Chair of Catholic Studies Lecture

7:00 p.m.
Rogalski Center Ballroom

Free and open to the public

Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, presents "What a (modern) monk does: Digital Preservation of Manuscripts from the Earth's Most Threatened Communities."

Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, PhD, is executive director of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The library has photographed 140,000-plus manuscript books dating from the ancient to early modern era, giving priority to collections of persecuted or endangered minorities.

Since 2003, Fr. Stewart has led the expansion of HMML's preservation projects in more than a dozen countries. He has worked with Iraqi church leaders to digitize manuscripts displaced by war and its aftermath, and partnered with libraries in Harar, Ethiopia, the Old City of Jerusalem, and in northern India to preserve Islamic manuscripts. Fr. Stewart also forged a partnership that will preserve manuscripts rescued from Timbuktu, Mali. It is HMML's largest project, potentially exceeding 250,000 documents.

Fr. Stewart has authored dozens of articles and three books. He was a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship awardee, and has been featured in national radio programs, newspapers and documentaries, including the CBS News Program "60 Minutes."

Fr. Stewart received an A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard University in 1979, and a M.A. in Religious Studies at Yale University in 1981. After studying liturgical history, systematic theology, and Scripture at Saint John's University School of Theology, he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1989.

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