Arabic Manuscripts in the SOAS, London
IDC is offering an edition of the collection of Arabic manuscripts held by the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. This collection consists of over 400 items covered by 394 entries, and includes not only such traditional Islamic disciplines as Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh, but also works on mathematics, astronomy, medicine, falconry, archery and military equitation.
A sizeable proportion of the collection is made up of Shicah literature, with 17 Ismacili manuscripts of Indian provenance. The Shaikhi sect is represented by 37 tracts and responsa of Kazim al-Rashti (no. 277). Among the manuscripts the reader will find some with parallel or interlinear translation into a number of languages such as Coptic (nos. 46, 187), French (no. 376), Italian (no. 29), Malay (nos. 35, 77, 230, 231, 287, 312, 378), Persian (nos. 25, 64, 102, 248, 251, 287, 341), and Swahili (nos. 201, 246, 255). The earliest manuscript in the collection is dated 885 after Christ.
The printed catalogue
The catalogue was compiled by Adam Gacek, formerly of the library of the SOAS and at present librarian of the Institute of Ismaeli Studies in London. The catalogue, published by the SOAS in 1985 (a reprint with corrections from the earlier edition of 1981) (306 pages, 12 ill.), comes with the microfiche edition, but is also available separately from the library of the SOAS.
The entries are arranged alphabetically by title, with references grouped together and directly preceding the letter sequence. The alphabetical order has been adjusted to accommodate the system of transliteration, the additional letters being placed as follows: d, dh, d: g, gh: h, h: k, kh: s, sh, s: t, th, t. (This does not apply to the sequence of letters within a word).
The catalogue has five indexes (subject, person's name, verses, chronological, and numerical).