“Search the Scriptures, for you think that you have eternal life in them,
and they bear witness of me” (John 5:39).
Welcome to the Central Papal Library
As one of the most seminal and modern facilities serving as an educational arm within the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
With the uptake of theological studies spanning various languages, spaces, and eras,
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II envisioned the need for a central library under the care of the Church, which is now centered at the Papal Residence at St. Bishoy’s Monastery, Wadi El-Natroun, Egypt.
Inaugurated on November 19th, 2019, in the presence of the members of the Coptic Holy Synod, the library houses a vast collection and an array of academic references in multiple languages attesting to Coptology and theology. Moreover, a substantial body of late antique and medieval manuscripts in original languages.
- To raise community awareness of the Coptic era as an era in the history of Egypt and the Middle East, which formed an integral part of the cultural conscience, intellectual heritage and related studies.
- To save Coptic documentaries produced in various academic institutions whether in written format (including papers, research, magazines, newspapers…) or audiobooks or visual resources in different languages.
- To enhance the academic research in Coptic studies with intensifying translation and publications within the participating institutions.
- To gather all the various media of the Coptic heritage to restore, document and classify to facilitate its availability in one common place for all the interested researchers. That is in coordination with the different monasteries, geographical church sectors, and members owning special collectibles.
- To encourage and support a knowledge sharing community of researchers, both locally and internationally, by which we create a successful Egyptian cultural institution which would be a pioneer in the modern information society.
Why the need for a central library today?
The Coptic Orthodox Church is a purely Egyptian national institution. It is the only institution that did not bear the yoke of occupation in any era. It is essentially a popular church (not originated in the Church of the King or the Emperor)
So, it took it upon its first two responsibilities
The First is to integrate with the people with all their pain, joy, culture and language.
The second is to be the treasury of the secrets of Egyptian civilization, whether the ancient Egyptian language and literature or the Egyptian architecture and diverse arts
Hence the establishment of the Central Papal Library in the unique wilderness of Shehit, where the desert of Scetis is the cradle of monasticism, knowledge and hermits.
Publications & Magazines
Formal meeting Hall (50 people)
Lecture Hall (100 people)
Museum Halls: Pope Shenouda III Fryer, art collections, and historical performances.
Preserved within the Central Papal Library are various artifacts and shrines. For instance, located at the entrance to the Hall of history of Christianity is a section of the Holy Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, which was gifted from H.E. Metropolitan Marcos, Metropolitan of the French Coptic Orthodox Church, to the Coptic Church in 1975.
Pope Shenouda III’s Cell:
which was primarily used as his chief writing center. Additionally, various personal relics of his personal belongings are endowed to the library.
some collectables and souvenirs, which have a cultural, historical, and artistic background are retained.
Reception Hall (100 people)
Formal Meeting Hall (50 people)
The Multimedia Hall
Guest house for researchers
Reading and research areas
Specialized scanners and imaging hall to serve researchers and the purposes of the technical library, through which books and manuscripts are converted into a digital version. They include two devices:
Receiving books and sterilization hall