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Grant number like: PW-51161-12

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Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)
David Allen Michelson (Project Director: July 2011 to September 2016)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Totals (outright + matching):
$249,771 (approved)
$249,771 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2012 – 5/31/2016

The Syriac Reference Portal: New Access to Sources for the History of the Middle East

Development of an online portal to reference resources on Syriac studies, including an encyclopedia, a prosopography tool for information related to Syriac sources, a classified bibliography, and other research tools. The portal would integrate and link information about the ancient sources and scholarly works.

Syriac is a middle eastern language once spoken by populations stretching across the Middle East and central Asia. For much of the first millennium C.E., Syriac served as a common language bridging the cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East and serving as the cultural meeting point between Christianity and Islam. Today, perhaps more than ten thousand manuscripts written in Syriac survive, with a wide range of origin stretching from Turkey and Egypt to Iraq, Iran, western China and South India. These materials are of interest to scholars in a variety of humanities fields: Middle Eastern studies, classics, medieval history, religious studies, and linguistics. Unfortunately, due to the lack of reference works, Syriac documents are little studied today. The Syriac Reference Portal provides a new path into this area of history for scholars and the interested public through the creation of an online encyclopedia, a manuscript catalogue and other scholarly tools.