St. Catherine’s: The World’s Oldest Continually Operated Library

St. Catherine's While many libraries in the ancient world pre-dated it, the library at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt has been continually running since about 565 AD. Constructed near the site of the burning bush, St. Catherine’s was difficult to access for many years, as it required a 10 day trip by camel. The library currently houses about 5000 early printed books and 2000 scrolls. Included in the collection are some of the earliest printed works of Plato and Homer, along with pieces of a bible from the 4th century. You can also find St. Catherine’s Monastery on the web.

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