What is the Writing and Scripts Center?

The Writing and Scripts Center is one of the research centers affiliated to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Its aim is to study inscriptions, calligraphies and writings in the world throughout the ages, from the pre-dynastic period up to the digital age. Since the beginning of the 19TH century many archaeological discoveries unraveled the Ancient Egyptian civilization. By deciphering the Ancient Egyptian language, it led to the unveiling of this ancient civilization. Calligraphy and writing are part of the essential means to human knowledge and evolution of civilizations.


Therefore, the library has put in its priorities the study of writing's emergence and its evolution in all cultures and civilization, searching for the major common between it. On the other hand, the foundation of such a specialized center will narrow the gap between the fact that specialized studies in calligraphy are carried out on individual basis - experts in the disciplines of the language on one side, scholars in the evolution of writing and inscription on another and separately from anthropologists. The Center aims at bringing these experts together and creating a scientific dialogue between them, hence reflecting the role of the Library in collecting the human knowledge through the ages in its attempt to become a center of human civilizations.


The granite mural wall surrounding the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) played a major role in rousing the interest to study the origins of writing and calligraphy. The mural, which is 6000 m², consists of hundreds of craftily intermingled letters, signs and symbols from world alphabets, signifying the interlacing of cultures and languages.


The Center was inaugurated on 23 April 2003 by holding "The First International Forum of Calligraphy, Writings and Inscriptions Throughout the World".


The Center already has significant collections of Arabic calligraphy, and has hosted several international exhibitions about calligraphy and writing in the past.


Objectives of the Center

  • Studying the Origins of Writing.
  • Researching How Writing Originated and Developed.
  • Studying the Emergence and Disappearance of Alphabets.
  • Exploring Connections between Scripts of Different Civilizations.
  • Comparative Studies between Different Scripts.
  • Calligraphy Aesthetics as a Form of Sublime Artistic Expression.
  • Relationship between Calligraphy and Modern Technology.