Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)DA66
TitlePapers of Alphonse Mingana
Extent13 boxes
DescriptionPapers of Alphonse Mingana (1878-1937), scholar and curator of oriental manuscripts. Includes proofs of the index of his catalogue of his collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts; files of press cuttings; correspondence with manuscript dealers and with researchers; some correspondence concerning the Church of Malabar; notebooks which include draft articles, letters, and reports; photographs; books and articles.
ArrangementThe collection has been divided into three groups, the first two according to provenance, and a third section contains letters to Mingana. Each group has then been arranged by record type.
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered readers
Finding AidsSections DA66/1 and DA66/2 have been catalogued. Section DA66/3 has not yet been listed in detail.

A catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue, or view the catalogue as a PDF file by clicking in the document field below. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
DocumentDA 66.pdf
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistorySee 'Alphonse Mingana 1878-1937' by Samir Khalil Samir SJ (Selly Oak Colleges 1990).

Mingana was born near Mosul, Iraq, and was educated at the Seminaire St Jean, Mosul, where he trained for the priesthood, studying Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Latin, French, Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew. He was ordained in 1902 and spent the next ten years studying and teaching at the Seminary. In 1913, following a dispute with the authorities, he left Mosul and travelled to England, settling in Birmingham, where he was befriended by the orientalist and biblical scholar James Rendel Harris. He spent the next two years living with Harris and at Woodbrooke College, where he met his wife, Emma Sophie Floor, a student from Norway. They married in 1915 and had two children. In the same year, Mingana moved to the John Rylands Library, Manchester to work as a curator of Oriental manuscripts; his catalogue of this collection was published in 1934. He made several journeys to the Middle East in the 1920s in search of manuscripts, financed by Edward Cadbury. In 1932, he returned to Birmingham to work as Curator of these manuscripts, the Mingana Collection. He died suddenly in 1937, just before the third volume of his catalogues was published.
Custodial HistoryThere are two groups of papers (sub-fonds) in the collection. The first had been kept in the Selly Oak Colleges Library since Mingana's death. It was transferred to the Orchard Learning Resources Centre which was opened in 1997 following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges Library and the Westhill College Library. The second group of papers was discovered in the attic of the Selly Oak Colleges Library in the early 1980s. In 2000, the custodianship of all archive collections held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre (including this DA66 collection) was transferred to the University of Birmingham, and is now housed at the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections.

A letter from Edward Cadbury to Hans Gottschalk [Curator, Mingana Collection] was discovered in the Mingana Room in September 2004 and catalogued as DA66/2/6/9.
AcquisitionOrchard Learning Resources Centre
Related MaterialCadbury Research Library: Special Collections also holds the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern Manuscripts collected by Alphonse Mingana. A collection level description is available on the Online Archive Catalogue, reference: MINGANA. The annual reports of the curator of the Mingana collection is referenced: DA62. There are also some letters from Mingana in the papers of James Rendel Harris, reference DA21. Reference: DA67 includes photographs and news cuttings of Alphonse Mingana.


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