Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Islamic Seals Database

Islamic Seals Database

Chester Beatty Library Seals Project

Welcome to the Chester Beatty Library Seals Project, an online, interactive database of seal impressions found in Islamic manuscripts.
Seal impressions provide valuable information on the history of a manuscript and this database is intended as a convenient means by which to find or share that information. We hope the database will serve as a useful resource for anyone working on Islamic manuscripts.

Overview of the Project

Seals are usually inscribed with the name of an individual, often in conjunction with a pious phrase, and are used in manuscripts to denote ownership. Knowing who the individual named is and when and where that person lived can help one to trace the history of a manuscript, which may in turn shed light on notes and commentaries added or other alterations made to the manuscript since it was first produced. However, the individual or institution named is often unknown to the researcher or the text may not be easily deciphered: the ink may be smudged or otherwise unclear or the script itself might be difficult to read. Therefore, as a visitor to the site, you are invited to participate in deciphering the seals, identifying the individuals or institutions named, and adding information such as other sources of the same seal impression or other seals that name the same individual or institution.
As there is currently no convenient means by which to find or share information on seal impressions, we hope that this database will be a useful resource for anyone working on Islamic manuscripts.

Scope of the Project

Initially the database will contain mainly images of seal impressions found in the more than 2600 manuscripts that make up the Chester Beatty Library’s Arabic Collection. The number of images will increase steadily until the seals in all of these manuscripts are included as well as all of those found in the Library’s other Islamic manuscripts (those in its Qur’an, Persian, Turkish and Mughal-era Indian Collections). Eventually, seals found in manuscripts held by other institutions will also be included.
The initial phase of the project has been generously funded by The Islamic Manuscript Association.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Open Access Journal: Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (Formerly Journal of Azerbaijani Studies)
Print ISSN: 2223-2613
Online ISSN: 2223-2621

Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences focuses on the results of original research projects in various fields of History, Politics, International Relations, Education, Culture, History of Thought, Language and Literature, Economics and Law. The goal of this journal is to consolidate efforts of all academics who have concern to Azerbaijan or relative to the region topics. To be published in the Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences paper must be substantial and original.

Articles and any other material published in the Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences represent opinions of the author(s) and should not be considered to reflect opinions of the Editorial Board.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Open Access Journal: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives (LTHE)
ISSN 2077-5504
"Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives aims to present and discuss issues and research of relevance to university and college educators in the Arabian Gulf Region. LTHE is a refereed journal published by the Center for Teaching and Learning at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, a young and rapidly-developing nation in the East of the Gulf. The journal is intended to be of relevance to people teaching in any discipline, or supporting learning in other ways, in higher education in the Gulf, although the readership is worldwide"
Current issue

Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Open Access Archives: Digital Persian Archive -

Digital Persian Archive -

"Image Database of Persian Historical Documents from Iran and Central Asia up to the 20th Century -A Research Project of the Iranian Studies Division at the Centre of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.

"The Project aims at facilitating access to the growing number of available Persian historical deeds and documents, both published and unpublished. It shall allow work on archival material with the help of incorporated facsimiles without recourse to the original - often remote - place of publication or storage.

The Database includes "public" and "private" documents: royal decrees and orders, official correspondence, and shari'a court documents, such as contracts of sale and lease, vaqf deeds, marriage contracts, and court orders. It also serves as a bibliographic reference tool, being a continually updated repertoire of published historical documents."

Recent additions to the database:
0853/1449 Farman by Jahanshah Qara Quyunlu
0994/1585 Farman by Muhammad Khudabandah
1163/1749 Letter from Mustafa Khan to the Ottomans 3 of 3
1162/1748 Letter from Mustafa Khan to the Ottomans 2 of 3
1060/1650 Petition by the Armenian patriarch to Shah 'Abbas II
0630/1233 Farman concerning a village in the Ardabil region
1186/1772 Mubaya'ah of the Bagh-i Mirza Zahid in Tabriz
1156/1743 Contract of sale over land in Abivard
1351/1932 Contract of rent from Kashan
1356/1937 Marriage Contract from Kashan

Open Access Archives: National Archives of Egypt

National Archives of Egypt

"The site contains about one million records representing the metadata of all the files and a sample of documents in Arabic language and their images. The complete database can be accessed from Dar Elwathaeq...

The NAE keeps documents pertinent to the Egyptian history since the Fatimid Era till the present day. It also keeps documents about the history of Sudan, the Levant, and the Arab Peninsula in particular, as well as documents about the history of Crete, Turkey, The Maghreb, Iraq, Iran, Ethiopia, Eriteria, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda, Kenya and the whole region at large."

Description and links to selected images to most important archival collections in the National Archives of Egypt

Monday, August 22, 2011

Open Access Islamic Art and Architecture: Discover Islamic Art

Discover Islamic Art is part of Museum With No Frontiers

The collection and database comprises of 1235 artifacts from 40 museums, monuments and archaeological sites from 14 countries.

Virtual Exhibitions present the history, art and cultural legacy of the great Islamic dynasties of the Mediterranean. Descriptions are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish and the Virtual Exhibitions also in German, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Swedish.

Open Access Journal: [di.wan]

"Der [dī.wān] – Vom Mittleren Osten bis Berlin beschäftigt sich mit islamisch geprägten Gesellschaften in der Region des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens, sowie der westlichen Welt. Ein großer Raum wird dabei auch dem vielseitigen muslimischen Leben in Berlin eingeräumt. (...)"
Also on Facebook.

Heft 9 (Juni 2010 “Umwelt-Blühende Lanschaften im Mittleren Osten?”
Heft 8 (Dezember 2009 “Gelehrter Islam”)
Heft 7 (Juli 2009 “Legal/Illegal”)
Heft 6 (Februar 2009 “Freizeit”)
Heft 5 (Juni 2008 “Humor – der Spaß im Ernst”)
Heft 4 (Dezember 2007 “Hinter verschlossenen Türen – Sexualität im Orient”)
Heft 3 (Juli 2007 “Sport im Orient – von Anabolika bis Ziegenjagd”)
Heft 2 (November 2006 “Jemen – Willkommen in Arabia Felix”)

Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Open Access Journal: Têgeyştinî Rastî [1918-1919]

"The complete run (66 issues) of the Kurdish newspaper Têgeyştinî Rastî (Understanding the truth) [1918-1919] is now available in full text and for free on the World Digital Library's website at:

Digitized by the staff of the Iraq National Library and Archives, Têgeyştinî Rastî is the first Kurdish-language content to appear on the World Digital Library, representing one of several "at-risk" newspapers digitally preserved for the benefit of current and future generations of scholars. From the Description: "Têgeyştinî Rastî (Understanding the truth) was a semiweekly newspaper published by the command of the British army in Iraq in 1918-19... The paper’s headquarters was in Baghdad, on present-day Nahr Street, in the same building as the Jareedet Al-Arab newspaper. The paper’s masthead contained no mention of the names of the owners, editor-in-chief, or editorial board, and articles were not published under bylines. It is known, however, that a Major Soane was the editor-in-chief, and that he prepared the entire paper for publication... The paper took a hostile stance toward the October Revolution in Russia; tried to appeal to tribal leaders, elders, and other leaders with influence in the Kurdish community; and depicted the British army as a liberator of the Kurds from Ottoman control. It promoted Kurdish literature and the poetry of Al-Haj Qadir Al-Koobi and Nali Rimhawi Ka, and it was the first Kurdish paper to write about the history and origins of the Kurdish people."

The World Digital Library (WDL) makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
The WDL was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries and the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)."
For general information about WDL, please see:

See the Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Open Access Journal: Doing Business in the Arab World

Doing Business in the Arab World 2011
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : World Bank, 2009-
"Doing Business in the Arab World 2011 is the third in a series of annual reports benchmarking the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it in 20 economies in the Arab world."

Bookmark and Share so Your Real Friends Know that You Know

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Iran Data Portal

Iran Data Portal
"The Iran Social Science Data Portal is under construction. Once completed, it will be an English- and Persian-language internet portal that hosts social science data on Iran, including socioeconomic data, electoral data, information on political parties, and translations of selected laws. It aims to provide a service to journalists, academics, policymakers, and others interested in analyzing political and socioeconomic developments in contemporary Iran. The project is funded by a grant of the Social Science Research Council.

Due to its current significance, the website provides a detailed documentation from the 2009 presidential election in Iran. The featured data includes electoral results down to the level of the ballot box, the electoral law, statements by the four presidential candidates, statements by other political and religious leaders, by political parties, and by governmental agencies after June 12, 2009.

If you cannot find data or a document you believe should be included in this portal, please write to our webmaster."

Open Access Journal: The Journal of Islam in Asia

The Journal of Islam in Asia
ISSN : 1823-0970

The Journal of Islam in Asia is published by the International Islamic University Malaysia. It is a refereed International Arabic-English biannual Journal. The Journal includes articles, selected studies, book reviews, reports of conferences etc., which are relevant to Islamic thought and Muslim concerns. The Journal sees itself as an instrument, and an extension, to promote the IIUM's mission of (IIICE); Integration, Islamicization, Internationalization and Comprehensive Excellence. The Editorial Board invites scholars and researchers to submit contributions to the Secretariat of the Journal.

Open Access Manuscripts: The Open Treasury for Islamic Manuscript

The Open Treasury for Islamic Manuscript
Farsi Arabi

The manuscripts existing in numerous and various collections are considered to be the God-given mercy from which all the scientific and cultural developments have originated. So far considering this heritage, regardless of its scientific values, resembles the appreciation of human endeavor in expressing their views and surrounding world.
All the Islamic manuscripts that are now available at totfim website for all scholars and interested groups of people stem from bunch of researches. The definition and recognition of cultural impact particularly the Iranian one on various cultural Arenas, for which the amendment of "Iranian world" can be chosen, have been a cause for concern both for me and some of our colleagues that contribute their own time to this protect for years. Expressing and receiving an appropriate answer to this question, led to comprehensive and wise heated debate; and traveling extensively created this cultural government considering the soufists living in Khorasan in Chinese Kashghar borders, and making pilgrimage on some of scholars' shrines in Sa’dah of Yemen have all been the achievements of our sacred journey in which Iranian attitude and culture was prevalent. The eternal and stable culture that was conspicuous with all its indigenous characteristics and sometimes influenced the courtesy, religion, morals of the others. The compiling of different parts of Iranian and Islamic ancient heritage, such as manuscripts, tablets, documents and also images is the conspicuous effort that has led to the denudation of this site and its achievement in classified and modern structure will be at service of those seeking this accomplishment.
Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharrazi – Seyyed Ali Moujani

Monday, August 15, 2011

Open Access Archive: Tahrir Documents - UPDATE

Relaunching new and expanded Tahrir Documents archive.
"We are pleased to announce the re-launch of Tahrir Documents, an ongoing project to archive and translate printed discourse from the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath.

Since its creation in mid-March the website has published over 250 activist papers, manifestos, personal essays, notices of candidacy for office, and party communications. They appear in complete English translation alongside high-resolution scans of the originals, which have been collected from demonstrations in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square — the epicenter of the revolution and subsequent demonstrations. Tahrir Documents has proven a significant resource for journalists, researchers, activists, and other readers following Egypt's ongoing transformation, and has been widely cited in the English and Arabic press.

The site is updated daily with new translations, and has now been redesigned for accessibility and simpler use. Its contents are searchable and clearly organized according to their subject. Highlights of the collection include:

* A proposed Islamic constitution for Egypt
* Missives issued by a wide variety of groups new and old, including the Muslim Brotherhood, The Popular Socialist Alliance,The Wafd Party, The Justice Party, and many others.
* A warning written from the voice of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
* Literature on moral conduct appropriate to a new Egypt.
* Statements of solidarity with struggles in Palestine and Libya.
* A large body of writings on changes to the Egyptian constitution.
* A collection of revolutionary newspapers like Gurnal, and Revolutionary Egypt.

Tahrir Documents is the work of volunteer translators of Egypt and abroad. It is not affiliated with any of the authors or groups whose work appears in translation on the website, nor with any political organization foreign or domestic. For media inquiries and other information please write to the editorial board at We invite the submission of materials for translation and publication on the website.

The Editors and Staff of Tahrir Documents" / /

Collaboration in Cataloging: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan

"The University of Michigan Library is in the final year of a three-year, grant-funded project to fully catalogue its Islamic Manuscripts Collection. Supported by a “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” grant administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project, “Collaboration in Cataloging: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan” has sought to engage established and emerging scholars by involving them in the cataloguing process – examination, description and generation of searchable metadata – for the collection of roughly 1,100 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish dating from the 8th to the 20th century CE.

The manuscripts are being digitized and made freely accessible through the HathiTrust Digital Library in order to facilitate the cataloguing work, which leverages a web-based “crowdsourcing” approach to generate rich and detailed descriptions addressing both material and textual characteristics. The efforts of project staff at the University of Michigan, led by project cataloguer Evyn Kropf, are thus supplemented by contributions from the wider scholarly community as colleagues interact with brief inventory descriptions and the digitized manuscripts via the project website ( )

As of now, 686 of the roughly 870 previously uncatalogued manuscripts have been fully or near fully catalogued. 134 of these are manuscripts for which digitization is not possible at this time.

We greatly appreciate your support for the project thus far, and would be especially grateful for any further contributions you could make to the cataloguing of the remaining manuscripts, including review of existing descriptive data where available.

Of the manuscripts remaining to be fully catalogued, most are from the following collections


F. E. Nuttall

Sulaiman Purchase

Stephen Spaulding


Cataloguing is also still underway for a number of fascinating manuscripts from the Abdul Hamid Collection including:

several calligraphy albums

a possible collection of declarations issued by certain grand viziers during the reign of Mehmet II

several majmūʻāt, not all previously identified as such, among them

and this “biographical work,” likely a collection of Ottoman chancery documents

Your expertise is an invaluable complement to our local cataloguing efforts. Treasures from the collection are being unearthed, and we appreciate your continued participation in the cataloguing endeavors.

We look forward to seeing your comments posted to the project site and thank you in advance for your valuable contribution to this project.

Please feel free to forward any questions, comments and/or suggestions to project staff at

All best,
Evyn Kropf

Evyn Kropf | Islamic Manuscripts Project Cataloguer
University Library Area Programs | M117B Hatcher Library North
The University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-1220 |

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Open Access Manuscripts Catalogue with some examples: Arabic and Persian Manuscripts in the National Library of the Czech Republic

[First posted 14/8/11, updated 26/8/11]

The collection of Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of the Czech Republic

Open Access Journal: MIFS Newsletter

"The aim of the French Interdisciplinary Mission in Sindh (MIFS) is to bring to light
the historical and sociological heritage of Pakistan which, by and large, has been
largely neglected by researchers. Pakistan's rich heritage stems largely from its
geographic position as a hinge between the Middle East, Central Asia and the
Indian subcontinent. To date, the media and, to a lesser extent, academia, are
largely responsible for having circulated catastrophic approaches on this region."


MIFS Newsletter n°5 (November 2010)

Interview with Ahmet Karamustafa, Conference report, A note from the Diwan-e Qalandar, Special book review, What is new?, Agenda

MIFS Newsletter n°4 (April 2010)

Interview with Kishwar Rizvi, Fieldwork report, Excerpts from Shah-jo Risalo, Special book review, What is new?, Agenda

MIFS Newsletter n°3 (September 2009)

Interview with Richard K. Wolf, A workshop on Sehwan Sharif in Sindh, A paper by Pnina Werbner, Three Panjras of Udero Lal, Special book review, What is new?, Agenda

MIFS Newsletter n°2 (January 2009)

Interview with Monik Kervran, Fieldwork report, Book launch in Karachi, First workshop in Paris, Special book review, What is new?, Agenda

MIFS Newsletter n°1 (January 2008)

Project, Members, Organization chart, Research completed, What is new?, Agenda

The MIFS also runs a scientific blog:
Sindhi Studies Group. Society, Culture and Territory
"The aim of this scholarly blog is to develop a platform bringing together social scientists interested in Sindh, a region located in southern Pakistan, and its diaspora. The goal of our study group is to share and disseminate a wide range of information on the evolution of Sindhi society while exploring the interrelated dynamics in the religious, political and cultural arenas."

Open Access Journal: Revue africaine (Société historique algérienne)

Revue Africaine (Société historique algérienne)

Contents of vols. 1-106 (1856-1962) - PDF

Volumes numérisés en mode texte

Volumes numérisés en mode image.

Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies