Online Resources for the Study of Islamicate Manuscripts

The following websites contain self-directed courses in the study of Arabic script manuscripts and are excellent entry points for students:

  1. mouse&manuscript (University of Leiden)
  2. HMML Arabic Paleography
  3. Course in Islamic Paleography (Jan Just Witkam)

Archival Repositories

The following is a non-comprehensive list of important repositories of digitized Islamicate manuscripts (including some either not in Arabic script or only partially in Arabic script, such as dual-language Coptic texts); note that these collections vary greatly in technical terms and particularly in terms of access. Some permit full downloads of texts in various formats (some image-by-image, others in PDF format, and some with IIIF), while others only permit in-browser viewing.

  1. Bibliothèque nationale de France
  2. Chester Beatty Library
  3. Leipzig University Library
  4. Princeton University Library
  5. OPenn
  6. Hill Manuscript Museum and Library
  7. Endangered Archives Programme
  8. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
  9. The Digital Walters
  10. University of Michigan Library
  11. Oriental Manuscript Resource (OMAR)
  12. The West African Arabic Manuscript Database (WAAMD)
  13. Leiden University Libraries
  14. Islamic Heritage Project (Harvard)
  15. Qatar Digital Library
  16. McGill Lithographs
  17. Library of Congress
  18. Sinai Manuscripts Digital Library
  19. Datenbank Orientalische Handschriften der Forschungsbibliothek Gotha

Ongoing Projects in Digital Islamicate Humanities

The following is a non-comprehensive list of projects of various sorts related to or directly concerned with digital Islamicate humanities:

  1. Open Islamicate Texts Initiative (OpenITI)
  2. Digital Ottoman Studies
  3. Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR)
  5. Knowledge, Information Technology, and the Arabic Book (KITAB)
  6. OpenITI mARkdown
  7. Islamicate Digital Humanities Network (IDHN)

Course Printed Resources

The following secondary sources will make up most of the course readings, primarily as excerpts; all will be made available as either complete e-books or in PDF excerpts:

  1. Blair, Sheila. Islamic Calligraphy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008.
  2. Gacek, Adam. Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers. Leiden: Brill, 2009.
  3. Gacek, Adam. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: A Glossary of Technical Terms and Bibliography. Leiden ; Brill, 2001.
  4. Hanaway, William L. Reading Nasta’liq: Persian and Urdu Hands from 1500 to the Present. Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda Publishers, 2007.
  5. Lit, L. W. C. van. Among Digitized Manuscripts: Philology, Codicology, Paleography in a Digital World. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2020.
  6. Quenzer, Jörg B., Dmitry Bondarev, and Jan-Ulrich Sobisch. Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field. Studies in Manuscript Cultures; Volume 1. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014.
  7. Reychman, Jan. Handbook of Ottoman-Turkish Diplomatics. The Hague: Mouton, 1968.
  8. Bausi, Alessandro. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Introduction. Hamburg, Germany: COMSt, Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies, 2015.