Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cambridge Digital Library - Islamic Manuscripts

[First posted in AMIR 4 January 2012, updated 5 November 2015 (300 newly added Arabic papyri to our Michaelides Collection,, etc. )]

Cambridge Digital Library - Islamic Manuscripts

"Cambridge University Library's collection of Islamic manuscripts dates from the origins of Arabic scholarship in Cambridge in the 1630s when the University founded a Professorship in Arabic and William Bedwell donated a Qur'an to the Library. Since that time the collection has grown in size and diversity to over 5,000 works, including the collections of Thomas Erpenius, J.L.Burckhardt, E.H.Palmer and E.G. Browne. These manuscripts shed light on many aspects of the Islamic world, its beliefs and learning..."

November Update

November Update

Our November release sees major additions to our online holdings of early Near Eastern fragments. We have added over 300 Arabic papyri to our Michaelides Collection, comprising personal letters, legal texts, accounts, literary texts, recipes and other documents, the majority of which have not yet been subject to academic study. This brings to an end the first phase of a project to put the complete Michaelides Collection online.
We have also added over 300 fragments from the newly conserved Lewis-Gibson collection, including L-G Arabic 1.23, an early leaf from Saadya Gaon's Book of Beliefs and Opinions. Saadya Gaon (882–942 CE) was one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the early Middle Ages and this influence can be seen in the hundreds of copies of his writings — many from works that had been lost — that have been discovered in the Cairo Genizah.
Lastly, we have added around 200 letters and legal documents from the Taylor-Schechter Genizah collection that shed light on community affairs. T-S 16.149 is a 13th-century letter sent from Alexandria to the head of the Jewish community in Cairo, explaining that their local judge had rudely and pointedly left while a visiting Iraqi preacher was in the middle of delivering a sermon. The Alexandrians wrote their letter in support of the visiting preacher and to explain that their local judge had in fact behaved badly.

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