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Cambridge Course: Introduction to Islamic Codicology

June 14, 2019

The Islamic Manuscript Association—in partnership with Cambridge University Library, the University of Cambridge’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, and the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation—announces its thirteenth annual Cambridge-based Introduction to Islamic Codicology course, which will be held from 23 to 27 September 2019.

This intensive five-day course will introduce the study of Islamic manuscript codices as physical objects, or the archaeology of the Islamic book. The lectures will provide an overview of writing supports, the structure of quires, ruling and page layout, bookbinding, ornamentation, tools and materials used in book making, the palaeography of book hands, and writing Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) manuscript descriptions. During hands-on sessions, participants will examine Islamic manuscripts from Cambridge University Library’s collections and complete a series of practical exercises on codicological description.

The course will be taught by Professor François Déroche, holder of the Chair of History of the Qur’an, Text and Transmission at the Collège de France; Professor Nuria de Castilla, Professor of the Codicology and History of the Manuscript Book in the Islamicate World at the École Pratique des Hautes Études; and Yasmin Faghihi, head of Near and Middle Eastern Department at Cambridge University Library.

All instruction will be in English. The course does not require a knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or other languages spoken in the Muslim World and will appeal to art historians, bookbinders, codicologists, conservators, curators, and anyone else researching or working with Islamic manuscripts.

The course is limited to fifteen persons for conservation and security reasons.