Preservation and Location
The Codex Sinaiticus is named after the Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, where it had been preserved until the middle of the nineteenth century. The first written record of the Codex Sinaiticus is in the journal of an Italian man named Vitaliano Donati who visited the Monastery of Saint Catherine in 1761. In his journal he reported seeing the Monastery Bible.
Over eighty years later a Biblical scholar named Constantine Tischendorf went to Saint Catherine’s to retrieve some pages of the Codex to take back to Russia for further examine. The 43 pages that Tischendorf left with were published the following year. Tischendorf went back several times to the Monastery to retrieve more pages of the Codex for examination and publication.
Over the next 60 year the parts of the Codex, collected by Tischendorf, were moved around to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St. Petersburg and then again to the Imperial Library. In the summer of 1933 the Soviet Government of Joseph Stalin sold the 347 pages of the Codex they had to the British for $100,000.
More parts of the Codex where later discovered in 1975 at the Monastery of Saint Catherine. During the clearing out of a room underneath one of the Chapels of the Monastery eighteen pages were discovered. These additional pages of the Codex Sinaiticus still remain at the Monastery.
Today the British Library now holds the principal surviving portion of the Codex, comprising of 347 leaves. A further 43 leaves are kept at the University Library in Leipzig. Parts of six leaves are held at the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersburg. Further portions remain at Saint Catherine’s Monastery.
In March of 2009, an agreement was reached, between all the institutions that hold parts of the Codex Sinaiticus, for the conservation, photography, transcription, and publication of all surviving pages and fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus.