Covering the entire spectrum of Arabic manuscripts, and especially the handwritten book, this book consists of a glossary of technical terms and a bibliography. The technical terms, collected from a variety of sources, embrace a vast range of topics dealing with the making and reading (studying) of Arabic manuscripts. They include: the Arabic scripts, penmanship, writing materials and implements, the make-up of the codex, copying and correction, decoration and bookbinding. A similar coverage is reflected in the bibliography.
In view of the fact that, as yet, there is no concise monograph on Arabic manuscripts in the English language, this book is an important contribution to this field. And, since Arabic manuscripts represent an enormous resource for research, this work is an indispensable reference for all students of Islamic civilization.
Adam Gacek, currently Head of the Islamic Studies Library, McGill University (Montreal), has published many articles on Arabic manuscripts and a number of catalogues, including
Arabic manuscripts in the libraries of McGill University (1991).
“…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
All those interested in the handwritten transmission of knowledge and book culture in Islamic civilization, and more specifically palaeographers, codicologists, philologists, editors of manuscripts, medievalists, and historians of art.