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

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  • General Cultural Orientation

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

    Bloom, Jonathan, and Sheila Blair. Islam: A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. New York: TV Books, 2000.

    Cook, Michael. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP, 2000. Particularly 3 & 4.

    Internet Islamic History Sourcebook https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/islam/islamsbook.asp

    Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. 3rd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Robinson, Neal. Islam: A Concise Introduction. Richmond (UK): Curzon Press, 1999.

    Wright, Elaine. Islam: Faith, Art, Culture. London: Scala Publishers. 2009.

    Schmidtke, Sabine, Islamic Manuscript Traditions. Institute for Advanced Studies, 2019.  https://www.ias.edu/ideas/islamic-manuscript-traditions

  • Islamic Book Culture

    Atiyeh, George N. ed. The Book in the Islamic World: The Written Word and Communication in

    the Middle East. Albany: SUNY Press, 1995. See especially pp. 33-55: Franz Rosenthal, “‘Of Making Many Books There is No End’: The Classical Muslim View.”

    Bloom, Jonathan, and Sheila Blair. Islamic Arts. London: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1997. Chapters 2, 6, and 10.’

    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. Sections reprinted in alphabetical order in Jonathan M. Bloom and Sheila S. Blair, eds., The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. See: “Book, arts of the” and “Bookbinding.”

    Gruber, Christine J. ed. The Islamic Manuscript Tradition: Ten Centuries of Book Arts in Indiana

    University Collections. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2010. Chapter 1.

    Hirschler, Konrad. The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands: A Social and Cultural

    History of Reading Practices. Edinburgh: EUP, 2012. Chapter 1 and Conclusion.


  • Islamic Manuscripts: Codicology , Materials and Techniques

    Bloom, Jonathan. Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World. New York: Yale University Press, 2001.

     Bosch, Gulnar, et al. Islamic Bindings and Bookmaking. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1981. See pages 1-84 for an overview of manuscript production. Download here: https://oi.uchicago.edu/research/publications/islamic-studies

    Deroche, François, ed. Islamic Codicology: An Introduction to the Study of Manuscripts in Arabic Script. London: Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, 2006.

    Ekhtiar, Maryam D. How to Read Islamic Calligraphy. New York: The MET, 2018.

    Gacek, Adam, Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers. Leiden: Brill, 2009. [Handbook]

  • Online Resources

    Manuscripts of the Muslim World project:

    Islamic Manuscripts in the Free Library of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and other Philadelphia area repositories, cataloged and digitized. http://openn.library.upenn.edu/html/muslimworld_contents.html

    University of Michigan Library Research Guides: Islamic Manuscript Studies http://guides.lib.umich.edu/islamicmsstudies An invaluable resource, including listings of collections of Islamic manuscripts in North American, collections and catalogues online, and bibliography