Person NameMingana; Alphonse (1878-1937)
ActivityMingana was born on 23 Dec 1878 (probably 1878 although some biographies say 1881) in Sharansh al 'Ulya (also known as Sharansh al-Nasarah) near Mosul. He entered the 'Seminaire Saint Jean' in Mosul in 1891 where he trained for the priesthood, studying Turkish, Persian, Kurdish, Latin, French, Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew. He was ordained in 1902 and stayed at the Seminary, where he taught Syriac and wrote about and published editions of Syriac texts. Following a dispute with the authorities, he left Mosul in 1913, briefly travelling in the Ottoman Empire. During his travels, he was given the name of the orientalist and biblical scholar James Rendel Harris, which prompted him to travel to Harris's home in Selly Oak, Birmingham. He lived briefly with Harris, then moved to Woodbrooke College, Selly Oak, Birmingham, where Harris was Principal. He stayed at Woodbrooke for 2 years; towards the end of his stay he taught Arabic and Hebrew to theological and mission students. He began publishing again, on his own and in collaboration with others, including James Rendel Harris, and became friends with oriental scholars such as Agnes Smith Lewis, Margaret Dunlop Gibson, and David Samuel Margoliouth. He married Emma Sophie Floor, a Woodbrooke student, on 14 July 1915 - they had 2 children. In 1915, he was appointed to the staff of John Rylands library; his catalogue of their oriental manuscripts was published in 1934. Mingana became a British citizen in 1920. Financed by Edward Cadbury, he made three journeys to the Middle East, in 1924, 1925, and 1929, in search of manuscripts. The manuscripts he acquired are now known as the Mingana Collection: they include Syriac, Christian Arabic, and Islamic Arabic manuscripts. The manuscripts were kept at Woodbrooke College until 1932, when a new library was built to serve Woodbrooke and the other Selly Oak colleges. The new library included rooms specially designed for the manuscript collection. Mingana returned to Birmingham to work as curator and spent the remaining years of his life cataloguing the collection. The third volume of his catalogue was finished but not printed when he died on 5 Dec 1937.
RelationshipsMarried Emma Sophie Floor 14 July 1915


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