M-85. Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts - Advance Reading List

Open All
Close All
  • Overviews (for general historical and cultural orientation, as needed)

    Please note: Updates to this reading list for the 2018 session of this course are coming soon.

    • Neal Robinson. Islam: A Concise Introduction. Richmond (UK): Curzon Press, 1999.
      Annmarie Schimmel. Islam: An Introduction. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992.
    • Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair. Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. New York: TV Books, 2000.
    • Michael Cook. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
    • Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair. Islamic Arts. London: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1997.
      Manuscript arts covered in chapters 2, 6, and 10 (chronological introductions)
      Robert Irwin. Islamic Art in Context. New York: Abrams, 1997.
      Manuscript arts discussed in chapters Seven and Eight (more discursive than Bloom/Blair).
  • Islamic Manuscripts: Overviews

    • Johannes Pedersen. The Arabic Book. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.
      Alas, this short and seminal book is long out of print, but should be available in university and other institutional libraries.
    • Dictionary of Art 16: “Islamic art. III. Arts of the book” (pages 271-359).
      Divided into specific sections for calligraphy, painted decoration, painted illustration, etc., written by numerous specialists. A very useful introduction, albeit in the encyclopedia mode.
    • Marie-Genevieve Guesdon and Annie Vernay-Nouri. L’Art du livre arabe: Du manuscripts au livre d-artiste. Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France, 2001.
      An exhibition catalogue, aimed at general public, introducing the constituent arts of Arabic manuscripts.


  • Islamic Manuscripts: Codicology , Materials and Techniques

      • Francois Deroche, ed. Manuel de codicologie des manuscripts en ecriture arabe. Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France, 2000.
        A very detailed overview, written by and for specialists.
      • Jonathan Bloom. Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World. New York and London: Yale University Press, 2001.
        Wide ranging in its discussion, and with popular appeal.
      • Gulnar Bosch, et. Al, Islamic Bindings and Bookmaking. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1981.
        Catalogue of a pioneering exhibition. See especially pages 1-84

    Additional Bibliography on specific aspects of the Islamic manuscript arts will be provided during the course.