M-85v. Introduction to Islamicate Manuscripts

Kelly Tuttle

Length: 10 hours
Format: Online

This course is for students who have not yet had the opportunity to study Islamicate 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.

Click here to view the course description for the in-person version of this course.

Course History

Mariana Shreve Simpson and Kelly Tuttle teach this course in person.
Kelly Tuttle teaches a 10-hour version of this course online.
Mariana Shreve Simpson teaches this course in person.
This course is not currently being offered. Please do not list on any RBS fellowship or scholarship applications.

Course Resources

  • Advance Reading List
  • Evaluations for this course:

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Kelly Tuttle

Kelly Tuttle

Kelly Tuttle started working with Islamicate manuscripts while completing a doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Within the field of Islamicate manuscript culture, she is particularly intrigued by information transmission in the premodern world as it appears in commentary and abridgment, and also as it appears in provenance records and notes. She served as the Cataloging Librarian for the Manuscripts of the Muslim World Project, which was 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 Philadelphia-area repositories. Islamic Manuscript Basics is a course and website for beginners that she put together based on the MMW project. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for Manuscript Studies and in her free time, helps librarians and other interested parties figure out which Islamicate manuscripts they have sitting in their uncataloged collections.


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