Chapter 4 Growing Collections and Rising Expectations

The Endeavour to Catalogue Manuscripts in Arabic Script at the Royal Library in Berlin

In: Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies
Christoph Rauch
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This article outlines the long history and challenges of cataloguing and indexing manuscripts in Arabic script at the Royal Library in Berlin, which finally led to the monumental works of Wilhelm Ahlwardt for Arabic and Wilhelm Pertsch for Turkish and Persian. Many handwritten lists and catalogue fragments of Oriental manuscripts from the end of the seventeenth century onwards are kept in the archives of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. They are evidence of the library’s struggle to manage increasing numbers of manuscripts as well as of the problems researchers faced in a period when Oriental studies was redefining its territory. Johann Gottfried Wetzstein too was entrusted with cataloguing his own collection, a venture which he could not complete.

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Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies

Life and Collections of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815-1905) in Context

Series:  Islamic Manuscripts and Books, Volume: 19