Thursday, August 27, 2015

More digitized Islamic manuscripts now available

by Salman Hameed

You really don't have to leave your basement now. Digitized Islamic manuscripts are now available from several collections. This is an alphabetical list from a few years back. For example, here are 25,000 Arabic manuscripts from the British Library digitized by the Qatar Digital Library (several astronomy manuscripts are part of this), and manuscripts related to the history of Arabic and Persian medicine at Yale's Medical Historical Library. Now Princeton collection of Islamic manuscripts has been expanded and you can access it here:
A generous grant from the Virginia and Richard Stewart Memorial Fund, through Princeton University’s Council of the Humanities, has made it possible for the Princeton University Library to expand online digital access to its extensive holdings of Islamic manuscripts. More than 1,200 digitized Islamic manuscripts are now available for study online in the Islamic Manuscripts Collection of the Princeton University Digital Library (PUDL). 
Professor Michael A. Cook, Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies, notes that “Princeton’s great collections of Islamic manuscripts, acquired to support research in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, will be increasingly available to scholars all over the world, as the Library continues to digitize its holdings.” The Library has the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts in North America and one of the finest such collections in the Western world. Holdings include nearly 10,000 volumes of Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and other manuscripts of the predominantly Islamic world, written in Arabic script. Approximately two-thirds of them came to Princeton in 1942 as part of the Garrett Collection, donated by Robert Garrett (1875–1961), Class of 1897. Building on this extraordinary collection, the Library has continued to acquire Islamic manuscripts by gift and purchase. Now there are approximately 3,000 additional Islamic manuscripts with New Series and Third Series designations. Text manuscripts on virtually every aspect of Islamic learning, both religious and secular, are the chief strength. Princeton’s holdings also include Persian and Mughal illuminated manuscripts and miniatures. Other collections include European manuscripts written in Arabic script or containing translations. Arabic papyri are separately housed in the Princeton Papyri Collections. All of these holdings are in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, within Firestone Library.
More here

1 comment:

Vika Gardner said...

Ooooh, Princeton has some cool manuscripts I was looking at when I was there a few years ago. But the ones I looked at were all Sufi texts. Any interesting science mss?