Princeton University Library

Map of Mount Athos and view of the mountain with the monasteries
Map of Mount Athos, Princeton University Library, HMC01.6337

Graphic Arts

Princeton University Special Collections holds a variety of documents relating to Mount Athos, such as collections of postcards; photographic prints, as well as engravings representing or connected to the holy mountain. These are unique holdings and some of them have been acquired in recent years and thus have not been yet fully explored. They include:

  1. Copper icon cast of Saint Stephen the Prōtomartyr. Devotional woodcut showing an icon (8vo-sized woodcut) of Saint Stephen the Prōtomartyr cast in copper, for veneration at the Eastern Orthodox monastery of Kōnstamonitou on Mount Athos in Greece.
  2. Vatopedi by AB [Antonio Bortoli], 1802. Paper icon (an engraved copper print) depicts the Monastery of Vatopedi in Mount Athos, Greece.
  3. General view of Mount Athos by Via, Alexandro dalla, active 1688-1729. Paper icon.
  4. Photographs of Mount Athos by Syllas Kollatos. Consists of (46) mounted black-and-white photographs (9 x 9 cm. each) of Mount Athos.
  5. Princeton University Library Collection of Nelly’s Sougioutzoglou-Seraidarē Photographs, 1930s.
  6. Angelos Prokopiou photographs collection, 1901-1999. Consists of an open collection of photographs of monasteries of Mount Athos (Greece) by Prokopiou.
  7. Princeton University Library Collection of Frédéric Boissonnas Photographs, circa 1900-1920.


Folio of a manuscript with text in Greek and colored ornamental decoration
Hieratikon Manuscript, 1679, fol. 2r. Princeton University Library C0879 (Princeton Greek MS. 58)

Post-Byzantine Manuscripts

The Manuscript division within Princeton University Special Collections holds a variety of post-Byzantine manuscripts either produced, used or connected in other ways to Athonite monasteries. Of great interest is Greek Ms. 172, the painter’s manual of Dionysios of Fourna, which contains descriptions of icon painting techniques that would have been followed on Mount Athos. Other manuscripts include:

  1. Mathēmatarion kai Anthologion by Docheiaritēs, Nikolaos (1781-1846) dated ca. 1870-99.
  2. Hieratikon, dates to ca. 1679. The scribe was from the island of Prikonissos (now Marmara Adesi) in the Sea of Marmara, Turkey.
  3. Kēpos Charitōn : toutesti vivlion periechon tēn periodon tou Timiou Xylou tou Zōopoiou Staurou tou en tē hiera kai vasilikē monē tou Xēropotamou manuscript. A compilation of hymns and canons, ca. 1784
  4. Akolouthia tou hagiou Neomartyros Theodōrou: Ekalligraphēthē dia syndromēs kai exodōn tou Panierotatou prōēn lophtzou Kyriou Meletiou tō onti eis to Monydrion timōmenon tou hagiou Nikolaou plēsion tōn Kareōn. En etei sōtēriō 1858


Photo of a printed book with musical annotations
Vatopaidinon doxastikarion, Mendel Music Library.

Musical Manuscripts

Princeton houses rare musical manuscripts from the post-Byzantine period that speak to the significance of Mount Athos in the development of Greek sacred chants and hymns throughout the Christian Orthodox East. The Mendel Library are unique resources that gather important manuscripts collected by music history Professor Kenneth Levy as well as microfilms, including Akolouthiai, Sticherarion, and Hirmologion from Esphigmenou, Iviron, and Great Lavra, among others.