Arranged alphabetically by subject and/or concept, the present handbook has been conceived, for convenience sake and quick reference, as an aid to students and researchers who are often puzzled or even sometimes intimidated by the ‘mysterious’ world of Arabic manuscripts and the technical language that goes with it. A companion volume to the recently published The Arabic Manuscript Tradition (2001) and its Supplement (2008), the vademecum comprises some 200 entries of varying lengths dealing with almost all aspects of Arabic manuscript studies (codicology and palaeography). It is richly illustrated with specimens from manuscripts and expertly executed drawings. The main sequence is followed by a number of appendices covering abbreviations, letterforms, sūrah-headings, major reference works and a guide to the description of manuscripts, as well as charts of major historical periods and dynasties.
Adam Gacek, Faculty Lecturer in Arabic manuscript studies at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University (Montreal), is the author of many catalogues, articles and book chapters on Arabic and Persian manuscripts and printed rare books, as well as the recently published The Arabic Manuscript Tradition: a Glossary of Technical Terms & Bibliography (2001) and its Supplement (2008).
More than merely an introductory handbook, this is a serious work that makes for entertainingly informative reading, with or without a manuscript at hand. Extensively cross-indexed and referenced (...). Recommended. Choice, February 2010
“…an indispensable research, library, and archival companion for students and researchers that are interested in bibliomancy, calligraphy, specifically Arabic, Qur’anic manuscripts, penmanship, bookbinding, papermaking, decoration, and the tools associated with all these crafts. Praise for this monumental effort is essentially superfluous and no library or centre which is concerned with the Islamic manuscript and book tradition should be without the set. Academics and researchers would also find the books as indispensable companions.”
Amidu Olalekan Sanni, JOAS, 2010
“Arabic Manuscripts. A Vademecum for Readers met à portée de tous le résultat d’années de pratique en d’enseignement, et représente un apport considérable dans le domaine.“
Cécile Bonmariage in Le Muséon 124 (2011), 493-496
All those interested in Arabic works in manuscript form, the world of the scribe and scholar and their writing materials, the make-up of codices and writing styles, transmission of texts, and the arts of the book.