Monday, April 29, 2019

Digital Muṣḥaf

"The Digital Muṣḥaf Project aims to create a database of images of early Qurʾānic fragments from dispersed muṣḥafs or codices of the Qurʾanic text and, as far as possible, virtually re-create the original codices so that they are available for scholars and the public in one place together with descriptions and metadata.

There is an ever-growing scholarly interest in Qur’anic Studies in the East and the West. The newly founded International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is but one manifestation of this. In particular there is an interest in early Qur’anic fragments from a number of points of view including those of chronology, textual criticism, art history, palaeography, and codicology. There may be a number from the high-hundreds to as many as a figure in the low-thousands of fragments from early muṣḥafs from the 7th to 10thcenturies C.E., scattered throughout the libraries of the world, the exact figure is not known, and although Whelan (1990), Dutton (1999) and others have done valuable work in identifying fragments belonging to the same muṣḥaf, much work remains to be done.

For this Pilot Project, the team decided to focus on a single muṣḥaf, namely the codex discussed by Estelle Whelan (Writing the Word of God, Part I, p. 116-118 ) of which 344 folios are known to be dispersed throughout various libraries. We have given this Codex the rubric Digital Muṣḥaf 1 (DM1). Please refer to Appendix 1 for details of currently known fragments.

Of this muṣḥaf, the following fragments have been selected for the pilot project:
Chester Beatty Library, CBL Is 1407, fols. 1-4.
Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Cod. 12.11 Aug. 2°, fols. 1-6.
BNF Cod. 350a, fols. 99-141.
The Bodleian Libraries, MS. Marsh 178, 22 fols.

For the online reconstruction of DM1, 149 images from the four participating libraries have been gathered for display: 44 from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, seven from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, 86 from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and 12 from the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Our reconstruction of the original codex is powered by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), a set of standards and tools for creating interoperable image repositories.

The images of DM1 are hosted in IIIF-compatible format by the Bodleian (in the case of the Chester Beatty, Wolfenbüttel and Bodleian images) and the BnF (in the case of the BnF’s own images). To bring all 149 images together, and to display them in the correct original sequence rather than in the order in which the libraries’ fragments have been bound, the Bodleian team created a IIIF manifest (, a piece of linked data in JSON-LD format that specifies the sequence, location and associated metadata for a collection of digitized objects. The Digital Mushaf manifest specifies the location and technical details for each DM1 image, along with page-level metadata provided by our scholars."

With thanks to Robin Dougherty.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bibliotheques d'Orient

Bibliotheques d'Orient

"This searchable web site began in 2016 by the Bibliothèque National de France and seven heritage and research libraries in Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Istanbul and Jerusalem. It was created to reveal the permanence and wealth of the scientific, intellectual and interreligious exchanges in this region. It is for researchers, teachers and students, and for all those who want to broaden their understanding of this region of the world, in its historic depth, so as better to grasp current events. It will be updated over time when new resources are obtained. Collaboration of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and international partners to create and curate open access thematic collections of digitized material from and about the Middle East."

Monday, April 8, 2019

Universität Bonn: Translatio digitization project

"Within the framework of a project supported by the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (duration 1.11.2013 – 31.10.2014) the Institute for Oriental and Asian Studies of the University of Bonn would like to research how European concepts had been discursively acquired between 1860 and 1945 in Asian and Middle Eastern societies.The aim of the project is to make the very scattered source materials on – to a scientific high degree innovative and for numerous colleagues connectable theme “Translation. The cognitive acquisition of European key concepts in Asian and Middle Eastern societies (1860-1945)” in a first step digital and in one place accessible. Relevant sources from the Middle Eastern and Asian saddle period shall be digitised, exploited and put on the research platform for evaluation and further work from the period 1860-1945: periodicals, lexica, encyclopedias, political publications, remissions and Ego-documents. As periodicals are the basis of the developed public sphere of the aforementioned period, these periodicals form the most important and most extensive primary texts for a conceptual history."


52 titles have been digitized in Arabic, Persian and Ottoman.