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Locations and directories of eastern manuscripts

  •  The sorting, digitization, and exploration of Islamic manuscripts is an immense field of research within Islamic Studies. The manuscript literature of the Islamic world contains a previously unexplored world of cultural heritage. Islamic manuscripts have been studied for some time and many manuscripts have been very well researched and developed. But even more are unknown and undervalued. Thousands of eastern manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish or the Ottoman language are available, even at German universities. There are various digitization projects and inventory directories. Marburg has a small inventory of 44 manuscripts that will be digitized in the future.
  • A directory of oriental manuscripts in German VOHD) has been published by Franz Steiner Verlag. So far, 147 catalogs and 52 supplementary volumes have been published. Many manuscripts and directories of manuscripts have now been digitized and can be viewed on the respective library websites. The Oriental Manuscript Resource (OMAR) is located at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg. A digital database, in which around 2,500 Arabic manuscripts (about 134,000 image pages) from Mauritania can be viewed as full texts along with their associated bibliographic metadata. The Academy of Sciences in Göttingen is home to a research project for cataloging oriental manuscripts in Germany (KOHD), the catalogs of which are published in the VOHD.
  • In addition to relevant research projects like this, significant collections of oriental manuscripts are located at various German universities. The University and State Library of Bonn published a revised overview of all oriental manuscripts in Bonn in 2000. The oriental manuscripts of the Ducal Library of Gotha were published in three volumes at the end of the 19th century by Wilhelm Pertsch. The directories are available as PDF files via the University and Research Library of Gotha/Erfurt. The oriental manuscripts of the State Library of Berlin / Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation have been available since March 2013 via a digital database. The collection of Arabic manuscripts at the State Library amounts to around 11,100 volumes. From early fragments of the Quran, illuminated ornamental manuscripts to functional literature from Islamic educational institutions. The Saxon State Library – State and University Library and Departmental Libraries (SLUB) of Dresden has 448 Islamic manuscripts, most of which came to Europe in the wake of the conflict with the Ottomans in the Balkans and were acquired in the 18th and 19th centuries from collections and scholar’s estates. Through various acquisitions in the past centuries, the State Library of Bavaria (BSB) today has around 18,200 oriental and Asian manuscripts in more than 50 languages. Pay special attention to the ornamental Quran of the Arabian manuscripts and the Persian miniature manuscripts and lacquer covers. The University Library and Departmental Libraries of Leipzig hold various collections with a total of around 1,600 manuscripts. Among them are 488 manuscripts of the Damascene family library Refaiya, which became the property of the University Library and Departmental Libraries in 1853. This collection has already been developed, research, and presented in a separate database.
  • In an international sense, the Fihrist or “Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World”, an online catalog of more than 13,000 manuscripts in various university Library and Departmental Libraries in the United Kingdom is significant. The “Islamic Manuscript Association“ (TIMA) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Islamic manuscript collections and supporting those who work with them. TIMA organizes conferences, offers workshops, and publishes its own series of lectures. The organization is affiliated with the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge.