M-85b. Introduction to Islamic Manuscripts (10 hours)

Kelly Tuttle

Course Length: 10 hours
Schedule: 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. ET (including breaks), 25–30 July 2021
Format: Online
Cost: $750

This course is for students who have not yet had the opportunity to study Islamic manuscripts. It is an introductory course and will take a broad view of the manuscript arts from the origins of Islam in the seventh century through the early modern period (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), encompassing Arab, Persian, Turkish, and Indian cultures. The course will focus primarily on materials (binding and paper), layout, scripts, and decoration and will be taught through the rich collection of Islamic manuscripts that make up the Manuscripts of the Muslim World project. Students may expect to do some small group or individual work on their own in preparation for each synchronous class session. 

In their application statements, students should briefly describe the extent of their general background in manuscript studies and give their reasons for wishing to take this course. No previous knowledge of Islamic history or culture is required.

N.B. All readings on the list are optional. They will give you some background if you feel you need it before we begin the class.

Course History

Mariana Shreve Simpson and Kelly Tuttle teach this course.
Kelly Tuttle teaches a 10-hour version of this course.
Mariana Shreve Simpson teaches this course.


Kelly Tuttle

Kelly Tuttle

Kelly Tuttle is the Cataloging Librarian for the Manuscripts of the Muslim World Project, which is a cooperative project funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources to catalog and digitize Islamicate manuscripts from Columbia University, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and other local repositories. Within the field of Islamicate manuscript culture, Kelly is particularly interested in information transmission in the premodern world both as it appears in commentary and abridgment but also as it appears in provenance records and notes. Before coming to the University of Pennsylvania to work on the MMW project, Kelly was Assistant Professor of Arabic at Earlham College.

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