At a monastery near Mount Sinai, the silence is broken only by low electrical humming, as early manuscripts are photographed.
Reuters reports, a team from Greece is photographing thousands of fragile manuscripts, including some of the earliest copies of the Christian Gospels.
The Early Manuscripts Electronic Library project is using a complex process that creates a single high-quality colour picture.
The aim is to create the first digital archive of all 4,500 manuscripts in the library.
The most famous of these is the 4th century ‘Codex Sinaiticus’ – a Greek manuscript of the Bible which contains the oldest surviving complete New Testament.
The project will provide a more complete record than partial microfilming carried out decades ago.
St. Catherine’s Monastery lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, the site where Moses received the Ten Commandments.