Manuscripts of the Muslim World

Material Description


This project will provide digital access to 576 Islamic manuscripts and 827 paintings heretofore largely invisible to scholars. Together these holdings represent in great breadth the Middle East’s flourishing intellectual and cultural heritage from 1000 to 1900, covering mathematics, astrology, history, law, literature, and the Qur’an and Hadith. The bulk are Arabic and Persian illuminated manuscripts, along with examples of Coptic, Indo-Persian, Samaritan, Syriac, and Turkish calligraphy, and paintings on disbound leaves and cuttings. Columbia University will digitize 345 manuscripts. University of Pennsylvania will digitize 84 of its codices, along with 94 manuscripts from the Free Library and smaller collections from Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges. The Free Library will digitize 827 paintings. A cataloger will be hired by the University of Pennsylvania to enhance metadata for all partners. All digital images and records will be available as a unified collection at OPenn and added to other online repositories.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

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Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation


Ms. Caitlin Goodman
Free Library of Philadelphia

Dr. Mitch Fraas
University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Dr. Janet Gertz
Columbia University

Collaborating Institution(s)

Columbia University in the City of New York, University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, and Haverford College


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