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Collectie Louis Théophile Lefort

It's a well-known fact that Théophile Lefort's famous photographic archive was destroyed when the Leuven University Library burned down in 1940. Also lost in the fire was the library's manuscript collection, together with many invaluable Coptic fragments. Fortunately, by the time of the fire disaster, Lefort had already finished his publications of the Coptic material.1  Perhaps not so known is the fact, that Lefort also owned a private collection of Greek, Coptic and Arabic manuscripts, that he acquired after World War II and donated to the university. In the 1970s, following tensions between Flemish and Waloon members of the university, the library was split between the KU Leuven and the newly founded UC Louvain. While the major part of Lefort's manuscripts, as well as his correspondence and papers went to Louvain-la-Neuve, a few Coptic and Arabic manuscripts remained at Leuven.2 The collection is now available online on the library's website. The Coptic fragments have the call numbers Ms. 1162–1172. Of particular interest to the Göttingen Old Testament project is Ms. 1171, a set of two small parchment fragments, one of which contains Genesis 42:38 (recto) and 43:5-6 (verso) in unimodular script. I find it surprising that Lefort never published this, even though he had edited the same passage from Genesis before in his Coptica Lovaniensia

1 Lefort, L.Th., "Coptica Lovaniensia", in: Le Muséon 50 (1937) pp. 5–52; Le Muséon 51 (1938) pp. 1–32; Le Muséon 53 (1940) pp. 1–66. Republished in: Les manuscrits coptes de l'Université Louvain. I Textes littéraires, Louvain 1940.

2 It should be noted that the famous Akhmimic papyrus codex containing the Shepard of Hermas was split between the two universities. For details see now: Batovici, D., "Some Observations on the Coptic Reception of the Shepherd", in: COMSt Bulletin Vol. 3, No. 2 (2017), pp. 81–96.

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