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Princeton Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Egyptian Miracles of Mary (PEMM) project

Other Team Members

Financial and Grant Support

Michael Franz (Grants Administrator 2017-present)

Amanda M. Arcamone (Finance & Treasury’s Shared Services 2023-present)

Caitlin Charos Rollins (Grant Writing 2020)

Incipit Typing (2020)

Tariku Abas Sherif, Beimnet Beyene Kassaye, Annabel S. Lemma, Tsega-ab Hailemichael, Chiara Lombardi, Ellen Perleberg

European Language Translation and Summary (2020)

Mika J. Hyman, Grace Matthews, Allie V. Mangel; Ellen Li, Elliot Galvis, Lauren D. Johnson, Sana Khan, Jason O. Seavey, Leia R. Walker, Nati Arbelaez Solano, Daniel Somwaru

Qemer Miracle of Mary Project (2019-2021)

Prof. Steve Delamarter, Dr. Jeremy Brown

Jonah Sandford (typist)

Ashlee Benson (typist)

Our Partners

Project Collaborators

Rev. Melaku Terefe, priest, cataloger, and scholar,  serving at Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles, and on the Ethiopic Manuscript Imaging Project

Dr. Solomon Gebreyes, Research Fellow at the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany

Eyob Derillo, curator of Ethiopian collections at the British Library

Meron GebreananayePhD student in religious, theology, and literary studies at the University of Durham, UK 

Sofanit T. Abebe, PhD student in religion and New Testament studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Dr. Habte Michael Kidane, independent researcher on Gəˁəz literature and liturgy

Dr. Hagos Abrha, professor at Mekelle University, scholar of Ge`ez philology and manuscripts

Board Members

Elias Wondimu, CEO and President of TSEHAI Corp., a global knowledge company 

Archpriest Mussie Berhe, priest and scholar, serving at St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Los Angeles 

Archpriest Woldesemait Teklehaymanot, monk and scholar, serving at St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles 

Rev. Melaku Terefe, priest and scholar, Virgin Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles

Dr. Solomon Gebreyes, Research Fellow at the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany

Project Advisers

Prof. Alessandro BausiProfessor for Ethiopian Studies at the Asien-Afrika-Institut; head of Beta maṣāḥǝft: Die Schriftkultur des christlichen Äthiopien und Eritreas: Eine multimediale Forschungsumgebung (2016-2040).

Prof. Samantha Kelly, Professor of History at Rutgers University, scholar of medieval Europe and Ethiopia

Prof. Aaron Butts, Professor at University of Hamburg, director of the Hiob Ludolf Institue of Ethiopian Studies, scholar of the languages, literatures, and history of Christianity in the Near East, especially Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac

Dr. Pamela A. Patton, Director, Index of Medieval Art, and scholar of Marian miracles

Prof. Gérard Colin, scholar of Ethiopian manuscripts and texts, and translator of the Täˀammərä Maryam into French

Dr. Ted Erho, University of Hamburg

Daniel Yacob, Director of the Ge'ez Frontier Foundation, independent researcher, and founder of the Arodyon Books publishing house which specializes in the typesetting needs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Prof. Hamza Zafer, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Washington, scholar of the languages and history of the Red Sea regions

Prof. Ewa Balicka-Witakowska, Associate Professor at Uppsala University, Department of Linguistics and Philology, Institute of Byzantine Studies, an art historian in Oriental Christian art, particularly Ethiopian and Syrian

Prof. Dr. Verena Krebs, Professor of Medieval Cultural Realms and Their Entanglements at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, scholar of late Medieval Ethiopian history and art history

Dr. Alexandra Antohin, Senior Research and Program Manager of the Avoice Virtual Library Project at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and scholar of Ethiopian Christianity

Dr. Kristen Windmuller-Luna, Curator of African Arts, Cleveland Museum of Art.

Institutional Collaborators

Princeton African Humanities Colloquium.. Directed by Prof. Simon Gikandi, PAHC provides a forum to promote research and teaching in the humanities (broadly defined) at Princeton University and to incorporate the study of Africa in existing and future research projects. It hosts conferences, talks, projects, and two-year postdoctoral fellows. 

Princeton University Library, led by Anne Jarvis, Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian, and its Ethiopic Manuscript Collection, led by William G. Noel, John T. Maltsberger III ’55 Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections. With many thanks to Roel Munoz, Library Digital Imaging Manager, for digitizing Princeton's Ethiopic manuscripts. Advice also provided by Jon Stroop, Deputy University Librarian and Director of Library IT, Imaging, and Metadata Services, Kimberly Leaman, Library IT Project Manager; and Esmé Cowles, Assistant Director for Information Technology.

Beta Maṣāḥǝft: Manuscripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea at the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies of the Universität Hamburg. Created and directed by Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Alessandro Bausi, this 25-year project (2016–2040) aims at creating a virtual research environment that shall manage complex data related to the predominantly Christian manuscript tradition of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands.

Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. Lead by Father Columba Stewart, it hosts the Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library (EMML), with more than 8000 manuscripts microfilmed in Ethiopian churches and monasteries during the 1970s and 1980s. Getatchew Haile and William F. Macomber were the lead catalogers of this collection for many decades. Now, PEMM's Jeremy Brown is the head cataloger. HMML also includes digital copies of UNESCO and Ernst Hammerschmidt Tanasee projects. With special thanks to Ted Erho, former Cataloger of Ethiopic Manuscripts; Julie Dietman, assistant for Development and Library Services at HMML, and John Meyerhofer, Systems Librarian.

Centre for the Study of the Centre for the Study of the Cantigas de Santa Maria  of Oxford University. Created in 2005 by Prof. Stephen Parkinson, it provides exhaustive listings of the contents of Latin and vernacular collections of Marian miracles.

Miracula Mariae: Medieval Short Narratives between Languages and Cultures is a collaborative research network concerning medieval and early modern stories about the miracles of the Virgin Mary. It studies their transmission and the pictorial and sculptural counterparts of the texts, resulting in a a database for the written and iconographical material. Prof. Ewa Balicka-Witakowska of Uppsala University works on the Ethiopic manuscripts.

British Library, Asian and African Collections. Headed by Luisa Elena Mengoni it holds two dozen of the most precious Ethiopian Miracles of Mary manuscripts. Eyob Derillo works on these manuscripts, at the direction of the Lead Curator of African Collections, Marion Wallace.

Museum of the Bible, in Oklahoma City. David Anthony Schmidt, Senior Curator, and Amy Van Dyke, Lead Curator of Art and Exhibitions, provided PEMM with digital copies of its six Ethiopian Miracles of Mary manuscripts.

The African Ajami Library project, lead by Prof. Fallou Ngom at Boston University, is a continental open access public repository of aggregated Ajami (adapted Arabic script) texts from Muslim Africa. The primary goal of AAL is to ensure that these materials are no longer treated as insignificant vestiges, but rather as major sources of local African knowledge, without which a holistic and in-depth understanding of Islamized Africa will remain elusive. This project has been supported by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme and the National Endowment for the Humanities

PEMM worked with the Getty Vocabulary Program, managed by Patricia Harpring. The Getty Research Institute developed thesauruses and controlled vocabularies for describing art work, particularly the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) but also the Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) and the Iconography Authority (IA). PEMM is using them to provide keywords for TM stories and paintings. PEMM will in turn be contributing to expanding Getty vocabularies with Ethiopian terms.

Our Funders

NEH Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations Grant (2021-2024)

NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (2021-2024)

The NEH provided two three-year major grants to PEMM, for fall 2021 through summer 2024.

Long before, in the 1970s, NEH provided funding for the Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library (EMML), which microfilmed thousands of manuscripts in Ethiopia, which serve as the backbone for the PEMM project. Ethiopian studies has benefited repeatedly from NEH funding.

CDH Dataset Curation Grant

CDH Public Humanities Grant

CDH Research Partnership Grant

Start-up funding, digital humanities training, data design, and other support 2018 to 2020


International Fund (2019-2021)

Other funders were the Princeton Department of African American Studies, directed by the Eddie S. Glaude, as well as the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies (directed by Wallace Best), the Program in African Studies (directed by Emmanuel Kreike and now Chika Okeke-Agulu), the Center for the Study of Religion (directed by Jonathan Gold), and the Department of Comparative Literature (directed by Thomas Hare).

pricenton ethiopian eritrean & egyptian miracles of marry project

The Princeton Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Egyptian Miracles of Mary (PEMM) project is a comprehensive resource for the 1,000+ miracle stories written about and the 2,500+ images painted of the Virgin Mary in these African countries, and preserved in Geʿez between 1300 and the present.

Princeton Department of Comparative Literature 133 East Pyne, Princeton, NJ 08540

Princeton Department of African American Studies Morrison Hall, Princeton, NJ 08540

© 2024 The Trustees of Princeton University