This short-term project (Feb 2020 – Sept 2021) is a search operation for unknown, lost, and forgotten Greek manuscripts and texts in the holdings of the largest repository of Greek and Byzantine manuscripts worldwide, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in the Vatican City State. The idea of such a search operation is certainly not new. Still, the format, intensity and systematic strategy of this project is unique especially for the digital era which allegedly makes such investigations redundant. However, several important features of manuscripts can only be seen and gathered by analysing the original object.

The search operation focuses on hitherto uncatalogued manuscripts that are for the better part barely known and/or studied. It will start with a series of 220 manuscripts of the Vaticani graeci collection which contain predominantly theological texts and have been identified as particu­larly promising objects of investigation. Altogether, presumably more than 260 manuscripts will be examined in the course of the funding period.

The quantity and relevance of the output of this research project is not predictable. The best-case scenario, and a real sensation, would be the discovery of an unknown or the rediscovery of an allegedly lost text or manuscript.

Due to COVID-19 and the pandemic measures, the project sadly had to be suspended twice for a period of several months. Nevertheless, this website was set up in February 2021. On the blog of this website I present first observations and new findings obtained from the project. Unfortunately, I am unable to present any pictures of the manuscripts on this blog for reasons of copyright.

A two days’ International Workshop at the Swiss Institute in Rome, scheduled for 30th Sept – 1st Oct 2021, will present the project findings and discuss their thematic contexts and backgrounds together with spe­cialists. The programme will be published on this website in due course. The workshop will be open to the public.

This research project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (programme Spark) and hosted by the Center of Global Studies of the University of Bern.