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Middle East Studies: Manuscripts & Epigraphy

Guide to Middle East Studies: ancient, medieval & modern.

Online Manuscript Resources

Brockelmann Online - Geschichte der arabischen LiteraturUCSB Only

The Checklist of Arabic Documents

  • "Bibliography of editions of Arabic documentary texts - on papyrus, paper, parchment, leather, ostraca, wood, stone and bone - in monographs and articles...."

Fihrist Oxford and Cambridge Islamic Manuscripts Catalogue Online

  • "This catalogue provides a searchable interface to basic manuscript descriptions from some of the major manuscript collections in the UK. With the continuing contribution of manuscript records from UK libraries, Fihrist aims to become a union catalogue for manuscripts in Arabic script."

Islamic Manuscript Studies: Research Guide

      by Evyn Kropf, University of Michigan Library

West African Arabic Manuscript Project

       a bi-lingual database that was developed at the University of Illinois in the late 1980s to describe a collection of Arabic manuscripts in southern Mauritania (Boutilimit). It subsequently has been used to catalogue seven other West African collections including the manuscript libraries at the Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Scientifique, Northwestern University, and the Centre Ahmad Baba in Timbuctu. 

Print Manuscript Resources

World Survey of Islamic Manuscripts.

  • 4 vols. REF BP163.W67 1991

Brockelmann, Carl. Geschichte der arabischen Literatur.

            5 vols.  PJ7510.B7 1943

            Bd. 1. Die arabische Nationalliteratur; Die islamische Literatur in arabischen Sprache; Bd. 2. Der Niedergang der islamischen Literatur; Suppl. Bd. 1. Die arabische Nationalliteratur; Die islamische Literatur in arabischen Sprache; Suppl. Bd. 2. Der Niedergang der islamischen Literatur, Anhang; Suppl. Bd. 3 Die moderne arabische Literature, Indices

Guide to using Brockelmann

               For the German edition


Brockelmann, Carl. History of the Arabic written tradition. 2 vols. PJ7510.B713 2016

Gacek, Adam. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: a Glossary of Technical Terms and Bibliography. New ed.

  • Z6605.A6 G33 2001

Gacek, Adam. The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: a Glossary of Technical Terms and Bibliography. Supplement.

  • Z6605.A6 G33 2001 Suppl

Gacek, Adam. Arabic Manuscripts: a Vademecum for Readers.

  • Z115.1 .G33 2012

Graf, Georg. Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur

            5 vols. PJ7519.C5 G7

            1. Bd. Die Übersetzungen.--2. Bd. Die Schriftsteller bis zur Mitte des 15. Jahrhunderts.-- 3. Bd. Melchiten, Maroniten. 4. Bd. Syrer, Armenier, Kopten, Missionsliteratur, Profanliteratur.--5. Bd Register.

Guide to using Graf

Sezgin, Fuat. Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums.

            9 vols. REF Z7052.S4

            Bd. 1 Qur'anwissenschaften; Bd. 2 Poesie; Bd. 3 Medizin, Pharmazie, Zoologie, Tierheilkunde; Bd. 4 Alchimie, Botanik, Agrikultur; Bd. 5 Mathematik; Bd. 6 Astronomie; Bd. 7 Astrologie, Meteorologie; Bd. 8 Lexikographie; Bd. 9 Grammatik; Index vol.

NOTE: Vols. 10-15, published by the Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften in Frankfurt, Germany, are available from SRLF

Bd. 10-12 Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland; Bd. 13-15 Mathemetical geography and cartography in Islam and their continuation in the Occident [i.e., the English translation of vols. 10-12]

Storey, C.A. Persian literature: a bio-bibliographical survey

            5 vols. in 10 (not complete) REF PK6406.S88

           v. 1 Qur'anic Literature; v. 2 Mathematics, Science, Medicine, Geography, Encyclopaedias, Arts, Occult Arts; v. 3 Lexicography, Grammar,  Rhetoric, Ornate Prose; v. 4 not yet published; v. 5 Poetry, Additions & Corrections

Online Epigraphal Sources

Corpus Inscriptionum Crucesignatorum Terrae Sanctae

      Anthology of Crusader Inscriptions from the Holy Land (1099-1291) by Sabino De Sandoli

The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection

Duke Papyrus Archive (Duke Univ.)

Princeton University Library Papyrus Home Page

The Arabic Papyrology Database        

                 The Arabic Papyrology Database is a tool enabling you to access the editions of Arabic documents written on different material such as papyrus, parchment or paper. Those productive editions are an often unraised treasure for almost every aspect of Islamic history up to the 16th c. A.D. The APD comprises a total of 11625 documents.

The Arabic Papyrus, Parchment & Paper Collection University of Utah

      contains 770 Arabic documents on papyrus and more than 1300 Arabic documents on paper, as well as several pieces on parchment. The bulk of the collection originated in Egypt, in addition to a small group of fragments from the University of Chicago. A large number of pieces date to the period between 700 and 850 CE. The collection includes a significant number of documents from the pre-Ottoman period and thus offers unique source material on the political, economic, religious and intellectual life of Egypt during the first two centuries of Islamic rule and the period up to Ottoman domination.

Dar al-Kutub: Numismatic Collection of the Egyptian National Library

           catalog of 6,500 numismatic pieces – coins, glass weights, dies, medals, etc. - is the third major catalog of Islamic numismatic material held in the Egyptian National Library, formerly the Khedivial Library, Egypt’s most important library.


Online Manuscript Collections

Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu
             Library of Congress

Arabic Manuscripts at the American University of Beirut Libraries

The Arabic Manuscripts Digital Library of Jerusalem

  • manuscripts from four East Jerusalem libraries and the Waqf Restoration Center

Arabic Manuscripts from West Africa: A Catalog of the Herskovits Library Collection

  • Northwestern University

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München - Islamic Manuscripts

Bibliothèque Nationale du Royaume du Maroc

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze  Collezione Manoscritti islamici

 Book of Curiosities Oxford University

Caro Minasian Collection of Arabic & Persian Manuscripts - (UCLA Library)

e-Ktobe: Manuscrits Syriaques (CNRS, IRHT)

Fulfulde ajami manuscripts of Nigerian Jihad poetry by Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817) and contemporaries - (British Library)

        from the Endangered Archives Programme

Haddad Manuscript Collection (Wellcome Library, U.K.)

Harvard University Islamic Heritage Project (IHP) Manuscripts

Hebrew Manuscripts from the Cambridge Digital Library

Heidelberg University Library  Orientalische Handschriften

Islamic Manuscripts from Mali  Library of Congress

Islamic Manuscripts from the Cambridge Digital Library

Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine

Koç University Manuscript Collection (Suna Kiraç Library)


Manuscripts from the al-Aqsa Mosque Library, East Jerusalem

      from the Endangered Archives Programme

The Manuscripts of the Aga Khan Museum

The Minassian Collection of Qur'anic Manuscripts (Brown University Library)

The Mingana Collection from the University of Birmingham (U.K.)

National Library of the Czech Republic - Arabic Manuscripts

Online Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts(Jewish National and University Library)

Oriental Manuscript Resource (OMAR) University of Freiburg

Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum

Princeton Shahnama Project (Princeton Univ.)

Princeton University Islamic Manuscripts Collection

SBB Orient Digital : Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Shahnama Project (Cambridge Univ.)

  • Lists manuscripts of the Shahnamah located throughout the world; many of them have been digitized

Slavery and Manumission Manuscripts of Timbuktu  

  • Center for Research Libraries (CRL) e-collection

SLUB Dresden (Saxon State and University Library) Oriental Manuscripts

University of Edinburgh Oriental Manuscripts

University of Melbourne - Middle Eastern Manuscripts

University of Tokyo - Institute of Oriental Culture (Daiber Collection)

Wellcome Library (London) Arabic Manuscripts Collection

World Digital Library, Middle East and North Africa manuscripts

Writings of Maimonides: Manuscripts and Early Print Editions (Jewish National and University Library)

            Digital copies of Maimonides manuscripts and early printed editions from the collection of the Jewish National and University Library in commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the death of Moses Maimonides

Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative

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