The Manuscript Project at the Coptic Monastery of St Paul the Hermit at the Red Sea, Egypt

St Paul the Hermit (c. 228-341) has had a compelling lure on the imaginations of Christians from Late Antiquity to the present day. Identified through the centuries as the first Christian hermit, Paul is believed to have lived most of his long life in a cave in the Egyptian desert near the Red Sea. In time, his hermitage became the core of a monastic settlement that has existed continuously for almost two millennia and bears material witness to sustained devotion to the saint in the form of multiple phases of expansion, wall paintings, liturgical furnishings, and a wealth of precious manuscripts. Since 2018, and in cooperation with the Monastery of St Paul, an Australian team has been working to digitise and document the invaluable manuscript collection. This paper presents the goals and progress of the project to date.