko, University of Oxford, Oxford, 2010
  • Michael Wood, ‘Alexander’s Legacy: A Traveller’s Thoughts on the Greek Adventure in the Near East and Asia’, Bridgewater House, London, 2005
  • ‘Religious Heritage and Mass Culture in the Third Millennium’ conference, Bridgewater House?, London, 1998
  • John Julius Norwich, ‘Saint Catherine’s: Saving the World’s Monuments’, Bridgewater House, London, 1997

Swiss Friends lectures

  • Professor Charles Méla, ‘The Library of Saint Catherine's Monastery: Intellectual treasures and spiritual perfection’, Christie’s, Geneva, 2019
  • Professor Nancy Patterson Ševčenko, ‘Images of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai’, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Geneva, 2013 
  • Professor Roberto Nardi, ‘Conservation of the Apse Mosaic at Saint Catherine’s’, University of Geneva, Geneva, 2012
  • Professor Oriana Baddeley, ‘Fred Boissonnas: Travel Photography as Pilgrimage’, Musée d’Art Chrétien, Geneva, 2011
  • Professor Nicholas Pickwoad, ‘Getting Started: Preparing the World’s Oldest Library for the New Millennium’, Geneva, 1999

American Associates lectures

  • Dr Roberto Nardi, ‘Conservation of the Apse Mosaic at Saint Catherine’s’, Grolier Club, New York, 2010
  • Professor John Barron, ‘On the Rim of Justinian’s Empire: Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai’, Metropolitan Club, New York, 2005
  • Professor Nicholas Pickwoad, ‘Preserving the Library and the Books at the Monastery of Saint Catherine’, Grolier Club, New York, 1999

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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).