Princeton Ethiopian Miracles of Mary Project

The Princeton Ethiopian Miracles of Mary digital humanities project (PEMM) aims to be a comprehensive resource for the Gəˁəz miracle stories written about the Virgin Mary in Ethiopia between 1400 and the present. PEMM was launched in March 2018.

Most of these miracle stories appear in the Ethiopian compilation text called Täˀammərä Maryam (Miracles of Mary). Drawing on manuscripts from the exceptional collection of Täˀammərä Maryam in Princeton’s Rare Books and Special Collections, PEMM will collect information about these miracle tales to enable better scholarship on their contents across regions, languages, and time. The project is aimed at creating a resource for all scholars and to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church community, providing Ethiopians with better access to their patrimony, and raising general awareness about the beauty, breadth, and variety of these vital works of early African literature.

Project Team

Principal Investigator. Wendy Laura Belcher, Associate Professor, Princeton University departments of Comparative Literature and African American Studies

Project assistant. Evgeniia Lambrinaki

Princeton Center for Digital Humanities: Natalia Ermolaev, Assistant Director; Rebecca Sutton Koeser, Lead Developer; Jim Casey, Perkins Postdoctoral Fellow 

Project Collaborators

Prof. Steve Delamarter, George Fox Seminary, principal investigator for THEOT (Textual History of the Ethiopic Old Testament)

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 Gebreananaye, PhD student in religious, theology, and literary studies at the University of Durham, UK 

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, 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

Eyob Derillo, curator of Ethiopian collections at the British Library

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

Project Advisers

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

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

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

Dr. Kristin Windmuller-Luna, Consulting Curator, African Arts, Brooklyn Museum of Art; lecturer, Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University; and scholar of Ethiopian manuscript illumination.

Funding

PEMM is generously funded by various Princeton organizations, including the Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies, the  Center for Digital Humanities, the Council of the Humanities, the Department of African American Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, and Princeton Library Rare Books and Special Collections. It also has received funding from the University Center for Human Values, the Center for the Study of Religion, the Program in African Studies, the Program in Medieval Studies, the Index on Christian Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum.