University of Helsinki
Classical Philology






Photo Archive



The Library of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Alexandria (GOPAL)


The project aims at rescuing and studying the manuscripts and rare editions of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. The task consists of codicological research, conservation, and digital photography.

The initiator of the project was prof. Pekka Häyry (University of Helsinki), who has been cooperating with the Patriarchate since the 1980s. His Beatitude Petros VII due to the long lasting friendship with Prof. Häyry accepted the proposal to renovate the Library building and to establish a Finnish team which would take care of the conservation and research of the collection. With the help of the Orthodox Mission and Mrs. Anja Hakonen, the Foreign Ministry of Finland awarded the initial funding for the renovation of the Library building. Prof. Jaakko Frösén (University of Helsinki) incorporated the codicological research, conservation and digitising of the collection into his research unit, Ancient and Medieval Documents, Archives and Libraries, which started its work in 2000.

GOPAL is incorporated into the international Rinascimento Virtuale project, a network of palimpsest research founded in Hamburg in November 2000. Two palimpsests have so far been found in the collection of the Library (codices 62 and 294).

The codicological research of the manuscripts aims to produce a modern catalogue which will replace the old and incomplete catalogue by N. S. Phirippides, published in Ekklesiastikos Pharos XXXVII (1938), XXXVIII (1939), XXXIX (1940), XL (1941) and XLI (1942) and supplemented and republished by Theodoros Moschonas, Alexandria 1945 (offset reprinted by J.Geerlings in Studies and Documents XXVI. Salt