Return to the Society Page

Return to Main Menu

I. Objective

II. History & Organization

III. Projects and Activities

IV. Classes

V. Address

I. Objective:

To preserve, revive, and promote the Coptic Christian Heritage.

<back to menu>

II. History & Organization:

The Society was conceived in November 1979, in Los Angeles to serve the Coptic community outside Egypt in strengthening its roots by the systematic revival of its Christian Heritage. In 1983, the Society was fully organized and approved under the Laws of the California and the United States as a Non-profit foundation. Its current membership is 159 members divided among the different classes of membership available and spread over 3 Continents.

<back to menu>

III. Projects and Activities:

Coptic Microfilm Library (CML):

A collective effort to gather and preserve on microfilm the written sources of our heritage for the purpose of promoting its study as well as those works that have dealt with it. So far the collection generated by the project includes over 200,000 microfilm frames of Coptic, Coptic-Arabic, and Arabic manuscripts. This collection is considered one of the largest ones in the world, dealing with manuscripts related to the Coptic Church and there is room as well as need to grow even further. The collection includes material written on papyrus, parchment, and paper. They were collected from such places as the Vatican Apostolic Library, National Library of Paris, the British Library, Cairo Coptic Museum, New York Pierpont Morgan Libarary, Oxford Bodleian Library, Manchester John Rylands Library, Birmingham Selly Oak College Library, Napels National Library, Cambridge University Library, Vienna National Library, and Michigan University Library. They cover such subjects as the Bible, Church History, Hagiography, Patristics writings, Liturgical services, Canon Law, Apocryphal texts, Gnostic writings, and Lexical works.

<back to menu>

Coptic Library:

The Society since its inception has worked on gathering a library of all books and scholarly articles that deals with the various aspects of Coptic Studies Such as Bible, Language, Patristics, History, Liturgy, Hagiography (life of the Saints), and Art & Architecture. The library holdings are about 1300 books as well as tens of periodicals and several hundreds off-prints.

<back to menu>

Mapping of Coptic Monuments (MCM):

This is an effort that commenced several years ago to document all the Coptic religious structures that were ever-built. The Society have gathered several raw material such as photographs and preliminary lists of existing churches, as well as many of the books and articles that dealt with the structures in question. More effort will be expended in this project in the future. Such efforts include the development of databases of the structural, architectural, historical, and artistic aspects of such structures as well as the gatherings of photographic archives of them.

<back to menu>

Computerization of Primary Sources:

For over 12 years the Society has sought the aid of computers in preserving Coptic texts as well as translation of primary text sources dealing with our heritage. Our current Database include the majority of Coptic biblical texts in existence as well as many hagiographic, patristic, and liturgical texts. The assistance of many members of our community is sought in order that we reach our objective of making every text that is part of the Coptic heritage, available in such form to those that needs it. The Society input all the text on IBM-based systems.

<back to menu>

Treasures of the Coptic Church:

As a result of the material gathering activities, outlined above, the Society is working on a 300-volume set of books that would bring all the textual evidence of the Coptic heritage into a accurate, scientific, and detailed format. This would include all texts as well as the respective translation in English of such texts. Preliminary editions are being prepared of several of the Old and New Testament Coptic texts as well as some of the Hagiographic texts that are being translated in the Coptic classes conducted by the Society.

<back to menu>

The St. Shenouda Center for Coptic Studies (SSCCS):

This center was opened on October 1, 1992, for the purpose of providing a focal point for the efforts that the society has been engaged in. It houses the Coptic Microfilm Library, the Coptic Library, and the photographic archives of Coptic Monuments. It provides a space for those interested in Coptic Studies to consult such vast resources.

<back to menu>

The St. Shenouda Coptic Microfiche Center:

As early as 1982 the Society saw the need for a micro-size library of research material dealing with Coptic Studies. At the time we began to do it in-house in 35-mm microfilm format. This proved to be inefficient and too costly. In 1985, we utilized a professional service bureau, specializing in such work, to do such work. The format used was that established by University Microfilm International in Michigan, i.e. 98-frame 4x6 microfiche cards. Since that time, we have generated over 1950 microfiche cards, containing approximately 130,000 frames (about 200,000 pages) of printed materials dealing with works done in the field of Coptic Studies. This 10-year effort literally scanned the globe to bring, in one place, one of the greatest collection of resources for the study of our heritage that was ever assembled.

Some of the titles are available for sale to those interested, but the rest can be consulted only at the Society's facilities or by special arrangement

<back to menu>

The Nagi Khalil Coptic Software Center (NKCSC):

This project was dedicated to the pioneering spirit of the Society's late Vice President Mr. Nagi F. Khalil. It was envisioned to bring forth some of the preservation works that the Society is doing along with the necessary tools for learning how to work with such material. All Software are developed for IBM-Compatible systems, running in Microsoft Windows 3.1 environment. The following is a list of released titles as well as others under developement:

<back to menu>

St. Shenouda Coptic Scholarship Fund (SSCSF):

In 1995, the Society set up a scholarship fund to encourge students pursuing a course of study within the different fields of Coptic Studies. This can be a minor or a major in a four-year college whether leading to a graduate or an undergraduate degree. The Society has pledged a minimum of 10% of its general funds annually for this fund. In the school-year 1995-96, we awarded two scholarship of $1,500 each to students that began working in a combined masters PhD programs in Coptic History at American Universities. Priorities and amount awarded will be based on the degree to be awarded, financial needs, and attendance at a recognized 4-year American college or university.

<back to menu>

Coptic Slides Collection (CSC):

The Society has an extensive slides collection of Coptic Art and Architecture. This include 1,600 color slides of Coptic sites, monuments, and icons, along with several hundred more of instructional type slides. Some 400 Slides of this collection are also preserved on 4-CD ROM set, acquired from Mr. Paul Kuiper of Oregon. The collection form the basis of our work on The Mapping of Coptic Monument Project.

<back to menu>

IV. Classes:

The Center also offer classes in Coptic Language (Grammar and text translation), History, and Ecclesiology, as well as workshops in the techniques of Manuscript transcription and comparison.

Schedule of Classes:

<back to menu>

V. Address:

Mailing Address:

St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society

1701 So. Wooster St.

Los Angeles, CA 90035

Tel (310) 558-3973

Fax (310) 558-1863

Location of the Center:

1494 So. Robertson Blvd. Ste 204

Los Angeles, CA 90035

Tel (310) 271-8329 (Message Only)

Hours: M-F 6-9 p.m. (by appointment only)

<back to menu>

Prepared by Hany N. Takla. Last Update 3/18/96

For more information contact