This paper provides an introduction to one of the oldest, and until recently, unknown treatises on the topic of Islamic bookmaking: the Zīnat al-Katabah by the physician and chemist Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā al-Rāzī (d. 313/925). It demonstrates this text’s relevance to bookmaking literature, contextualizes its title and author, and supplies a detailed description of its contents. The main subjects discussed within al-Rāzī’s work include ink-making techniques, invisible inks, paper soaking, and erasures on parchment, papyrus and paper. This paper also contains an initial comparison between al-Rāzī’s text and other texts, both earlier as well as subsequent, on the same subject. Lastly, an analysis reveals the fact that this text has been cited by authors who failed to provide a reference, then corrects some distorted passages, and disputes various falsely established ideas.
Al-BīrūnīAbū al-Rayḥān, Paul Kraus(ed), Risālah li-l-Biruni fī fihrist kutub Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyāʾ al-Razi (= Epitre de Beruni contenant le répertoire des ouvrages de Muḥammad b. Zakariyā ar-Razi), (G.P. Maisonneuve, Paris1936).
al-KindīYaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq, '‘L’epistola di al-Kindi sulla smacchiatura, Ed. Giuseppe Celentano', in Clelia Sarnelli Cerqua(ed), Risālah fī qalʿ al-āthār., (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Napoli1985) 141-197Studi arabo-islamici in onore di Roberto Rubinacci nel suo settantesimo compleanno.
Al-MarrākushīMuḥammad ibn Maymūn, '‘Kitāb al-azhār fī ʿamal al-aḥbār li-Muḥammad ibn Maymūn ibn ʿImrān al-Marrākushī (al-qarn al-sābiʿ al-hijrī)’' (2001) 14Zeitschrift für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften: 41-133introduced by Ibrāhīm Shabbūḥ.