Monday, April 4, 2011

Oxford and Cambridge Islamic Manuscripts Catalogue Online

Fihrist Oxford and Cambridge Islamic Manuscripts Catalogue Online
Fihrist was developed by the OCIMCO project and aims to improve access to the valuable Islamic texts held in the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and Cambridge University Library. This catalogue was created with a grant from JISC’s Digital Resources for Islamic Studies programme.
The basic catalogue entries in the Fihrist catalogue were created using TEI/XML. While the OCIMCO project focused on the retrospective conversion of existing descriptions and catalogues, it will eventually provide detailed manuscript descriptions that will include digital representations of the manuscripts themselves. The TEI/XML schema provides an extensible framework that will allow for these future enhancements. The application of TEI/XML descriptive standards to Islamic manuscripts in a union catalogue presents a number of challenges. Documentation showing how the standard has been applied to Islamic manuscripts can be found on the project WIKI.

The Collections

The combined holdings of Oxford and Cambridge form the second largest collection of Islamic manuscripts in the UK and are of considerable intellectual significance. Both libraries have been collecting Islamic manuscripts since the 17th century and still continue to acquire manuscripts by donation or through purchase.
There are many early and rare items with broad subject coverage including:
  • Literature
  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Mathematics
  • Astronomy
  • Medicine

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