Discover one of the world’s great collections of Greek manuscripts

The British Library’s collection of Greek manuscript codices is one of the most substantial in the world, comprising around 1,000 items. The collection has considerable depth, including, for example, two of the three oldest Greek Bibles, the remains of some 227 manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, and around 50 Greek codices dating from the first millennium.

Manuscripts of Greek texts form a relatively small, but significant part of the Library’s vast holdings of around 150 million items. Ranging in date from the 3rd century BC to the present century and in format from papyrus rolls and codices to ostraca, wooden and metal tablets, parchment and paper documents and codices, they bear eloquent testimony to the rich culture of Greek-speaking people from the time of the creation of the Iliad and Odyssey through the classical, Hellenistic, early Christian, Byzantine and Ottoman eras and beyond the creation of the Greek nation state.

Most of the British Library’s Greek manuscripts are now accessible online. As a result of the Library’s Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, which began in 2008 and is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, full digital coverage and new catalogue descriptions of 905 Greek manuscripts are now available to researchers. A guide to the Greek Manuscripts collections, including articles, videos and collection highlights, is available here.


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