Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody
The Ragheb Moftah Collection at the Library of Congress
Map Detail: Map of Christian Egypt (1955)
This is a very large, beautiful map with the Christian sites marked with a red cross, and monasteries marked as domed buildings, such as the four monasteries just to the west of the Nile delta: Deir el Baramûs, Deir Suriani, Deir Anbâ Bishoi, and Deir Abû Makar. Various other details are indicated such as camel routes, oases, palm trees and fishes. The map extends from the Nile delta on the Mediterranean to Aswan in Upper Egypt. It is a folded map, actually a brochure, and on the verso is the title of the brochure and texts in English and French indicating “Historic Dates in Egypt -– From the first century A.D. to the Arab conquest in 640 A.D,” that is, from 50-58 A.D to 639 A.D. Housed with this map in the Geography and Map Division are two brochures: One, written by O.H.E. Burmester, describes seventeen Coptic bishoprics within Egypt (in 1955), far fewer than the many historic monasteries indicated on this map. The second brochure has Angel Gabriel on the front and St. Mark on the back. It opens to an image of double doors to a church. When opened further, the doors reveal four panels with the Sphinx in yellow at the top and inset photographs of churches in Old Cairo in blue: upper left: Church of the Holy Virgin, known as “The Suspended” in Old Cairo; lower left: High Altar of the Church of Abû Sargah in Old Cairo; upper right: Interior view of the Church of the Holy Virgin in Old Cairo; lower right: Ivory cross inlaid in ebony, Abu Seifen. When the brochure is fully opened, it contains all yellow photos of monasteries or scenes from Old Cairo. Among the photos are: Anba Bishoi [sometimes also spelled Bishoy] in Wadi al-Natrun; St. Paul’s Monastery on the Red Sea; Al-Baramûs Monastery in Wadi al-Natrun and its dome; view of Old Cairo; and the Virgin’s Tree at Matariya. Note that there are several 1995 photographs of Ragheb Moftah at two monasteries in Wadi Al-Natrun -- three taken at the Anba Bishoy Monastery, and one taken at the Anba Macarius Monastery.