|See '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.
|There 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.