Ethiopia

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MEMORY OF THE WORLD REGISTER
Faith of Fathers (Haymanote Abew)
(Ethiopia)
Ref: 2008- 14
PART -A- ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
1. SUMMARY
The manuscript is written on a large parchment with a binding. The general content of the document
concerns the teaching and writing of the various fathers of the church, who lived between the 3rd and
5th centuries. At the beginning of Christianity, there was a highly controversial issue on religious and
doctrinal affairs. Consequently, the ancient fathers of the church gave their defence and apology for
heresies, which were against the normal teaching of the church. This manuscript deals with this
subject.
The manuscript is unique in its content as it comments and provides explanation for each of the verses
that were formerly given only orally by scholars. This is the uniqueness of the manuscript unlike any
manuscripts of Faith of Fathers.
The manuscript can greatly contribute to the world's religious literature, since it is the sole Faith of
Fathers with commentary. It can also be useful as a worldwide reference material to the highly
controversial religious issue, which took place from the 3rd and 5th centuries.
2.
DETAILS OF THE NOMINATOR
2.1.
Name (person or organization)
ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND LIBRARY AGENCY
2.2. Relationship top the documentary heritage nominated
Public Library and Womezeker, now Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency (ENALA) was
established in 1944 and denoted the commencement of the modern library in Ethiopia. The ENALA is
newly organized to incorporate and take the responsibilities of the former Ethiopian Microfilm and
Microfiche Library.
The objectives of the Agency are to collect, systematically organize, preserve, and make the
information resources of the country accessible for study and research purposes.
The powers and duties of the Agency are to:
 Operate as a national repository centre of documentary heritage in general,
 Ensure that original archives and documentary heritage of the country are not taken
abroad on permanent basis, inspect copies and issue permits if they are taken out of the
country,
 Collect priceless and rare ancient manuscripts and icons, make a microfilm or microfiche
copy of the manuscripts and make them available for study and research purposes.
2.3. Contact person:
Ato Atkilt Assefa
Director General with the rank of Deputy Commissioner National Archives and Library Agency
(ENALA)
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2.4.Contact details:
Atkilt Assefa
Director General with the rank of Deputy Commissioner National Archives and Library Agency
(ENALA)
P.O. BOX 717, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Phone 251-11-551-65-32
Fax 251-11-552-64-11
E-mail:nale@ethionet.et.
3.
IDENTITY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE DOCUMENTRRY HERITAGE
3.1. Name and identification details of the items being nominated
Haymanote Abew (Faith of Fathers)
Identification Number NL 477
3.2. Description
The manuscript was written on parchment in one volume in 2 columns in the Geez and Amharic
language. The size of the manuscript is 39 x 30cm and it has 731 pages. The binding is made from
wooden boards covered with stamped leather. The manuscript was written by the order of Emperor
Haile Selasie I in 1971.
Summary of its provenance:The manuscript was the property of palace of King Haile Selasie. The stamp on the back of the first
folio says "Treasury of the palace".
The general state of the manuscript is good. It is kept in a proper way and with an appropriate method
of conservation.
Referees:The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Institute of Ethiopian Studies and Department of Linguistics (Addis
Ababa University)
4. JUSTIFICTION FOR INCLUSION/ASSESSMENT AGAINST CRITERIA
4.1. Is authenticity established?
The authenticity of the document can be recognized in two different dimensions:
 The scholars of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church approved that, the teaching, which is given
orally, is the same as the manuscript.
 Some of the readings of Geez are the same as other manuscripts.
4.2.
Is world significance, uniqueness and irreplaceability established?
The manuscript is unique and significant because the teaching was only given orally. So the
manuscript is the unique material to preserve the oral teaching procedure.
The manuscript is irreplaceable because, there is no other written document concerning the
commentary of Faith of Fathers.
4.3
Is one or more of the criteria of (a) time (b) place (c) people (d) subject and theme (e)
form and style satisfied? (see 4.2.5)
Time: The content information of the manuscript is the teaching of the scholars, from the 3rd and 5th
Centuries
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Form and style: The attractiveness and stylistic ways of writings of the four scribes is really
surprising that one couldn't identify any calligraphic differences. Illuminations and decorated designs
are also available on some of the pages.
Subject and theme: The Manuscript explains the teaching of the ancient church's fathers by way of
commentary.
4.4. Are there issues of rarity, integrity, threat and management that relate to this nomination?
The manuscript is rare with content that is not available elsewhere in Ethiopia.
The unit of Ethiopian studies and literary heritage is undertaking the responsibility to digitize the
manuscript to avoid threats which will occur.
5. LEGAL INFORMATION
5.1. Owner of the documentary heritage (name and contact details)
ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND LIBRARY AGENCY
P.O. Box 717
Phone 251-11-553-00-58
Fax 251-11-552-64-11
E-mail:nale@ethionet.et.
5.2
Custodian of the documentary heritage (name and contact details, if different to owner)
ENALA
5.3. Legal Status:
(a) Category of ownership
Government Organization
(b) Accessibility
The copy of the document is made accessible to users
(c) Copyright status
All rights are reserved for ENALA
(d) Responsible administration
ENALA
e) Other factors
None
6. MANAGEMENT PLAN
The National Archives and Library Agency has a general management plan and preservation policy
for documentary heritage.
Documentary heritage is the identity of a country and nations. Ethiopia is best known for its precious
literary heritage, most of which is kept in ENALA. All the information resources of the country,
especially documentary heritage are collected and preserved by ENALA to make them accessible for
study and research purposes.
The storage of the documentary heritage is included with the main library with reading room. In the
policy the following is described:
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

All preservation actions are active, not passive measures, requiring daily management to
maximize effectiveness.
Appropriate accommodation includes environmentally controlled and monitored space, that
conform to the standard of literary heritage. Security, disaster- readiness, pest management
and cleanliness are major tasks for preservation.
For disaster and emergency preparedness ENALA has established procedures and trained staff, to
protect their holdings by responding to emergencies (fire, flood, pest infestation, growth of mould
etc.) and by leading immediate recovery actions.
Depending on the threat, emergency response and recovery actions will take precedence over all the
other activities of ENALA.
With regard to accessibility, ENALA states in the policy:- Literary heritage is collected and digitized
and make it available for study and research purposes.
The preservation policy also includes the physical environment of the documentary heritage, i.e.
documentary heritage should be preserved under good air quality, temperature and humidity.
Security, for the documentary heritage is part of the policy, i.e. documentary heritage is secured in the
storage, during service, and mobility to guard them not to be stolen.
Appropriate budget is allocated for the preservation and digitization process.
According to the need and demand, experts are trained in how to preserve and conserve the
documentary heritage.
7. CONSULTATION
7.1
Provide details of consultation about this nomination with (a) the owner of the heritage (b) the
custodian (c) your national or regional Memory of the World committee
a) ENALA needs the document to be registered.
b) c) The national Memory of the World Committee commented that this document is the literary
heritage of the country, and it uses as a reference for the world with the point view of
religious controversy.
PART B - SUBSIDIARY INFORMATION
8. ASSESSMENT OF RISKS
8.1
Detail the nature and scope of threats to this documentary heritage
The document has not any risk or threat, because the material is under good condition.
9.
ASSESSMENT OF PRESERVATION
9.1
Detail the preservation context of the documentary heritage
Presently the document is in good physical condition.
 According to the preservation policy the document is preserved and conserved under good air
quality, temperature and humidity by experts.
 Experts are trained according to the needs
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The unit of Ethiopian Studies and Literary heritages is responsible for the preservation of
documentary heritage.
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