Contents and Arrangement

Princeton Ethiopic Manuscript No. 1: Psalter. Dawit, 1800s

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

An incomplete Psalter. The usual books Gate of Light and Praise of Mary are missing, except for the first page from Praise of Mary, of the Monday section (135v), and a few pages from the Thursday section (1r-2v).

Fols. 2v, 3r, 4r, 69v, 70r, passim: Upper and lower margin scrawls in crude hand on many folios.

Fols. 70r-74r: Psalm 86, 87, 88, 89 numbered as 76, 77, 78, 79.

No owner listed.

No scribe listed.

No miniatures.

No musical notation.


Arranged in manuscript number order, by accession. Numbers 29 and 67-71 are unassigned.

Collection History


This cataloging project was made possible through generous support from the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Project, Princeton University.

Processing Information

The present finding aid was prepared in June-July 2009 by Kesis Melaku Terefe , Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church in Los Angeles, with assistance of Prof. Wendy Laura Belcher , Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies, Princeton University. This cataloging project was made possible through generous support from the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Project, Princeton University.

In 2022, restrictions on manuscripts No. 54, 57, and 65 were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

In 2022, manuscripts nos. 86-95 were added to the collection.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Princeton Ethiopic Manuscript No. 1: Psalter. Dawit; Princeton Ethiopic Manuscripts, C0776, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Related Materials

In addition to Princeton Ethiopic codices, the Library also has a collection entitled Garrett Ethiopic Manuscripts (C0744.03), gift of Robert Garrett (Princeton Class of 1897). There is one Ethiopic manuscript in The Scheide Library (Manuscript 119).

The Library also has three substantial collections of Ethiopic magic scrolls . Professor David Appleyard, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, compiled the online checklist of these scrolls, with support from the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Project, Princeton University.


References: For a full discussion of the Ethiopic Psalter, see the "Dawit" entry in Encyclopedia Aethiopica , vol. 1, pp.278-279. For a print Ge'ez version of Dawit, see Mäzmurä Dawit, Bərhanənna Sälam Press, Addis Ababa, 1959 EC. For information on the individual books of Dawit, see the following. Regarding the Song of Songs, see H. C. Gleave, The Ethiopic Version of the Song of Songs , London 1951. Regarding the Praise of Mary and Gate of Light, see Karl Fries, Weddâsê Mârjâm. Ein äthiopischer Lobgesang an Maria , Uppsala, 1892; Bernard Velat, Etudes sur le Me'eraf (Paris: 1966), vol. 1, pp. 76–91; vol. 2, pp. 284–96; E. A. Wallis Budge, Legend of Our Lady Mary the Perpetual Virgin and Her Mother Hannâ , Oxford, 1933, pp. 279–96; Christopher Lash, "Gate of Light An Ethiopian Hymn to the Blessed Virgin," Eastern Church Review 4, 1972,36-46; 5, 1973, 143-56.